Slop Hop

Extreme sport gives runners
a chance to get down ’n dirty

‘Mudathlons’ test participants’
mental, physical strengths

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (June 2012) – Summertime brings with it plenty of opportunities for those who like to explore the outdoors. Two events scheduled to take place in Carrollton bring with them the fun of trying something new.
For the adventurous at heart, The Mudathlon might be just the thing for those seeking a thrill. “It is a three-mile race with 40 obstacles and involves a lot of mud,” said Tanya Supplee, Program Services Supervisor for Gen. Butler State Resort Park, where the event will take place.


Photo provided

Participants rejoice after
finishing last year’s Mudathlon
event in Cincinnati.

Designed for individuals and teams, “basically the course is in areas not seen visibly in the park,” Supplee said. The park is playing host to this event June 2, she said, but it is being organized by Mudathlon LLC, based in Westfield, Ind.
The park “reached out to us and we thought it would be a great location,” said Anna Ryan, Marketing Manager for Vision Event Managing, the company working under Mudathlon LLC to organize the event. She described it is as a “tailgating experience.” Participants must be 14 years of age or older and compete from 8 a.m. until mid-afternoon.
Although it is geared toward any skill level, participants need to be ready to run. “Teams are a huge part of Mudathlon. Over 80 percent of the participants are teams,” said Ryan.
A second event planned to take place at the park on June 9 is the Unbridled Adventure Race Series kick-off. This is a series of four adventure races that will grow longer and more difficult as the season progresses.
“The Adventure Race at General Butler is a four-hour race,” said Supplee. In addition to Butler Park, races will be held at Barren River (six-hour race), Carter Caves (eight-hour race) and Natural Bridge (12-hour race). The longer the race, the more challenging both physically and mentally it will be, she added.
This race series is being organized by Flying Squirrel Adventures and presented by the Kentucky Office of Adventure Tourism, in partnership with Kentucky State Parks. Stephanie Ross runs Flying Squirrel Adventures, a race organization, and depends upon a large network of volunteers and loyal followers.
Ross, who is also an attorney near Florence, Ky., said this race organization is her hobby and passion.
Her goal is to “promote the region and show people places they have not seen before.”
Each race includes mountain biking on trail and road, trekking on and off the trail, paddling on flat or slow-moving water and navigation with map and compass. On the Friday night before the first race, there will be a free navigation clinic. An awards banquet will be held on the Saturday night after each race.
Ross described the multi-sport race as an adventurous form of a triathlon, only with a navigational component. She wants to someday “grow the race” into a larger event for more people to enjoy.
Ross said she had a great experience last year working on an event with the Kentucky State Park system. For the Unbridled Adventure Race Series, one park from Kentucky’s three state park regions was chosen. Assets such as lodging, trails and water courses were considered. “General Butler was a good fit for one of the locations.”
She said the race is designed for beginners as well as seasoned competitors. “You start in a comfortable setting, become more experienced, and work your way toward a longer race, The Fig, held in November.”
Entry for each race includes a wicking race shirt, post-race meal, quality waterproof maps, event insurance with medical coverage, control cards and race bibs, door prizes and awards. Top finishers in the series will be awarded cash prizes. All races are USARA-sanctioned and qualify for points in the USARA national standings.
This is the first time for both events to be held at Butler Park. Pre-registration is required.

• For more information on these two events, contact Tanya Supplee at (502) 732-4384, ext. 2412 or Tanya.Supplee@ky.gov.

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