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Wed, Nov. 13

Folks have fun getting dirty at the Chino Mudder
Event brings out fastest, oldest, dirtiest

Participants of the 2nd annual Chino Mudder take on Deja-Vu, one of the course’s 21 obstacles this year. (Max Efrein/Courier)

Participants of the 2nd annual Chino Mudder take on Deja-Vu, one of the course’s 21 obstacles this year. (Max Efrein/Courier)

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Participants of the 2nd annual Chino Mudder take on Deja-Vu, one of the course’s 21 obstacles this year. (Max Efrein/Courier)

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Participants of the 2nd annual Chino Mudder take on Humpty-Dumpty, one of the course’s 21 obstacles this year. (Max Efrein/Courier)

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Participants of the 2nd annual Chino Mudder take on Tightrope Shuffle, one of the course’s 21 obstacles this year. (Max Efrein/Courier)

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The 2nd annual Chino Mudder featured a costume wave. This team’s name was Free Mudstache Rides. (Max Efrein/Courier)

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The 2nd annual Chino Mudder featured a costume wave. This team’s name was The Mud Squad. (Max Efrein/Courier)

Mud splattered on faces and oozed through sneakers during the second annual Chino Mudder on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Similar to other mud runs, the event consists of a track riddled with obstacles and mud pits. In this case, it was 5 kilometers long with 21 obstacles.

At each obstacle was a supervisor to watch over the participants.

“Welcome to event number 7,” one supervisor announced every time new racers approached his obstacle. “Deja-Vu, so much fun you’ll have to run it again.”

Deja-Vu involved getting over a number of closely-constructed rolling dirt mounds. Between the mounds were pools of water that could either be jumped or waded through. After clearing one set of mounds, another set waited just around a bend.

Along the way, participants were goaded by signs with phrases typed on them such as “no sniveling” and “don’t stop, people are watching you.”

Heading the event was Chino Valley Recreation Lead Celia van der Molen. She took on her role with the town earlier this year and aims to simply improve existing events like the Chino Mudder rather than create new ones.

“We’re really focused on events like this,” van der Molen said. “This is a huge event for the town.”

All of the money raised from the Mudder goes back into the town’s parks and trails, she said.

About 300 participants came out to enjoy the experience — triple last year’s attendance. Each ran in one of nine waves spread out throughout the morning.

Most came out with family and friends seeking a fun Saturday in the sun.

“It was challenging, but doable,” said Tyrone Holladay, who ran with his wife and two kids.

For Nancy Dal Cerro and Micky Clark, two middle-aged local moms, this was the first time participating in a mud run. Both reached the finish line absolutely covered in dirt and mud.

“It was awesome,” Clark said.

“We helped each other through it,” Dal Cerro said.

Dal Cerro’s son, Sean, was the one who encouraged them to participate. A returning champion, he again won the competitive wave this year, finishing the course in just under 30 minutes.

“They added some more stuff this year, so it was really good,” Sean said.

Topping the age scale for the run was Ralph Blanco at 65 years old. He just moved to the area a couple months ago with his wife.

“We said ‘hey, this sounds like fun. A chance to meet some more people,’” Blanco said. “I supposedly get a prize for being the oldest guy out here.”

He intends to run the event again next year, so perhaps he’ll be a two-time champion as well in a sense if no one out-ages him in the 2018 Chino Mudder.

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