This Saturday at Greenway Farms in Hixson, brown slime will be the fabric of choice for outerwear. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area will host its third Chattanooga Mud Run, a five-kilometer, military-style obstacle course slung with slippery, earthy goodness.
This year, 425 teams of five each donated $200 to compete for the 2012 Team Champion title. Donations will go toward the organization’s home-building program, which has built 232 Chattanooga homes since its inception in 1986. The winners will take the crown from last year’s victorious all-male team, RRL 1, who finished the course in about 28 minutes. The team took full advantage of bragging rights, stating, “We’d like to thank the little people we ran over to win this.”
Although only two years old, the Mud Run has become Habitat Chattanooga’s largest fundraiser. The idea for the Mud Run was inspired by the local community.
“We basically just asked around town some of the sporting clubs what they would like to see for an event, because we wanted something original that wasn’t done before,” said Dawn Hjelseth, Habitat’s local volunteer coordinator.
Last year’s donations amounted to more than $90,000, which Habitat hopes to exceed this year with more participants than ever before.
The run is not only a test of athleticism, but also business savvy, wit and creativity, so those who lack athletic agility shouldn’t feel slighted. Sizeable prizes are promised for teams who can generate the most sponsors, think up the best team name and don the most captivating costume. Take this chance to let your sartorial flag fly, because the website allows the shed of traditional garb: “Athletic clothes recommended, but NOT required.”
Afterwards on site, runners will have a place to relax and share team pride at the after party featuring live performances from Gerle Haggard and the Power Players Show Band. Non-alcoholic drinks will be provided for all, with alcoholic drinks reserved for those 21 and over.
Hjelseth promises more obstacles and more mud this year, but the bottom line of sloshing through obstacles alongside friends, family and business colleagues is uniting Chattanoogans for a good cause.
“It’s about building community relations and getting the whole community involved in different ways with Habitat,” she said.
The Chattanooga Mud Run will take place Saturday, Aug. 11, at Greenway Farms, 5051 Gann Store Road. The first team starts at 9 a.m., though start times vary. Registration is now full, but donations are welcome at teamgiving.net. For questions, contact Dawn Hjelseth at (423) 756-0507.