MUD MADNESS: Crossfit Vivid team members work their way through the mud sludge.
MUD MADNESS: Crossfit Vivid team members work their way through the mud sludge. Ememudrun

Mud Run Emerald oozes success

IT MAY be a small community fundraiser but the Mud Run Emerald has been a huge success in several ways.

Participants more than doubled this year, when a staggering 1450 people ran the muddy 5km obstacle course in Emerald last weekend. And the event, which raises funds for local cancer charities, received a whopping 9.5 out of 10 on the Obstacle Racers Australia website.

The site's James Musgrave, who travels the country participating in obstacle courses, attended the Mud Run from Sydney.

"I have been doing obstacle races since 2009 and the Mud Run Emerald was my 29th race," James said. "The Emerald community has just gotten behind the mud run in such a massive way - about 10% of the town took part and that would never happen in one of the big city events.

"I really enjoyed it."

James, who describes himself as "a middle-aged wobbly internet nerd" believes obstacle course races were getting more popular because they were so much fun.

"You get to act like a big kid, you do all those things that you love doing - climbing monkey bars and climbing trees, feel like a bit of an army dude," he said.

"I have got the attention span of a retarded gold fish - if I just run, I get bored; just swimming, just cycling - I get bored."

Mud Run Emerald organisers Laura Clarke and Kirsty Appleton said the mud run was a success, despite flood waters keeping some participants away.

"It was considered to be a very successful event, with over 1450 participants running on the day itself, fortunate for the rains out west but it had cut a number of participants that were from Alpha, Longreach and Barcaldine that couldn't attend, due to road closures," they said.

But it didn't deter one team from Longreach, who sent a photo of their own

mud run and hoped to return for a future Mud Run Emerald event.

"The event saw the return of many of mud run's first mud runners from 2013," the organisers said. "But this year they brought back with them teams of vibrant and spirited newcomers.

"Highlights were definitely the excitement from having gone through some of the amazing obstacles and challenges this year, that set Mud Run Emerald apart from our previous event."

The online fundraising campaign has generated more than $9600 through its partnership with Everyday Heroes.

"The highest fundraiser team (was) The Belyando Barbies, raising $2820 and our local inspirational young man, Joe Maas $1430," they said.

Kirsty and Laura are confident the fundraising goal of $50,000 is achievable, with the total to be tallied in coming weeks.

The organisers said the event would not have been a success without the support of local businesses and individuals donating their time, resources and efforts.

"We would like to give a special mention to Carl Morowitz and his family for the use of his land on Chalcedony Rd - given the original home of (the 2013 event) was up for sale, it was paramount to have secured a new location to be able to bring MRE2014 to the community and surrounds," they said.

"Without the support from Carl and his family (whom his nieces volunteered during the event) our region would not have had the economic boost from travellers coming to participate, nor have the event. The Westfund sponsored Up and Over shipping container obstacle, Emerald Ice's Arctic Enema and the Dream Design Homes climbing wall and tyres were a huge hit. Corbett Homes' monkey bar challenge was another talking point.

"The Mud Matters Mentoring Program... these guys built obstacles and sprayed painted signs; lots of young people contributed to this event - they are a very inspiring bunch of young boys and girls and they also ran in the mud run."

They said the Tickled Pink-hosted event raised much needed funds for the Central Highlands' local cancer charities and support groups through the Emerald Neighbourhood Centre.

The groups supported include CQ Division for Breast and Prostate Cancer, Men's Cancer Support Group and the Look Good Feel Better Program.

"Belinda from the Breast and Prostate Cancer group in town has been appointed the new prostate cancer care nurse, which is a first for the Central Highlands for regional cancer support services," Laura and Kirsty said.

"The funding that is donated from the Mud Run Emerald will go towards supporting the personal development training out of Melbourne University, to increase the skills sets of our cancer care nurses in our community."

Mud Run Emerald

Highest Fundraising Team: Belyando Barbies, $2820

Highest Fundraising Individual: Joe Maas, $1430

Best dressed awards:

1. Clowning Around

2. Zee Hot Mud Runners (dressed as pink elephants)

3. The Vikings team

4. The Boobies Team (from Rockhampton)

5. Super A Gooders




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