Mud Blast obstacle run to support river restoration set for Oct. 19

jholland@modbee.comAugust 18, 2013 

— Once again, people will run through mud puddles and other obstacles to show their support for Tuolumne River restoration.

The second annual Mud Blast will take place Oct. 19 at Dos Rios Ranch, where the Tuolumne meets the San Joaquin River about 10 miles southwest of Modesto.

Starting at 9 a.m., several waves of runners will set out on the 3.1-mile course, taking on challenges such as hay bales, tire fields and sand traps. And mud, lots and lots of mud, which runners wear on their clothes like a badge of honor.

The event will raise money for River Partners, which is based in Chico and has a Modesto branch office. The group is overseeing the restoration of Dos Rios, a 1,603-expanse formerly owned by prominent farmer Bill Lyons Jr. and his family, as riverside habitat and floodplain.

"We are holding the event in the area we are trying to protect to bring awareness," said Celeste Cramer, owner of Consider It Done, a Chico-based event planning firm that is helping put on Mud Blast.

It drew about 600 people in its first year, and organizers hope for about 2,000 this time around, she said.

The entry fee is $50 for adults, $45 for 10- to 17-year-olds, and $25 for 5- to 12-year-olds taking part in the shorter Mini Mud Blast at 11:30 a.m. The price includes lunch; beer can be purchased.

At the VIP level, which costs $100, runners get free beer, lunch under a tent and preferred parking.

Runners are encouraged to form teams, and everyone is invited to come in costume. Last year, tutus were the favored garb for women and men alike.

Dos Rios was purchased last year for $21.8 million from several government and private sources. In April, River Partners launched the planting of native trees — oaks, willows and other species on 138 acres.

The Mud Blast course does not go through the planted area, but participants will be able to view it as they drive into Dos Rios, said Julie Rentner, the Central Valley regional director for River Partners.

To register or get more information, visit www.mudblast.org.

Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at jholland@modbee.com or (209) 578-2385.

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