Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/8/2012 (3273 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
IT’S been 40 years since Gord Klassen has played in the mud, but on a muggy Saturday morning threatening rain, Klassen didn’t mind getting a little bit of dirt in his mouth.
Klassen, along with his wife Kathy Romanchuk, were among some 1,000 people who took on the first annual Dirty Donkey Mud Run, a gruelling five-kilometre obstacle course set up at Springhill Winter Park and Oasis Resort.
"It kicks your butt," Klassen said, all smiles and wiping mud out of his eyes following his heat.
The half-hour course had participants zigzaging throughout the park near the Red River Floodway just outside the city, climbing haystack walls, hurdling through mud pits, shimmying through tunnels and slipping down a water slide before diving through garbage bins and crawling under barbed wire.
"You don’t know what’s coming up next," Klassen said.
"It’s like, ‘Oh that’s cool,’ and then you’re sliding under something, going over something, then it’s through something. It was a lot of fun." Mud runs and adventure racing are exploding in popularity across Canada and the United States, thanks in part to reality television shows such as Wipeout .
Swamp Donkey Adventure Racing has put together 13 multi-sport races over the last five years and wanted to bring a mud run to the province as a way to encourage active living by adding a few splashes of dirt.
"One thing for us is getting a lot of people here for the whole package and atmosphere," said race director Rick Shone.
"It’s different than just a 5-K run on a road. People can’t actually believe they’ve run 5-K. I’ve heard a lot of people say ‘We’re done?’ "It takes their mind off it and encourages them to get out and be active," he said.
The event partnered with the MS Society of Manitoba to help raise funds and awareness for the organization.
Klassen and Romanchuk were part of a five-person team that raised $400 for the society.
"It’s good, clean, dirty fun," Romanchuk said.
"Really, what else can you do that’s more fun than to come out on a beautiful day with (your friends), meet a whole bunch of people, roll in the mud, run, exercise, then have a couple beers afterwards?" she said.
"I came out for the fun, no other reason." Regan Windsor, along with her 13-strong team dubbed Dirty Mudder Puckers, spent three months in a fitness boot camp preparing for the run after taking part in a course in Minneapolis last summer.
"We’re all runners, but we wanted something that was different, a little more challenging," she said.
"There were a few people who were scared of heights, so everyone was a little bit nervous about a part of it.
"The good thing about that is when you get to the finish line, everyone is like, ‘Oh my God, I did it!’ " The group plans to travel outside the province to mud runs in the fall and winter, Windsor said.
"There’s such an element of fun, it’s not necessarily about your time," she said.
"You go on a road race and the focus is time; here, the focus is having a good time.
People aren’t pressured."