New local course opens with Mud Dog Challenge Nov. 2Written by Holly Tuey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A new challenge has arrived for residents of Northwest Ohio — one that’s likely to make a splash. The Mud Dog Challenge will allow anyone to get down and dirty for a good cause.
E3 Events has set up a permanent mud run obstacle course near the Toledo Express Airport. Jeff and Julie Earnest, owners of E3 Events, said the course is one of the only permanent obstacle courses in the country.
They said they got the idea for the Mud Dog Challenge after seeing The Survival Race, a similar event. They owned property that was once a motocross track, and decided to transform it into the perfect mud course.
“We thought, ‘What a great way to get people off the couch … to exercise and have fun,’” Jeff said.
The Earnests spent time visiting other courses in the region to learn about mud runs and determine how they would build theirs. Jeff said they used every square foot of the property to develop an approximately three-mile (5K) track, while still leaving plenty of room for participants to park. The course winds around the property, taking participants back and forth for viewers to watch.
“[For] most mud runs, people take off and [viewers] don’t see them until the end,” Julie said. “Here, you see them most of the time.”
She said the course was designed so that most of the obstacles that are fun to watch are near the viewing area.
Obstacles include hills, a rock garden, a 12-foot wall to scale, a cargo net, hurdles, tunnels to crawl through and more. Some of the obstacles involve running or crawling through water, but the water will come fresh from a well and be drained after each event. Julie said there is no questionable source or standing water, which has caused participants to get sick at some other courses.
Other efforts to keep participants safe include keeping the restrooms away from the course area to avoid contamination, and a state-of-the-art shower system with a drain so participants aren’t standing in water as they rinse off.
The kickoff event is set for Nov. 2 and is open for anyone to participate or watch. They are planning a series of three events for the Mud Dog Challenge next year, although the dates have not yet been determined.
In addition to the Mud Dog events, the course will be available for companies, schools or other organizations to utilize for training, competitions and more.
But the course isn’t just an opportunity to have fun. Proceeds from the Nov. 2 event will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Earnests plan to run future events to benefit other organizations.
It’s also about promoting a healthy lifestyle. Instead of offering beer to participants, as some events do, It Works will be on site offering samples of their healthy beverages, Old Man Granola will be offer granola samples and City BBQ will be selling food. LA Fitness will provide each participant in the Nov. 2 event with two weeklong passes to their facility, and will do body mass index (BMI) tests for those interested. Dave’s Running will have coupons and gift bags for participants, too.
“[I think] it’s going to be a trigger for some people,” Julie said. “If I can get just one person to change their life because of what they do here, it’s a win.”
Participants won’t be required to run, though. They can jog or walk or any combination of all three. During a recent test run, 13 people from the Toledo Sports and Social Club tried out the course. The fastest person completed it in 23 minutes, while the slowest took about an hour. For future events, participants will start in waves of no more than 150 people every half hour to avoid crowding and long lines at the obstacles.
Registration for the Nov. 2 event is $69 if participants register the day of the run. They can also register online at www.muddogchallenge.com to save $10, or use coupon code MudRunFun for a registration fee of only $30.
Participants will receive a T-shirt, a custom medal, a bib and timing chip for company wellness programs, and free access to all photos taken of them during the run. Anyone can attend to watch for free; they only have to pay $10 for parking.
The run will last from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The course is located at 10631 Airport Highway, Swanton, adjacent to the Toledo Express Airport.
For more information, visit muddogchallenge.com.