For 16 years, Fort Leonard Wood's U.S. Marine Corps Detachment has held one of the most rugged and unique 10k events in the Show-Me State. But as they made plans this year's 17th annual Volkslauf Mud Run, race organizers decided to add a new twist:

"It's true. We are running the race backwards," said Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Breen. "Where we finished last year is where we're starting, so we'll start the race at Happy Hollow and finish at the top of Car Wash Hill."

The race, which typically features two water crossings, a mud pit, steep hills and other natural obstacles, is scheduled at 8 a.m. May 21. The theme of the event is "This Year Changes Everything."

Breen, who is a coordinator of the Volkslauf with Marine Capt. Victoria Crabbe, said the changes in elevations should provide participants with a more challenging course.

"Overall, it's going to be different," Breen said. "Where you used to finish with a water crossing, this year they'll start with the water crossing and the mud. Last year, the down-hills that we had were a little more gradual."

The race is open to both military and civilian runners. Participants can compete as members of five-person teams or individually.

"We have adult teams, where you can compete as an all-male team, all-female teams or as a coed team," Breen explained. "We also have youth teams, where again you can be part of the male, female or coed divisions. Also with the youth teams, we require one of the five members to be 18 years of age or older. Military teams have to be dressed in boots, camo trousers and a shirt of some type, and again they can compete in male, female or coed divisions."

Advance registration is $125 for adult teams, $75 for youth teams, $30 for adult individual runners and $25 for youth runners ages 17 and younger.

Runners can sign up online at actnowracing.com, or sign up in person at the Marine Corps Det. headquarters in Building 1706.

"When they go online to actnowracing.com, they just need to type in 'Volkslauf' in the search bar, and it should come right up," Breen said. "They can also get to the site through our Facebook page. They can go to Facebook and type in '17th Annual Volkslauf USMC FLW May 21st 2016' and it should come right up."

The advance registration deadline is May 13. After that date, prices increase to $150 per adult team, $90 for youth teams, $35 for individual adults and $30 for individual youth runners.

Another change to this year's race is that the pre- and post-race events will take place at Nutter Field House.

"We'll have buses transport people down to Happy Hollow at the start of the race," Breen said. "Then, when we finish the race, we'll have buses transport (participants) from Car Wash Hill back to Nutter, where we'll have food, drinks and booths set up by the sponsors who have donated toward the run. The awards ceremony will also be done at Nutter."

Same-day registration and packet pick-up will be held at Nutter Field House from 6 to 7:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 8 a.m. The first wave of runners is scheduled to begin the race at 8:30 a.m.

Breen stressed that while the race is open to the public, participants who do not have a Department of Defense-issued photo identification card that allows them regular access to Fort Leonard Wood should make arrangements ahead of time by contacting the Fort Leonard Wood Visitor Center at 573.596.0131, ext. 60356.