By Somer Breeze-HansonAugust 15, 2012
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (Aug. 150, 2012) -- After the first Joint Base Lewis-McChord Down and Dirty Mud Run of the summer on June 30, race director Kathy Salcedo heard a lot of the same comments.
The Joint Base Lewis-McChord, or JBLM, intramural sports coordinator heard the message and for the 7th Annual Down and Dirty series finale Aug. 4, Salcedo and her staff delivered.
"More mud? I gave them more mud," Salcedo said.
More than 400 runners participated in the annual mud run behind Soldiers Field House on Lewis Main. Dressed in cartoon theme or whatever theme they chose, there was no crossing the finish line clean. Thousands of gallons of water were added to the dirt obstacles on the course to ensure participants were satisfied.
Was there enough mud?
"Most definitely," Jeremy Arnold said.
The Soldier was covered from head to toe and could hardly see when he crossed the finish line.
"It was pretty challenging running through the hills," Arnold said.
"I work on North Fort where there aren't any hills."
Dallas Snider, a 17-year-old student, track and cross-country athlete at W.F. West High School in Chehalis, was determined to win his first JBLM mud run. He came into the final low-crawl mud pit trailing another runner, but the prep athlete splashed through the pit and crawled his way to first overall in just over 23 minutes.
"I just jumped right through," Snider said. "I didn't want to lose."
Trailing the lead quad vehicle throughout much of the course, Snider had the added challenge of dust and dirt blowing into his face. But he was all smiles, with teeth covered in mud, when he crossed first.
Megan Wagner started the race wearing a white tank top, but the 21-year-old Army spouse's shirt color was unrecognizable afterward. Wagner was the first female to finish the run.
"It was so hard," she said. "It was a lot harder than just running."
Other participants chose to dress up for the mud run -- in dresses. Steven Donnelly and his two sons wore dresses while Donnelly's daughter wore a collared shirt and tie. Donnelly, a lieutenant colonel who three days before had relinquished command of the 1st Joint Mobilization Brigade, let his kids decide their look.
Donnelly sported a flamenco-style dress but said he didn't see his style of dress as a hindrance.
"It was free flowing," he said. "It kept me cool."
Regardless of what mud runners were wearing, the giant water sprinklers waiting for them after the race cleaned them off and cooled them down on one of hottest weekends of the year.
Just as Saturday's event finished the mud run series for the year, JBLM Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation will host the finale of the 2012 Triple Threat Triathlon series Aug. 18 in the same place, starting behind Soldiers Field House.