Let’s look at this from the perspective of the frogs.
Say you’re living your peaceful froggy life at your little pond, hopping around, snagging a fly here and there. And then one summer day you hear echoing through the woods a bunch of hoots and hollers and giggles and squeals. And then all of the sudden a bunch of colorfully-dressed people come tearing through the trees, happily jump into your murky little pond, paddle messily to the other side, and then go jogging off in the other direction, their soggy shoes going “squidge, squidge, squidge” as they run.
Had they the words, one frog might turn to the other and remark, “These humans are nuts.”
No, actually. This is what it looks like when we are enjoying ourselves.
“It is fun, as crazy as that may seem,” said Conneautville’s Heather Patton, shortly after finishing her run at the inaugural Muddy and Messy 5K, which weaved its way through the woods and corn fields behind Shadyside Campground in Harmonsburg on Saturday morning.
She and the other runners not only dove through ponds, they also scaled hills, skipped across creeks, climbed walls of hay bales, dodged hanging tires, and zoomed down a makeshift 30-foot waterslide into a surprisingly deep basin of water.
“It was pretty cool,” said Mike Keep of Girard. The Muddy and Messy was his first mud run. He was using it as a warm-up for the more extreme Warrior Dash in Ohio in a couple weeks.
“It’s different than running a regular 5K,” said Keep. “The hills make it a lot more difficult. And running on that mud, it’s kind of like you’re running on grease. You take two steps forward and one step back.”
Despite the conditions, Keep managed to post the second-fastest time in the race, finishing in 25:10.40.
The fastest time belonged to Ripley, N.Y.’s Adam Rowe, who finished the 3.1-mile course and its 10 or so obstacles in 24:03.90.
Patton had the fastest time for female runners, clocking a 25:14.00, good enough for third overall.
Just under 600 of those crazy humans turned out for the race.
“It is a great turnout,” said Keith Coleman, the race’s organizer. “It’s about 200 over what I expected for the first year. I’d say it’s about a 1,000-person event, counting all the spectators and everything.”
Coleman started the Muddy and Messy for two reasons, he said. One was to give people something fun to do (people that consider this type of thing fun, at least). And the other was to establish an annual fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I have a 92-year-old grandmother and she’s in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease,” he said, “and I wanted to do something for my grandmother and my mom, who is her primary caregiver.”
Coleman will make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association for this year’s tournament.
He hopes that donation will grow into a large annual contribution for the charity as the race gets larger in the years to come.
“We will expand it,” he said. “Next year, we’re hoping for 1,200 to 1,300 runners. We should at least be able to double (this year’s attendance).”
While Rowe and Keep and Patton had finished their race, still waiting to start in the fourth and final heat of the day were the four girls of the Dirt Skirt Divas — Alicia Stevenson, Stacy Kolbe, Vanessa Nicols and Marsha Racop, all representing Cambridge Springs Rehabilitation and Nursing.
Each wearing tutus of black and hot pink, the four ladies danced with nervous energy, thinking about what lay in wait for them in the woods beyond the starting line.
“Why are we doing this? We’re doing this to help raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association and just to do something fun,” said Stevenson.
“Team-building,” added Nicols.
About 40 to 50 minutes later, the four girls had emerged from the woods, having lived up to their team’s name (the skirts were indeed dirty) and having achieved their goal of having fun.
Although, the day wasn’t without incident.
“This,” said Stevenson, motioning towards a giant muddy smear on the front of her black T-shirt, “is the end result of me versus the root.”
“Yeah, Alicia fell and we all laughed,” said Racop.
“And then — karma — Stacy fell, and we all laughed. And then I fell.”
This is what we call having a good time.
“Oh my gosh, it was a blast,” said Racop.
“It was great,” Stevenson said.
Let’s look at this from the perspective of the frogs.
Lynn leads Bulldogs over visiting Beavers
“It’s a good thing we have that little break for Easter,” said Meadville track and field coach Carl Roznowski. “That should give her a chance to rest up those muscles.”
Roznowski is talking about Bulldogs junior Jordan Lynn, who was a busy lady on Wednesday as the MASH boys and girls squads took on Corry in a Region 3 meet at the Barco-Duratz Athletic Complex.
Panthers stay unbeaten with win over Blue Devils
Saegertown’s run to the District 10 boys volleyball championship a year ago was anything but easy.
Needless to say, the Panthers have a little experience when it comes to dealing with tribulations. The Panthers put that experience to good use on Wednesday night in a Region 1 showdown.
Selig calls replay start ‘remarkable’
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks.
While baseball began video review late in the 2008 season, it was limited to potential home runs and boundary calls. The new system that began March 30 vastly expands the types of plays that managers and umpires can ask to be reviewed at a replay center in New York.
Cardinals roll to a sweep of Eagles
The match only lasted three games, but Logan Herzberger still found the time to post a double-double, notching 14 kills and 18 digs while the Cochranton volleyball team swept Conneaut 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 during Region 1 action on Tuesday.
Unbeaten Panthers need five games to top Bulldogs
Through the first four games, there was no telling which team was undefeated and which team had only one win entering Monday night’s Region 1 volleyball clash between Meadville and Saegertown.
By the fifth and deciding game, the cream rose to the top.
Ogwumike goes No. 1
It was a busy draft night for the Connecticut Sun.
Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top pick in the WNBA draft Monday night, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty.
Watson pulls away at Augusta to win second green jacket
One of golf’s most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters on Sunday. That’s just fine with Bubba Watson.
All he cared about was slipping into that green jacket.
Instead of hitting a 40-yard hook out of a forest of Georgia pines — the signature shot in his playoff victory two years ago — the final act Sunday at Augusta National took place on the 18th green. Watson had a three-shot lead and consulted with his caddie on a 15-foot birdie putt.
Harvick survives shootout for win at Darlington
Kevin Harvick used one of the few weekend missteps to pull out his first Darlington victory.
Harvick was among several veteran drivers fighting for the Nationwide Series win Friday night when rookie Chase Elliott used fresher tires and a strong machine to move from the back of the pack to first place over the final two laps.
Spezza lifts Senators to SO win over Penguins
Jason Spezza scored in the shootout to help the Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night and finish the season on a five-game winning streak.
The teams were tied 2-2 after two periods and didn’t score in the third or overtime.
Brewers sweep Pirates, win ninth straight
Kyle Lohse was eager to top his Milwaukee teammates.
He sure came close.
Lohse came within an out of a complete game, and the Brewers won their ninth straight with a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
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