MAY 27, 2015

Forty years of Mighty Mud Mania

7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 6, at Chaparral Park

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mudmaniaSCOTTSDALE – If you thought all those crazy mud runs are a recent trend, think again.

Forty years ago the city of Scottsdale first hosted what is now known as Mighty Mud Mania – the original mud run.

The event began as the “Shout It Out Decathlon,” a promotional gimmick for a pre-wash spray called “Shout.” The SC Johnson company provided 300 white t-shirts for participants to muddy up during the event.

“While the sponsorship didn’t last, the event has thrived,” said Parks and Recreation Manager Terry Erickson. She has been involved with the slimy shindig for four decades – either as a participant or as the event manager.

Erickson predicted the event would gain popularity and be around for years to come.
She was right!

Although Mighty Mud Mania didn’t have “commercial” success, it did flourish on its own. An estimated 7,000 people last year slipped, dipped or simply ogled the goop-filled festivities.
While Erickson has overseen the event all these years, her sister Jill Birt has participated in Mighty Mud Mania since ...  well, “forever!” She fondly recalls running the race as an 8-year-old. Jill has continued the tradition of participating in Mighty Mud Mania with her 10 kids.
“There’s something for everyone,” she said.

And she would know. Her kids range from 6 to 24. She said, “My kids and I look forward to this event months in advance, year after year.” The Birt family even goes as far as planning its summer vacations around Mighty Mud Mania.

Jill sums it up ... “Love, love, love everything about the event. The city of Scottsdale employees, volunteers, partners and sponsors put their hearts and souls into ensuring a good, safe time is had by all!”

Making the event safe for participants is a top priority. City staff actually cleans the mud by meticulously sifting through dirt to remove small rocks or other debris.

This year’s Mighty Mud Mania is from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 6, at Chaparral Park, 5401 N. Hayden Road.

The Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd., is hosting an exhibit of Mighty Mud Mania memorabilia through June 6. It’s free and open to the public.

The Mud Courses:
Mighty Mud Mania offers muddy obstacles for people of all ages and ability levels – from tiny tots to sassy seniors. There are even non-muddy activities for dirt detractors.
• The Mini-Mud Obstacle Course is recommended for those 6 and younger and is a precursor to the Original Mud course. It features the town of “Mudville” and the Mudsissippi River.
• The Original Mud Course, recommended for those 7 to 12, features exciting obstacles.
• The Extreme Mud Course, recommended for those 13 and older, poses more challenging obstacles than the original course. This course is free for those 13-17, but costs $10 for those 18 and older.

Don’t Leave Home Without These:
• Appropriate clothing that can go into the trash after the event! In addition, lace up, closed toe tennis shoes are required for all mud courses.
• Permission slips for youth and waivers for adults.
• Sunscreen, hats, water

How to Register:
Those 17 and younger do not have to register, but do have to bring a permission slip, which is available on the Mighty Mud Mania website. Those 18 and older who are running the Extreme Course can register several ways: on-site at the event, online or by calling 480-312-2025 using course #114202. To register online or through the phone, you must have an existing account. If you don’t have one, you can get one by calling 480-312-7957.

The event is free but donations of non-perishable canned foods to benefit the city’s food bank will be accepted. Adults who participate in the Extreme Course will be charged $10.

Food and Beverage:
You can purchase food and drink from on-site vendors.

Mighty Mud Mania participants recycle! Scottsdale’s Solid Waste program will be educating participants about the important of recycling. We’re working toward a “zero waste” Mighty Mud Mania.