VIENNA — The second annual Vienna MudRun took place on Saturday with more than 100 runners taking on the 1.25-mile course set up in the wooded area between the Vienna Rec Center and Jackson Middle School.
“Thanks to all the sponsors and the city of Vienna (who provided the staff and the land for the event), we were able to add new obstacles and even more mud”, Criss Welshans, program director at the YMCA of Parkersburg, said. “There are ninja steps, a horizontal climbing wall, ‘Mud Mountain’, a cargo net and a spider’s web.”
The age of participation has also been lowered to 5 this year to allow entire families to run together with child-friendly options scattered along the course.
The course started with a short sprint to a mud pit, where 1,000 gallons of water were added on Friday evening, followed by another 1,000 gallons on Saturday morning. Many runners had to stop and collect their shoes before continuing up the hill to “Mud Mountain” and other new obstacles.
“It was my first time leading this event and I had a lot of fun,” said Sydney Anderson, 15.
Anderson said she wanted to do a mud race and was happy to see one here in the area.
A slide and slide greeted riders after finishing the grueling back end to help cool them down. A 52-gallon freshwater tank provided by Energy Transportation kept the slide smooth for participants as they made their way to the dreaded Army Crawl and the finish.
“The rock face and the slide and slide were my favorite obstacles,” Anderson said.
After completing the course, runners could rinse off in the showers provided by Antero Resources and root for others as they crossed the finish line.
Sophomore runners Michael Tebay and Amber Adams brought their kids, Ansley Tebay and Alexander Adams, for their first MudRun.
Michael Tebay said he definitely enjoyed this year’s race more.
“There were more obstacles, and it was good to have been able to include the children”, he said.
The children said they also really enjoyed the race.
“We wanted to get to the slide and the slide”, Ansley Tebay said, “but they (his parents) held us back.”
“‘Mud Mountain’ was a mess,” Michael Tebay retorted. “Lots of sticky mud.”
Amber Adams said she could have been faster if her shoes had stayed on. This was a common problem when riders were going through mounds of mud.
Event volunteer Dana Morrison said he helps runners remove their shoes from “Mud Mountain” all day.
“We even found a bib number in the mud that someone lost trying to slide down,” he said.
Once the event was over, staff members were able to take a spin through the mud.
“My son is going to direct it, but I don’t think I will,” said Morrison.
Staff reporter Madeline Scarborough contributed to this story.
Douglass Huxley can be contacted at [email protected]