Muddy runners tackle Seabee base course

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS  (WLOX) - While several events were cancelled or postponed because of the rainy weather this weekend, that wasn't the case with one special event at the Seabee base in Gulfport.

In fact, the rainfall helped create near perfect conditions for Saturday morning's annual "Mud Run." Hundreds of participants ignored the soggy weather and enjoyed a muddy mess.

"We have got a fantastic turnout this morning," said a smiling base commander, Capt. Ed Brown, "This is Mud Run weather."

Nasty weather didn't dampen the enthusiasm as mud runners checked in for the race. Actually, the stubborn showers seemed to fuel the excitement and anticipation.

When asked the key to winning the race, one shirtless competitor had an easy answer, "Eat mud."

"We love the mud. We love the rain," said participant John Whilte, "I'm ready."

The Swamp Stompers team felt right at home. And why not? These guys are in the weather department at Stennis Space Center.

"We do a little meteorology. Today we're focusing on oceanography though," said one team member as the showers created more and more puddles.

Speaking of meteorology, we spotted our own Carrie Duncan and producer Michelle Lady.  They were among the soaking wet teams at the soggy staging area.

"We're going to do this run, and I don't know why," said Carrie Duncan.

"It's freezing already, and we haven't even started," Michelle added.

The starting area is a blacktop parking lot.  But since this is the Mud Run, participants soon find out how it got that name.

Persistent rainfall helps make the obstacle course an especially muddy mess this year. Slippery hills and mud puddles challenge even the most physically fit Mud Runners.

When asked about the challenge to do well, one runner said it's enough just to finish the four miles, but that may be easier said than done.

On a dry day this obstacle course would be difficult enough with a moderate amount of mud. No such luck on this soaking wet Saturday. Civilians get some sense of why the military places such an emphasis on physical fitness.

"It is huge for us. And I will tell you, you look at the young troops we have, and they are in great shape," says Captain Brown, "It's a four mile run around the base. We put them in some of the ditches and just go out and have a good time."

A good and muddy and soaking wet time seemed to be had by all.

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