The longest mud run in North Dakota is back for its eighth year to bring the community together in a pool of mud.
Medieval Rush, the first event of its kind in the area, is the longest mud run in North Dakota at 3.2 miles.
At 9 a.m. June 15 in New Salem, right under the big cow “Salem Sue,” Tanner Schweitzer, owner of coaching company RAW Strong, will open the gates into the medieval event. The opening ceremonies begin at 11:00 a.m.
Participants must be 14 years or older. The majority of racers are females between 25 and 45. Although everyone is encouraged to join, their oldest rusher was 68 years old.
A kids run is offered for kids ages 8 to 13 at 10 a.m.
For registration prior to the event, the price will become $85 per team member or $90 for individuals until 11:59 p.m. on June 13. Since the event is timed with a shoe timer, the best team time overall wins $200. Male and female participants with the best run time also win $200 each.
There is a new spectator fee of $10 that allows people to stand in a closed-off area on top of the hill to see the entire course.
Each year, Medieval Rush averages about 600 to 800 participants, including teams and individuals.
“It’s kind of a fun thing in that way, everybody is just coming together, having fun, laughing at each other full of mud,” Schweitzer said. A sense of community overcomes the rushers as they all start to help boost each other up over an obstacle, or pull each other out of the mud, participants said.
Miranda Klatt, a third-year participant, said she enjoys seeing others help one another. This year, not only does she have her own team, but so does her son and her fellow gym members.
After the race, everyone celebrates their accomplishment during the after-party. They all discuss what parts were difficult and what parts they weren’t able to do without the help of a simple push from another rusher.
Schweitzer builds the course and then runs through the 5K before anyone else.
With 24 man-made and natural obstacles, Schweitzer is announcing the new obstacle: a medieval dirt bike race through the mud. Other areas include a warped wall similar to American Ninja Warrior, a slip-n-slide into mud about 30 yards long, dead body drag and the stone throw where participants must throw concrete cylinders a specific distance.
Ariann Doe, a rusher of the past five runs, said the warped wall is the most nerve-racking. Josh Karey, a participant from last year, thinks the sand bag carry is the most challenging. Klatt sees the hill as the most challenging obstacle, but loves the slip-n-slide down into the mud.
“Exercise should be fun,” Klatt said.
If there is an obstacle someone does not want to participate in, they can bypass that challenge.
When Doe started, she had just turned 30 and was looking to get back into shape. She said she likes how every year the course changes in different ways.
Schweitzer explained how everyone finishes in their own time and that they do not force you to do any obstacle you do not want to. For the people who are trying to win it, they usually take about 35-40 minutes. Other participants may take as long as 1.5 hours to complete the course.
“If you can go for a hike, you can do this,” Schweitzer said.
Karey, who participates in mud runs frequently, said it took him 40 to 50 minutes to finish. He encourages first-timers to work on building their endurance to run 4 miles.
Doe encourages others to have fun with the event since the past couple years she has dressed up in medieval costumes.
Rain or shine, the event still runs.
“Who wouldn’t want to jump in a big mud-hole?” Doe said.
For more information visit medievalrush.com.