First Franklin Lions Mud Run deemed a success

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Franklin - posted Tue., Aug. 13, 2013
Ed Hydock emerges from one of the water obstacles in the Franklin Lions' Mud Run on Aug. 10. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Ed Hydock emerges from one of the water obstacles in the Franklin Lions' Mud Run on Aug. 10. Photos by Melanie Savage.

For 35 years, the Franklin Lions Club held a yearly horse show to help raise money for the various charities that the organization supports. “Due to competition and overhead costs, we started to look for another main fundraiser,” said club member Joanne Glidden, as she manned the check-in table at the Franklin Lions Club Mud Run on Aug. 10.

The two-day run offered participants the opportunity to run an approximately 4-mile course augmented by 17 different obstacles. “This is our first year of doing this and we’re having an excellent turnout,” said Glidden. The event drew approximately 60 pre-registrations, with more participants arriving as walk-ins.

Lions Club president Jeffrey Glidden said that he got the idea for the event from doing Internet research. “It’s huge,” he said. “The more we looked into it, the more we realized how big this kind of event is.” The Giddings Park site is regularly utilized by school cross-country teams and other running groups. “We just changed it up a bit,” said Glidden.

On Friday, Aug. 9, Lions Club volunteers and members of the volunteer fire department spent many hours in the pouring rain setting up obstacles, which included an uphill rope climb, a rope course, climbing walls, and a number of water/mud features. There was some cost involved in purchasing supplies for the initial set-up, including lumber and liners for water pits, but in future years the overhead costs will be very low, suggested Giddings. The Club expects to repeat the event next year. “We’ve had a lot of local support,” said Giddings. “Community-wise, we have a really good turnout here.”

"We've had no bad reviews, not one," said Joanne Glidden.

In addition to Lions Club volunteers, members of Boy Scout Troop 15 were on hand to help monitor obstacles, point participants in the right direction and act as a cheering section to encourage runners through the course. Boy Scouts would receive community service credit for their participation. Fire department members and local EMTs were there to provide support and act as a safety back-up.

Boy Scout Josh Achille was one of the first runners through the course on Saturday morning. “I liked it,” he said. “It was challenging for all spectrums of people.” Achille said that he runs cross-country and track and field for Franklin Elementary School, where he will be entering the eighth grade. But despite his athletic experience, Achille found some of the obstacles a challenge. The rope hill and the climbing walls, in particular, “just added an additional challenge,” he said. Achille said that kids and adults alike had taken on the course. “The kids were just having a grand old time,” he said.

Ten-year-old Benjamin Lindstrom showed up with his dad, Dave, and his mom, Kim, to tackle the course on Saturday afternoon. The trio was accompanied by other family members. Dad said he’d found the event by doing a web search for mud runs. “I do four or five a year,” he said. “I’m not the greatest runner, but I seem to be able to catch up at the obstacles.” Benjamin had competed in one shorter run and was looking forward to the longer Franklin course.

Finishing up just ahead of Benjamin’s group was Mark Roberts, with a cadre from New View Tree Service, a local business. “It was awesome,” said Roberts, adding that he hadn’t had much time to prepare for the course. “I did a few stretches this morning, that’s it,” he said. “Next year, I’ll be ready for this.”

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