Mud, sweat and tears: Adventure Run offers obstacles courtesy of Mother Nature

info@islandpacket.comOctober 5, 2010 

Most event organizers hope for sunny skies and comfortable temperatures on their big day.

Mark Weisner is visualizing something different for Sunday's Buzzard Island Adventure Run.

Drizzle, mud, dank and dreary skies. They're all good.

"Hopefully, we'll get rain between now and then. This would be a great day to do it," Weisner said on a recent soggy afternoon in Bluffton.

The Adventure Run -- also known as "the mud run" -- was the idea of event organizers Weisner of Bear Foot Sports and Karen Floyd of Play Hard Sports. Sunday's run will be the second in what they plan to make an annual event.

"We got together and tried to do something different and we came up with this mud run," Weisner said. "There are so many races around here you have to do something that's unique. So we tried to do something different than a 5K."

The course, off Pinckney Colony Road in Bluffton, is set up as a two-mile loop. One of the main attractions is running across a muddy course that leads to the island many locals refer to as Buzzard Island.

Adults and teams compete on a four-mile course while families with children may opt for once around the loop. The adult race starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by the family run at 10 a.m.

"People are pretty excited about us doing it again," Weisner said. "We've had requests to do it twice a year, but for now, once a year is plenty."

Floyd, who is a teacher and athletic director at St. Gregory the Great School in Bluffton, created the course that is laid out on family property.

Some of the challenges include climbing fences, crawling under obstacles and running up and down steep bluffs. Runners will have to withstand wetlands and muddy and sandy beaches.

"I've done other adventure runs before and my husband and I fell in love with them," said Floyd, who has been a runner most of her life. "For me, I know what I enjoy and I think a lot more people out there enjoy the same thing. I don't think it's always running on the pavement."

About 125 people participated in the inaugural run. This year's race will benefit the Bluffton Fins swim team.

Bluffton resident John O'Gorman and his 14-year-old daughter, Brenna, ran last year and plan to give it another go.

"It was a lot of fun," said John O'Gorman. "You're climbing up and down fences, running through mud, jumping over hay bails. It's like a 4K obstacle course."

This year, O'Gorman brings a mud run veteran's expertise. Giving shoe laces an extra tug is helpful, he said.

"If you're not used to running in mud, it's a totally different experience." O'Gorman said. "Half the field lost their shoes, just like I did."

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