2018-08-15 / Features

Getting muddy at the Catfish Crawl

STORY AND PHOTOS BY BILL WILLCOX
COURIER-TIMES STAFF WRITER


A runner gets mud sprayed off of her after completing the muddiest part of the course. A runner gets mud sprayed off of her after completing the muddiest part of the course. It was grueling yet fun, and there were plenty of smiles as about 140 runners splashed, crawled and squirmed over three miles of obstacles as part of the fifth annual Catfish Crawl Mud Run on Saturday at Mayo Lake Park, hosted by the Person County Recreation, Arts and Parks Department.

The run was a challenging 5K course around Mayo Park that included several military-style obstacles, including a notorious mud pit affectionately dubbed the “Sneaker Snatcher” for its uncanny ability to suck shoes off of runners’ feet.

At various times, runners could be seen pulling themselves up a wooden plank with rope, jumping up and over hay bales, crawling like an earthworm under a narrow piece of plywood and wading for a stretch through Mayo Lake.

It was not so much a race for time as a multistation course testing strength and stamina.


Lorelai Smith, 12, left, and Catherine Rigney, 15, of Orange County, approach the finish line. Lorelai Smith, 12, left, and Catherine Rigney, 15, of Orange County, approach the finish line. Last year, 243 people took part in the event, but the numbers were less this year.

“We don’t know the exact number of people yet but around 140ish,” said Jeffrey Street, outdoor recreation specialist for Mayo Park. “We don’t keep up with the winner or loser of the event. It’s all fun and games because this is for a charity where all proceeds go to Person County Special

Olympics. People just finish where they finish.”

The Moores of Roxboro, Matt and Jill and their children Summer and Skylar, were enjoying the event as a fun, family event.

“At first we weren’t muddy, and I was like, I hope we get muddy,” Jill said, “and then we went through the one tunnel and we were just covered in mud and then we went through the second tunnel and we were covered in mud and it’s a lot of fun. We enjoyed it as a family.”


The mud pit is one of the most notorious obstacles on the course. The mud pit is one of the most notorious obstacles on the course. It was the third mud run they had completed as a family.

Bobby Elexson of Roxboro said he was just focused on surviving.

“There were a lot of good obstacles,” he said. “I liked the walls, that was my favorite part.”



A runner emerges from a crawl obstacle. A runner emerges from a crawl obstacle.

Chuck Wade of Roxboro gets hosed off by Garret Poole of the Triple Springs Volunteer Fire Department after the run. Chuck Wade of Roxboro gets hosed off by Garret Poole of the Triple Springs Volunteer Fire Department after the run.

Runners jump across hay bales. Runners jump across hay bales.

Runners use straps to climb up and over wooden planks, one of the challenging military-style obstacles on the course. Runners use straps to climb up and over wooden planks, one of the challenging military-style obstacles on the course.

Part of the course involved wading in Mayor Lake. Part of the course involved wading in Mayor Lake.

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