By HOWARD BALABAN firstname.lastname@example.org
Medina Journal-Register — This past weekend Andover hosted one of the hottest trends in running: Tough Mudder.
The event is several miles long and presents its participants with obstacles long the way. According to some estimates, the total number of participants reached the thousands.
Based on the event’s popularity, the Orleans County YMCA will soon get in on the fun.
“We’re going to have the Medina Mud Run,” said Jeff Winters, executive director of the YMCA. “It’ll be a challenging and achievable 5K because we don’t want to discourage anybody from participating.”
While those who run the Tough Mudder, which can be quite taxing, Winters said people who tackle the Medina Mud Run will not necessarily need to be in peak condition.
The idea, Winters said, came from YMCA Board Member Travis Phillips. Winters added that the YMCA will work in conjunction with the Sacred Heart Club and its neighboring landowners to create the Mud Run route.
“There’s a bunch of farmland behind the Sacred Heart Club, and we got the consent of the landowners and everything has fallen into place,” Winters said.
The 5K run (3.1 miles) will start and end at the Sacred Heart Club and feature 15 challenges, though nothing “too exotic.” One challenge on the run, Winters said, was a trip up and down Gallagher’s Hill. Another one he mentioned takes runners through a creek, and another has them go through a field of tires. The last obstacle before the finish line is a track of 20 feet of mud.
According to Winters, the initial response to the Medina Mud Run has been “excellent with a lot of interest.”
“The appeal here is that it’s a local event, and we’d like to make it an annual one,” Winters said. “It’ll be nice to have it here, and it’ll be casual and friendly.”
There are sure to be heightened competitors involved, too, he added.
“People today want to challenge themselves, and with this there’s a sense of camaraderie because people do the run in groups or teams,” he explained. “It’s not a race, but it’s a way to prove something to yourself and to encourage others to do well.”
The Medina Mud Run is set for 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 28. Registration for the run costs $60 and includes a run tee-shirt, a “goody-bag,” and a drink and hot dog ticket at the event’s after-party at the Sacred Heart Club.
For more information, call the Orleans County YMCA at 798-2040.