Wet 'n Wild

Mad Town 5K Mud Run
lets runners get down and dirty

2nd annual event returns to
Heritage Trail in Madison

(May 2015) – Many think that New Year’s is the time to set fitness goals. If that is the case, spring and summer is the time to see those goals come to fruition since there are many opportunities to enter races of varying length. Mud runs are also growing in popularity, and Madison, Ind., has joined in the fun.
The inaugural Mad Town 5K Mud Climb - Mud Run took place last year. Among the entrants was Madison native and last year’s winner James Centers, 37. As the event released participants in waves of 25-50 people, Centers was not among the first to begin the run toward the daunting Heritage Trail, with its elevation change of 370 feet in just more than three-fourths of a mile.
“Being in the second wave, I decided that my goal was to catch up with the people in the first wave,” he recalls. He managed to do this by the time he had reached the base of the Heritage Trail, which is less than a mile from the starting line.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Culp

Madison, Ind.'s Kelly Culp climbs over a mud hill during last year's inaugural event.

The Mud Run is 3.2 miles in length. It differs from standard 5K races with its challenging terrain and various obstacles set up along the course. These obstacles include hay hurdles, tire flips and mazes. According to organizer Ray Black Jr., new obstacles have been added this year, including a chin up station and a rope crawl.
Centers, who has also participated in the Tri Indy, a triathlon that takes place in downtown Indianapolis, says that a Mud Run provides an opportunity for people to “push their limits with the addition of elements that require strength and focus.” A member of Mad City CrossFit, Centers says that he has always been active but was drawn to the cross fit style of working out because it motivates him to try new things. He adds that he enjoys the camaraderie and the friendly competition of a cross fit gym and feels that a large part of his motivation comes from the support he receives from the friends he works out with as well as his wife, Brandy.
Kelly Culp, 34, finished in eighth place at last year’s Mud Run. She began running in 2009 in an effort to improve her health. Adding in circuit training seems to have paid off. Culp was first drawn to entering the event since it supports such worthy causes as the Lide White Boys and Girls Club and the Heritage Trail.
Culp says that the incline can be intimidating to some but adds that there is no shame in taking it slow. “I ran the hill but was passed by a lot of walkers,” she says with a laugh. She said  the box jumps that were set up as a challenge in the middle of the hill provided a nice distraction from the Heritage Trail’s steep incline.

Photo courtesy of
James Centers

Madison Ind.'s James Centers, pictured here during a recent triathlon, won the inaugural Mud Run.

Culp added that being released in waves takes a lot of pressure off since there is no way of knowing what place you are in. She said that anyone who is interested in challenging himself should give the event a try. “Just make sure to dive in the mud,” she adds with a grin. “You may as well get dirty.”
Black says that participants have the option to “buy out” of any obstacles that seem too challenging. The money obtained from buyouts will go to the Madison Heritage Trail Conservancy. In addition to participating in a challenging and exciting event, entrants will be happy to know that their entry fees will be used as scholarships for area children at the Lide White Memorial Boys and Girls Club. Entry fees range from $35 to $50 per person. Applications, maps, and additional information can be obtained at www.madtownmudrun.com.

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