Wacked in Folsom; Annual Wacky Dash draws hundreds

By: Bill Sullivan, of the Telegraph
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It doesn’t matter what age they were, even adults enjoying clinging to inflatable toys and rolling in the mud at the fourth annual Folsom Wacky Dash  on Saturday.  See more photos on page A-9 and at

Alan Wilcox carefully surveyed the body of murky water as he paused to tighten the laces on his tennis shoes that were already muddied from the near 2-mile trek he led his family on to get to this point. Standing up, Wilcox arched his back and turned to his family for one final glimpse before clinching a bright pink inflatable flamingo and making the plunge into the unknown. From there, he crawled his way to the finish line, fighting off the threats of inflatable sharks to protect his family in his wake to successfully accomplish the feat.

This indeed is a scene from none other than Folsom’s annual Wacky Dash. The event, presented by Folsom Parks and Recreation, delighted hundreds of participates of all ages on Saturday, Aug. 4, at Rodeo Park.

“This is the third year we have come to this,” said Wilcox, who was participating in Folsom’s most unique completion with his wife, Lacey, and their two boys, Dillon, 9, and Derrick, 11. “We love to enter community runs and walks, but this one is so much fun because its great for the whole family and just like its name – it’s wacky.”

The Wacky Dash is a 2-mile obstacle course challenge with mud pits, water slides, a hay bale tunnel, balance beams, giant inflatables, a foam tunnel, climbing walls and a lot of other wild and crazy features. It was fun, it was dirty and it was indeed even wackier than expected.

More than 700 participants took the course Saturday, either as a team with their family and friends, or co-workers. Others took it solo. One thing was certain – regardless of how they took it, participants took it with stride and most of them laughed their entire way to the human car wash they travel through to receive their commemorative medal.

“Where else can you come out and enjoy a day with your wife and kids, push each other around in the mud and laugh about it,” said Wilson Davidson, of Rancho Cordova. “Every town should have a wacky dash; in fact, we should do this every month or every week. It’s just too much fun to only have once a year.”

While many members of the community at large come out to participate in this event, many community leaders and businesses owners partake in the chaos as well.

Trekking their way through numerous brightly decorated obstacles that appear as if a military boot camp merged with the branding of the classic Froot Loops cereal, after running through tires, inflatable slip and slides, tightropes, climbing challenges and more, the real fun takes place in the mud pits that mark the start of the course and the end of it, not counting the foam tunnel and human wash that prep everyone for the trip home.

“Seven-hundred-and-nineteen entrants was the official number for registrants this year – our highest year yet,” said Leslie Miller, of Folsom Parks and Recreation. “We had a nice mix of first-timers and returning folks who make this an annual end-of-summer tradition.”

See many more photos from the event at