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Annual run gives thousands an excuse to play in the mud

Athletes from all over Southern California trudged along for 10 kilometers, covered in mud and sweat during the 2010 Camp Pendleton Mud Run at Lake O’Neil, June 5 and 6, with one more run scheduled for June 12.

More than 3,000 participants donned their best mud-friendly attire and ran in the annual event, sponsored by Marine Corps Community Services that is part of Marine Special Operations Command’s Hard Corps Race Series.

“I’ve heard about the mud runs for years and finally decided to participate in it as one of my last events during my enlistment,” said Sgt. Ray Vizcaino, noncommissioned officer in charge, Combat Logistics Battalion 11, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “It was a great experience and one of the best runs I’ve ever been on.”

During the event, runners traversed tire obstacles, river crossings, two 5-foot walls surrounded by mud and water, tunnel crawls, slippery hill climbs, and a 30-foot mud pit.

Competitors participated as individuals or in 5-man teams, were allowed to wear their clothing of choice and had up to two hours and 45 minutes to complete the race. Saturday’s fastest open runner crossed the finish line in 46 minutes and 40 seconds and the fastest runner wearing boots and utility trousers came in at 59 minutes and 22 seconds.

The top three finishers received medals and points that will count towards the entire Hard Corps Race Series were awarded to the top ten overall individual male and female finishers, in both the military and civilian categories.

Mud runners were not the only ones having all the fun. Friends and family members who did not participate in the race were treated to music, climbing walls, games, raffles, food and beverages, all provided by MCCS.

“I can see a lot of effort went into this event to make it fun for everyone, whether they ran or not,” said Kristine Adolphe, military spouse.

In addition to entertaining the spectators, MCCS provided closed-off showers and changing tents for runners to clean-up so that they could enjoy the festivities with their friends and families. Most participants changed into their new commemorative Mud Run t-shirts that they received after the race.

The competition was staffed with more than 200 service members and 60 civilian employees, who helped set up and operate checkpoints and navigated the runners through the course.

The Mud Run is one of the base’s most popular event that takes place three times each June and usually sells out within hours after registration opens.

For more information about the Mud Run, or any other Hard Corps Race Series event, visit or call (760) 725-6289.

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