Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

March 18, 2013

Mud games

Four obstacle course races slated for Boyd fairgrounds

ASHLAND — Thanks to the efforts of local chiropractor Dwain Porter, a new competitive sport is coming to Boyd County and we will not be the least bit surprised if it is an immediate success attracting hundreds of competitors from throughout the region with many of those athletes boosting the local economy by dining at restaurants and spending nights in nearby motels.

Taking advantage of the mud run obstacle course craze that is sweping the nation, Porter is one of the founders of Mountain Rush Mud Run, which will host four races at the Boyd County Fairgrounds off U.S. 60 at Coalton, with the first one being in late June. The fairgrounds is an ideal spot for the races. It is located just a few miles off of Interstate 64, has plenty of parking and enough property on rolling hills to  create challenging obstacle courses for male and female competitors who are at least 16, physically fit and willing to pay the entry fee ranging from $50 to $100, depending on when the competitor enters.

A portion of race fees will be donated to the Work to Study Scholarship Foundation, which supports local students. Many of the students who receive scholarships will be working the events, said Porter.

Porter, who preaches fitness and nutrition to  his patients and anyone else who will listen, has run hundreds of 5K races and participated in obstacle course challenges, including last year’s Tough Mudder in Maysville. That experience gave him the idea of bringing mud obstacle racing to his home county.

“I thought we need this here in eastern Kentucky,” said Porter. “I want to bring this to the community and get them excited about it. I want to challenge Tough Mudder. I think once (runners) do it, they are going to like it even better.”

Porter has been organizing the event for months with the help of friends, including E.B. Lowman III. Scores more are helping with building the obstacles and other aspects of the event.

“Every time I tell someone about this, they are interested in helping,” said Porter. “I have seen an outpouring of love for the idea. That keeps me going.”

Mountain Rush Mud Runs will be challenging and fun. Porter wanted to create a shorter event without some of the most extreme elements like fire, barbed-wire and electric shocks in order to appeal to more folks and ensure they have a good time.

“People love to challenge themselves. They know in order to be successful you have to get your face in the dirt, so to speak,” Porter said. “If we challenge ourselves physically, the more our mind has the ability to create innovation.”

Mountain Rush Mud Runs will also feature an educational component. The Pavillion at the fairgrounds will feature nutrition and exercise activities and other booths, said Porter.

We like the idea. While most people have little or no interest in spending a day playing in the mud, this is a sport that attracts enthusiasts — a.k.a. fanatics — who think nothing about traveling hundreds of miles just to compete in a mud run. It is a sport that mostly grows through word of mouth. If the first mud run proves to be challenging for even the veteran competitors, the word will get out to other competitors and each race will attract more participants.

We commend Porter and friends for bringing mud run obstacle course events to Boyd County. Our only regret is that we are a little too old to complete. But if we were younger and a bit more fit, well ....

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