Who’s that muddy man at the Mountain Games? Meet The Mud Stud | VailDaily.com

Who’s that muddy man at the Mountain Games? Meet The Mud Stud

'I came out looking like a monster'

Jess Manning, of Utah, is The Mud Stud. After competing five years ago, he's now an ambassador for the Mountain Games.
Ross Leonhart | rleonhart@vaildaily.com

Five years ago, Jess Manning saw people tip-toeing through the GoPro Mountain Games Mud Run.

“That’s not how you do the Mud Run,” the Utah resident said from Vail Village on Saturday, covered in mud a full hour before this year’s Mud Run. “So I just dove in and a picture came out of that. I came out looking like a monster.”

When Mountain Games organizers saw that photo, they wanted to know more about the man who would become known as The Mud Stud.

Now an ambassador for the Mountain Games, Manning is in town again competing in the Mud Run.

“The way that you win is you just have to get dirty. So I try to win every year,” he said. “You just go big, but you definitely want to tie your shoes very well. They’ll suction right off. Plus, I kind of camp out in the pits and throw mud at people. I don’t let people get through clean, and that’s the point.”

On Saturday before the race, Manning was strolling through Vail Village, stopping for selfies and giving away coupons for free phone cases to those following on social media.

“It’s just such an amazing event,” he said. “It’s been fun to work with different brands. This year we’ve been able to represent LifeProof — they are the presenting sponsor of the Mud Run.”

For Manning, the oldest of 14 siblings, the Mud Run at the Mountain Games is one of many he’ll do throughout the year.

“It’s one of the most amazing full-family events you can go to,” he said of the Mountain Games. “It’s one of the reasons why the Mud Run’s so much fun because they get pro athletes, goofballs like me and then everyone in between.”

Follow The Mud Stud on Instagram and Facebook.

“Tag us and show us your muddy pictures,” Manning said.

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.