Mud run full of messy fun

CAMP PENDLETON — Imagine a 6.2- mile run complete with obstacles over walls, through tunnels, across lakes, through a combat town and low-crawl pits with 6,000 other competitors blocking your path to the finish
line.
Now envision the entire course caked in thick, syrupy mud — lots of it.
This was the scene at Camp Pendleton’s annual Filthy Fun Fest and Mud Run hosted by the Semper Fit Division of Marine Corps Community Services June 11.
“It’s great, this is a lot of civilians’ opportunities to be a Marine for a day and come out and get dirty,” said Maj. John Hatala, assistant operations officer, School of Infantry – West and the fastest Marine competitor. “Marines don’t give up and are trained to have a lot of leadership and endurance; you certainly have to have a lot of endurance to make it through a course like this.”
“We’ve always wanted to do this run as a team, so all my college buddies finally got together, came in from Northern California, Pennsylvania and New York and we got it done,” said Shanglei Liu, a San Diego State University student. “It was amazing. I think I have fish in my shoes but other than that I feel great. I don’t know about doing this every day like the Marines but I have a lot of respect for them after completing the course today.”
“You can run it individually or in a team of five but if you start with a team, you end with the same team,” said Anthony Carson, Hardcore Race Series race director, Semper Fit, Marine Corps Community Services, Camp Pendleton. “You encourage each other over the walls, through the mud … five individuals pull together as one and really become cohesive and use teamwork, just like the Marines do. We don’t let them quit or go around obstacles. We highly encourage competitors to go through the obstacles and not give up.”
Word of the event has steadily spread over the years and now competitors must sign up months in advance.
“We open January first for registration and sell out immediately so we’re pretty proud of the venue,” said Thomas Fisher, athletic director, Semper Fit Division. “I’m really impressed with everyone coming out, all the revenue supports the Marines in the end so it’s great for the population to come out and support. Marine Corps life is really all about fitness and team work so civilians get to come out here and get a taste of the Marine Corps.”
Judging by the smiles on faces plastered with dirt after the messy feat, civilians and military alike prove a little mud mixed with challenging obstacles can make for a good time … until it comes time to do the laundry.
There are several more events as part of the Hard Corps Race Series coming up, visit camppendletonraces.com/ for more information.

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