New Mudzilla venue a sloppy success
GYPSUM — Local student Tyler Abbott never imagined the grounds outside his middle school could undergo such a transformation.
When the 10-year-old heard the area next to Gypsum Middle School was becoming a mud pit-style obstacle course on Saturday, July 8, he had to check it out. After all, mud running it his second favorite sport, behind basketball.
“I’ve never seen it like this,” he said while enjoying a mud bath after the race.
The race was the fifth annual Mudzilla Mud Run, taking place for the first year in the new grounds outside Gypsum Middle School. The course required about 80 hours of labor to set up, said organizer Lucas Rivera with WECMRD.
“It was the muddiest course ever this year,” Rivera said. “Scott Green Excavating was the main sponsor … They donate their machines, their labor, their time, they put in a lot of effort to make it run well.”
GOOD CLEAN FUN
The new course started and finished from the same location, with a spectator area at the top.
“Now you sit up high and you can check out the whole course,” Rivera said. “Super spectator friendly, the kids ate it up.”
A 1 mile loop in total, participants attempted to see how many loops they could complete in a set amount of time.
In the adult division, Eagle Valley High School student Luca Hart completed 10 laps in 90 minutes to claim the top performance on the day. His coach, Melinda Brandt, was the top finishing woman, completing seven laps.
“We did it last year … but we like this course better,” Brandt said. “It was a lot more muddy … you have to help each other out through some of the obstacles, so you look out for the other runners as well, but it’s fun to push yourself to go harder and longer.”
The event went off well in the new venue, Rivera said, adding the WECMRD will likely bring it back to the same venue again next year.
“Everybody loves the venue,” he said Saturday.
Mudzilla participation increased in 2017 over 2016, but it still not quite where it was in the event’s first year in 2013.
“That was right around the time when obstacle course racing hit the scene,” Rivera said. “Some of our staff had done Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash and this like that, we wanted to bring an event like that to our community, and it worked out perfect.”
With Gypsum Daze, the town’s largest annual festival, usually taking place right after the Mudzilla Mud Run, Rivera said next year the plan is to try to tie the two events together. Gypsum Daze takes place next weekend.
“We’re going to have a bigger draw of people there, so it will be better to tie in and just make it a huge event,” he said.
Paul Cuthbertson, a lifelong local of Eagle and Summit counties, died while skiing up to the Polar Star Inn to meet some friends for a celebration of his 21st birthday on Friday night.