Rochester's Muddy Warrior Run returns 'bigger, crazier and just as much fun'
Looking for some not-so-clean fun? The annual Muddy Warrior Run returns to Rochester on Saturday, Sept. 17. More than 1,000 participants are expected to take on the obstacle course, which includes everything from spear throwing to a gigantic slip-and-slide. This year's event has also been expanded to include an after party with live music and food vendors. Plus, for the kiddos (ages 7 - 13) there will be a first-ever Muddy Warrior Mile kids run. Registration ends Sept. 10. All proceeds benefit the Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota.
To learn more about the event, we recently spoke to co-organizer Cory Penz (Chris Thompson is the other co-organizer). He told us this year's event will be "bigger, crazier and just as much fun."
What prompted you to start the Muddy Warrior?
I appreciate our military and the sacrifices they make to serve and protect us. The fact that they give up valuable time away from their family and risk their lives for us causes me to respect them a great deal. A few years ago, I was looking at ways to raise funds for a local program that provided quality time to service members and their families after being reunited. So we started a obstacle course run and the rest is history.
What organizations benefit from the event?
The past few years we have focused on Operation Welcome Home and Wounded Warrior Project. This year we wanted to narrow in exclusively on veterans here in Minnesota, especially those who have been physically impacted by combat. That's why we chose to support DAV. We respect and admire every service member and just want to do our part to raise awareness and give back to them.
Talk about how the event has grown over the past few years.
Over 200 people showed up for our first event three years ago, even with very limited advertising. Last year that number grew to Over 450 and we expect over 1,000 runners this year. We have a great return rate, which tells us people are really enjoying the event and telling their friends about it. We are also adding in some new components this year, including a kids obstacle course called the Muddy Mile and an after party featuring live music and food trucks. It is going to be awesome.
What kind of changes to the event can we expect this year?
This year we scaled our obstacles: bigger, crazier and just as much fun. We also added obstacles like spear throwing and a vert ramp. We made a mini version of our course for kids age 7-13 called Muddy Warrior Mile as we want to encourage family participation and physical activity. We also will be featuring live music from Thomas & the Shakes, woodfire pizza from Twisted Barrel, wings from Ye Olde Butcher Shop and beer from Shocktop.
We look forward to another great year at the Muddy Warrior Run.
Video from the 2015 event
(Cover photo: Muddy Warrior Run)