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Good, clean fun

More than 500 participants test their tolerance for ‘dirty water’

Published: 02:28PM July 5th, 2012
Good, clean fun

Stephanie Schildt makes her way through a mud pit Saturday during the annual Down and Dirty Mud Run series opener behind Soldiers Field House on JBLM Lewis Main. By Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

Jordan Sonora spent more than an hour getting ready for the first race of the Down and Dirty Mud Run Series Saturday. With a superhero theme, the Navy corpsman painted his entire body green and donned purple shorts to run the annual Joint Base Lewis-McChord fun run dressed as The Incredible Hulk.

“I CrossFit a lot and people always say I get angry when I don’t get a lift,” Sonora said. “I decided to go green.” It took less than 20 minutes for his paint to come off as he progressed through various obstacles, sprinkler sprays and mud pits behind Soldiers Field House on Lewis Main before crossing the finish line in just under 26 minutes.

More than 500 runners competed in the first of two annual mud runs held each summer. With about 475 pre-registered runners, the check-in line delayed the start time by about 15 minutes. But time wasn’t a concern for the majority of the participants who dressed in creative costumes just so they could ruin them.

Jen Shellard and Katie Brown pulled together matching outfits at the last minute and wore “Team Awesome” Angry Birds T-shirts. While the duo were soaked and dirty, Brown was expecting a little more.

“More mud!” she demanded afterward.

Seventeen-year-old Cameron Freshwaters repeated as Mud Run overall champ, finishing the race about five minutes ahead of second-place finisher, his father Brett Freshwaters. Freshwaters, a cross-country and track athlete at Stadium High School, breezed through the 3.3-mile course in just under 19 minutes and was just about spotless.

“It was more like dirty water,” Freshwaters said. “It really tests you because you’re not just running, you’re doing obstacles as well. It tests your endurance.”

While some participants complained that there wasn’t enough mud, Matt Freeth might disagree. Dressed in nothing but swim trunks and running shoes, Freeth finished the run with mud in his mouth, up his nose and he guessed more than likely he had some in his shorts. Freeth had the idea to run as superhero Silver Surfer, but he didn’t have time to find silver paint for himself and his inflatable raft. He settled for just being a surfer.

“I liked the idea of the beach and since it’s Washington, it’s not really much of a summer,” Freeth said.

Freeth not only had to maneuver through the low-crawl pits, mud pits and tires like everyone else, but he had to do so while carrying his raft. It proved to be the biggest challenge when running uphill against the wind.

Freeth finished 82nd overall, but the fun run did not award prizes to the top finishers in each age category. All finishers received a Down and Dirty Mud Run coin and were welcomed with a warm outdoor shower afterward.