Get ready to get muddy in Granite Bay

By: Matt Long, Folsom Lake Entertainer
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----- Event schedule Saturday,

Oct. 27

5:45 p.m. Packet pickup opens

6:45 p.m. Packet pick up closes

6:45 p.m. Pre-race meeting

7 p.m., 5K Night Mud Race start.

8 p.m., 5K Night Mud Race awards ceremony

Sunday, Oct. 28

6 a.m. Packet pickup opens

7:45 a.m. Pre-race meeting at main stage

8 a.m., 10K race start

8 a.m. Expo opens

8:45 a.m. Burger Bash opens

9:30 a.m. 5K race start

10:30 a.m. 5K race start

11:30 a.m. 10K awards ceremony

Noon Adventure Kids 100-yard dash

12:15 p.m. Adventure Kids 1 mile run

12:45 p.m. 5K and Adventure Kids awards ceremony

There’s something about mud that seems to get the little kid in all of us excited.

The third annual Merrell Down and Dirty Mud and Obstacles Series, slated for Oct. 27-28 at the Folsom Lake Recreation Area in Granite Bay, features a mud pit that participants have to crawl through and it’s not only the best place to photograph the event, but also the place where smiles are abundant.
“The mud pit is definitely one of the favorites,” said Scott Roegner, special projects coordinator for MESP, who puts on the event. “People like to go out and dive in the mud. It’s a good thing.”

Between 3,000 and 4,000 people are expected at the event, which is on the higher end of MESP’s events held nationwide. In large cities where the event is held, such as Philadelphia, around 6,000 compete.

This event, however, features much more than a mud pit. The 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer races feature several obstacles that participants must either climb over or crawl under to proceed with the race. These obstacles add to the enjoyment of what otherwise would be nothing more than a cross country run.

“There are a variety of things that make this a popular event,” Roegner said. “For starters it’s challenging. You have either a 5K or a 10K run on trails and then you’ve got 18 obstacles to negotiate which either tests your strength or it’s something you have to climb over or go under. It’s a family-oriented event or something you can do with a group of friends. Afterwards we have a barbecue and live music and awards. People just hang out and enjoy themselves.”

Another one of the favorite obstacles is a 25-foot inflatable where competitors must climb up a cargo net and then slide down the inflatable on the other side. The slippery ladder, which is soaped up and not easy to hold on to, is another favorite obstacle, according to Roegner.

Jeff Thorne of Fair Oaks competed in the first two mud runs at Folsom Lake and he’s looking forward to the third. This time, however, he will enjoy it with his 13-year-old son, Jaycob.

“I love the fact that it is a national event that comes on tour locally,” Thorne said. “I like the fact that it has a great sponsor in Merrell and it supports the military. For the first timer the event is even better because there’s so much energy and excitement generated.

“What I like about the course is that they always have surprises and things you’re just not expecting. I run a lot of 5Ks and 10Ks, but this is a fun way to get into it.”

Jaycob, who last year competed in the Adventure Kids 1-mile race, will join his dad in the 5K race, making it more of a family affair.
New to this year’s event is the 5K night race to be held Oct. 27 starting at 7 p.m. Participants will be required to provide their own headlamps for the race.

On Sunday, Oct. 28 there will be two 5K runs, one 10K run and 1-mile run and 100-yard dash event for the younger competitors.