More than 500 Kids Participate in Inaugural Mud Run
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Over the past weekend, 533 participants between the ages of six to 13 ran, climbed, hopped, crawled, and slithered their way through a 14-obstacle mud run at Lake McMurtry in Stillwater. Mud University (Mud U), using the slogan “Fun in the First Degree”, was specifically developed to provide children and youth the opportunity to experience a fun mud run in a safe and age-appropriate manner.
Dr. Tim Baghurst, an assistant professor of Health and Human Performance at Oklahoma State University, developed Mud U after drawing inspiration from his own son’s desire to participate in similar adult events; however, there were no events available specifically for kids. Baghurst also saw Mud U as an opportunity to combine his expertise in health and exercise with the personal goal of promoting physical activity among youth.
“I think we all had a great time,” Baghurst said. “We deliberately closed off the majority of the course from parents in order to help develop teamwork, independence, and confidence among participants. The kids seemed to love the opportunity to do something by themselves.”
Mud U had representation statewide, with Perry, Morrison, Perkins, and Seminole drawing the greatest representation behind Stillwater. Well over half of the participants formed teams with creative names such as the Dirt Devils, Tough Muddies, and the Morrison Mud Cats. Kim Crabtree helped to organize two teams from Seminole, Mud Dobbers I and II.
“All of the parents from our group were surprised how smoothly the event ran and were really impressed with the volunteers,” Crabtree said. “We’re already planning for the next event. We love the concept and it’s a new way to get our kids physically active.”
Many parents have already asked for an encore, and discussions about the possibility of offering it again in the fall are ongoing.
“It’s something we’re going to discuss as a team over the coming weeks,” Baghurst said. “We first want to get the input of the adults and participants from this Mud U before making a final decision.”