Runners get dirty with Muds to Suds race

Published on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 by Steve Guntli

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It’s time for runners to get wet and muddy: the Muds to Suds race is returning to Ferndale Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17. 

Muds to Suds, a combination footrace and obstacle course, is a popular event that drags its contestants, quite literally, through the mud, before dousing competitors in sudsy water near the finish line. 

The event incorporates 22 obstacles, including eight mud pits – twice as many as last year’s race. The 2.5-mile course is 
open to all ages and even offers special kids races for children as young as 8 years old. This year marks the third time Muds to Suds has been held in Ferndale’s Hovander Park.

Aside from the eponymous mud pits and the sudsy finale, participants will endure a gauntlet of climbing walls, hurdles, seesaws, pipes and cargo nets. It may seem a bit crazy, but Curtis Anson, assistant race director for Whatcom Events, says it’s all about fun. 

“A lot of races, like the Tough Mudder or the Warrior Dash, pride themselves on being really extreme, and that’s fine, but that’s not what we’re about,” Anson said. “We’re much more family friendly. It’s all about fun, family and getting dirty.” 

The race will unfold in waves over the course of the weekend. The first races will begin at 9:20 a.m., with waves following every 20 minutes after that. Runners can choose to go solo, as part of a team or with their family. A special kids race will take place at 1:20 p.m. each day to let kids compete against each other, but children are also welcome to compete in the main Muds to Suds races, so long as an adult accompanies them. 

All racers who register are entitled to a free T-shirt, one beer or root beer float from the race’s beer garden or root beer garden and a free bratwurst on a bun, supplied by sponsor Fred Meyer. 

The obstacles are all spectator-friendly, so visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras to capture the chaos. Spectators can also partake in one of the event’s hay-bale rides, in which a vintage tractor will carry them between mud pits and obstacles in style. 

Racers are encouraged to dress up in costumes for a chance to win prizes. And for those concerned about being too muddy at the end of the races, showers and changing tents will be provided on-site, and representatives from Massage Envy will provide free five-minute massages for sore runners. 

Those who wish to donate their muddy shoes after the race can bring them to representatives from Value Village, who will collect, clean and redistribute the running shoes to families in need. 

Registration for the race can be done online, or on the day of the event for an additional $10. For more information, visit