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Jeremiah Heath has been hoping for rain all week. The more, the better.
And he will continue to do so through at least late Friday night and maybe even into Saturday morning.
“The muddier the better,” Heath, the Director of the Family Activity Center for Shelby County Parks & Recreation, said Tuesday afternoon tooling around Clear Creek Park North in a pickup.
That’s because Saturday morning the park will host the first Clear Creek Swamp Tromp, a 10K mud race that will feature 20-plus challenging obstacles (there will also be a 1-mile family course). The Tromp is hoping to piggy-back on the popularity of other such events like the Tough Mudder and Rugged Maniac.
Tough Mudder bills itself as “the premier obstacle course series in the world” and features “ten- to twelve-mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie.”
While the Swamp Tromp doesn’t have the pedigree of the Tough Mudder, race directors believe it will be similar, it does offer a “day filled with camaraderie, food, fun, music and a swamp good time.”
“This is going to be pretty close to the Tough Mudder with the exception of there will be no electric shock, or running through fire,” said Elizabeth Pulliam, the director of Shelby Prevention.
The Tromp is the brainchild of Pulliam, who has competed in a similar event. She approached Clay Cottongim, the director of Shelby Parks & Recreation, about putting on such an event in Shelby County within the last couple of years – when some of the other races began becoming popular. It was discussed again this past December and in February the planning began.
“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been fun,” Pulliam said. “It’s not a day at the office. You get to go out and play in the mud and design obstacles.”
Some of the obstacles that racers can look forward to on Saturday are cargo nets, tires to run through, lake and creek crossings, adult-sized monkey bars, rope climbs, having to jump from hay bail to hay bail, crawling under barbed wire while in sand, a giant Slip ‘N Slide and more.
“It is dangerous; that’s definitely what we were hoping for,” Heath said.
“There’s nothing on the course that’s absolutely impossible, but some things may require assistance from your teammates,” Pulliam said, before adding, “there might even be a few surprises the day of.”
The race benefits Shelby Parks & Rec., Shelby Prevention and Van for Glenn, a community project spear-headed by Shelbyville First Christian Church and Shelby County Community Charity to raise money to buy a van for Glenn Hall, a 14-year-old boy with a rare chromosome disorder that limits his movement and walking.
The costs to compete range from $45-80 with all racers receiving a T-shirt and a meal voucher. The family/child course is designed for those 6-12, while the adult course is designed for those 13 & up. Registration is available at www.active.com, and there is also a link on the bottom left-hand corner of the Shelby County Parks & Rec. webpage (www.shelbycountryparks.com). Additionally, there will be day-of registration at the Col. Sanders Group Picnic Shelter, where the race will start, beginning at 8 a.m.
The family run will start around 8:30 a.m. with the first of four waves for the Tromp beginning about 9:20 a.m. The last wave, the only one that will be timed for the competitive mudders, will go off around 10:20 a.m. Heath said he hopes this becomes an annual event.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Pulliam said. “Expect to get dirty.”
WHAT: Obstacle course fitness competition and fun run for charity.
WHEN: 8 a.m., Saturday.
WHERE: Clear Creek Park.
ENTRY: Fees range from $45 to $80. Register at active.com
MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.shelbycountyparks.com.