The second installment of the Stanton Foundation Mud Run for our Lives saw an increases in the number of runners, amount of mud and amount of funds raised.
Event organizers arranged for six truckloads of mud to raise the number of obstacles to 17 that the 376 runners had to overcome. The runners could choose to do either a three- or five-kilometer route across two courses that forced them to crawl, wade, and pull their way through pools of mud. By the time the last competitor scaled the last wall and slid into a giant pool of brown at the finish line, the foundation was closer to its goal of raising $80,000 for cancer care in the North.
The organization didn’t have a figure on the amount raised at press time.
“It’s more of a fun event to get everybody out,” said Brittney Scott, the head organizer of the event.
After speaking to runners at last year’s event, Scott said the feedback organizers received was that the course wasn’t tough enough. It was then that the foundation decided to bring in more mud. Runners at this year’s event came away drenched in muck and some were content that way.
“The course was good. I was going slow at times. You know, it was challenging,” Jean-Charles Theriault said shortly after plunging into the mud bath. “It was really fun. Me and my friend had a great time, climbing over things, pretending we were secret agents and getting really dirty.”
The mud run is similar to Tough Mudder races, a series of mud runs that take place throughout southern Canada. The difference between those races and the Stanton run is the proceeds from the Northern event will stay in the North and go towards cancer initiatives, programs and equipment. The foundation used a large portion of the $11,000 raised at last year’s event to train nurses in several communities in the NWT.
“In practical terms, some of the money has gone towards training new nurses on chemotherapy practices so we send them down to Alberta to get them trained so they can properly administer drugs up here,” said Scott.
Despite the increased turnout, Scott said the foundation’s goals haven’t been met. She hopes that the event will have 1,000 participants and introduce a 10-kilometre run by as soon as next year.