Playing Dirty

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Aug. 15, 2013 | Modified: Aug. 15, 2013
Playing Dirty

In the inaugural Mountaineer Mud Run, set for Sept. 14, participants must overcome obstacle course walls, mud holes and pits.
Photo courtesy of Mountaineer Mud Run

Remember when you were a kid, spending hours running through your backyard, playing with your friends and drowning out muffled screams from your mom to avoid those pesky mud holes?

The end result of the afternoon romps probably resembled a perfectly scripted laundry detergent commercial rather than an idyllic play date.

Those dirty days have returned.

The inaugural Mountaineer Mud Run on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the High Country Fairgrounds encourages you to ignore mom’s advice — just for one day — all for the cause of building teamwork, endurance and, of course, getting a little muddy.

“Don’t wear anything that you are not prepared to throw away after the event,” organizer Kenny Johnson said with a chuckle.

A mud run is unlike any other marathon or relay event that can be found in the High Country.
Runners are subjected to 15 obstacles that are strategically placed over a three-mile stretch of unkempt, muddy earth. Racers must climb over obstacle course walls and avoid gigantic mud holes and pits, as well as help teammates complete the grueling course. No two teams take off at the same time.

The format of the race allows runners to compete in teams of four. According to the event’s website, an average race takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Instead of accepting an average of the best times, Johnson said the teams work to help one another through the obstacles and hay-strewn mud holes. Also, awards will be given out to individual runners and teams.

So far, interest in the mud run has been more than just positive, Johnson said.

“There is a lot of talk around town about it,” he said. “We are playing it by ear, and, hopefully, we will bring a lot of people back into Boone to spend the night.”

Following the run, participants and spectators alike are invited to attend the after-party for food and drink, as well as live entertainment from Adam Church and Luke Combs.

The concept of mud runs is growing across the nation, and Johnson said it is a complement to other events — such as community bike rallies — and a way to capitalize on the fitness and being active trend sweeping the region.

Like with any first-time events, Johnson said there is a learning curve and will make tweaks to future mud runs. “We eventually might allow the kids do this, but we wanted to get one under our belts to figure out what is going on,” he said.

Registration can be completed by visiting The price of individual registration is $50 and $200 for a team of four.

No pets are allowed at the event. Runners are encouraged to avoid clothing that includes a high amount of cotton and to wear shoes with plenty of traction.

All participants are required to sign a waiver, although emergency paramedics will be on site in the event of injury.

The Mountaineer Mud Run will take place at the High Country Fairgrounds, located at 748 Roby Greene Road in Boone. For more information, call (828) 733-8060 or visit

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