Organized Chaos: 5k mud run a success

“And the winner is The Osage County Community Foundation” was the final analysis of Perry Thompson after hosting the first Cross Country Chaos at his Osage City farm.

Not near all of the numbers had been calculated, and there was still plenty of cleanup to be done another time, but more than 130 competitors participated in the fundraising 5K mud run-walk developed on 200 acres of rough Osage County farm terrain.

Not to be confused with popular truck mud pulling competitions, or even 5K run-walk events prevalent in many communities, unique attractions such as the one Thompson hosted and was the brainchild for on Saturday have also received widespread participation in other parts of the country.

“I had heard about the mud runs, read about them, even watched videos and talked to other promoters and decided I had the perfect location to develop a course on my farm in this rough area,” Thompson said. “I’m so excited that it all worked out the way I envisioned it could.”

Seventeen obstacles were included in the course, starting with Number 1: bridge out, high hurdles, terrible trenches, creek crossing, tires, trees, devilish diamond, fallen log, muddy bank, cargo net, hay pyramid, three-times-up-and-over, cool dip, shady creek, climb and slide, cow tipping and the climaxing mud pit to the finish line.

“The oldest participant was 60, and the youngest was 14. Interestingly, women comprised 55 percent of the contestants,” said Connie Call, Thompson’s coworker and one of the original group developing the fundraiser idea.

“The majority of our participants were from Kansas; they came from all over the state,” Call said. “Interestingly, we did have one contestant registered from Georgia, and there were two participants from Missouri.”

Paul du Toit, manager of PrairieLand Partners John Deere, was the first to cross the finish line.

“(He) was excited about the event from the beginning and was also a major supporter of the fundraising effort,” Thomspon said.

Paul encouraged organizers to “keep doing it” and asked how he could help make it better. Other runners agreed the course was sufficiently tough, and would be back.

“We are good at making mud,” Thompson said.

An estimated crowd of more than 100 spectators from many miles around came to watch the event.

“They really seemed to like it, too, and certainly had fun at the after-party,” Thompson critiqued.

“We sure couldn’t have done this without great sponsorship from merchants and volunteers,” Thompson said, noting the event also included a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses, all benefiting the Osage County Community Foundation.

“The Osage County Community Foundation will truly be the winner,” Thompson said. “We had one spectator write a check for $1,000 to the foundation. I did not expect that.”

The foundation turns donations around to support various local groups and organizations.

As for the event, Thompson looks to continue the success.

“We sure plan to have a similar rough terrain fundraising competition here at Osage City next year,” he said. “One participant suggested we have four a year.”

The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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