On Friday, at the Tsalteshi Trails, five finalists stood side by side — each entirely caked in mud. It covered their clothes, skin, hair, and even one set of braces. Judges moved down the line to determine who was, in fact, “the muddiest.” It was Rachel Richardson who sealed the win when she pulled off her boot and poured its muddy contents over her head.
Richardson and dozens of other contestants had gathered at the trails for the KDLL Mud Run, part of ongoing fundraising for KDLL 91.9 FM. They were tasked with tackling a roughly 1-kilometer obstacle course set along Tsalteshi’s Porcupine Trail.
Around the course were several opportunities to get quite dirty — perhaps the most daunting was an army crawl through around 15 feet of sludge. Another challenged the runners to step into a deep puddle of mud through a set of tires, where many became stuck in the muck, falling or requiring assistance.
Even early in the run, most of the participants were well-covered. Some embraced it, some still did their best to keep clean and others chucked globs of the grime at their friends and family.
It was the hula-hoop hop, the very first obstacle, Richardson said, that changed everything for her.
“I slipped and I fell,” she said. “I wanted to get muddy, but once I fell I wanted to win.”
For the rest of the race, Richardson embraced it. She said she “became one with the mud.” Fortunately, she hadn’t shown up scared to get “a little bit dirty.”
Upending the muddy boot over her head made the difference and earned her the win, she said. She credited “my girl Christa” for encouraging her to do it from the sidelines.
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