It has been 20 years since Jim Price came up with the idea for the Mud Mountain 5K Classic and 1 Mile Fun Run.
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The 2015 race is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, July 25, at the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville cross country course.
The annual race benefits the cross country/track and field teams at Edwardsville High, Lincoln Middle School and Liberty Middle School.
“It is a tremendous race,” said Edwardsville High School head boys and girls cross country coach George Patrylak. We are using the third course we have used in those 20 years. We always hope to have more runners come out every year. We also hope a lot of our alumni and people in the area come out for the event.”
This year’s race will feature a few new changes. For the second consecutive year, the Mud Mountain 5K will have team divisions. Team divisions will include a women’s division and a men’s division. Teams can include four to seven runners, as the top four finishers on each team will count in scoring. The winning team in each division will win a team plaque and all team members will receive championship medals.
The Mud Mountain 5K is open to all ages. The 5K will have bib chip timing and rapid results by Endurance Race Timing. The Fun Run immediately follows the 5K.
Everyone who enters will receive a performance sport shirt. Prizes and awards will be given to the top three individual finishers in each age division. Age divisions start at 11 years old, “so this is a great place to either start the kids out or discover that hidden running talent,” said Patrylak.
“Mud Mountain is one of the few 5K cross country races that is available to all runners,” Patrylak said. “It is a great opportunity to get children introduced to the sport, as well as providing an opportunity for adults to get off the concrete and asphalt and on to the soft surface of a cross country course.” Mud Mountain also offers more age divisions than most races. “Approximately half the runners that compete in Mud Mountain are under the age of 19,” added Patrylak. “Since we have so many young runners, our age divisions are set up to benefit the younger participants.”
Mud Mountain is hosted by the EHS Cross Country/Track & Field Booster Club. Although Coach Patrylak has been associated with the program since Mud Mountain XII, Mud Mountain XX marks his second consecutive year serving as race director. “Taking a line from EHS Principal, Dennis Cramsey, my goal as race director is to make Mud Mountain XX the best Mud Mountain ever,” added Patrylak about his hopes for the event.
Online registration at?https://entry.iwantregistered.com/hrrmeetsummary.aspx?229?closes late Wednesday, July 22.
Patrylak describes Mud Mountain as one of the most unique races of the summer that allows runners to run on a cross country course.
“The majority of races are on asphalt roads,” he said. “It is just nice to do something different.”
The cross country coach said the course is challenging and the second mile is the toughest part of the race.
“Most of people love to push themselves and see what can do,” Patrylak said. “Usually get our alumni teams together with some of our former runners. It is always a big showdown if current athletes can keep up with some of our alumni. For me, it is a family event. My daughter works it and my wife, son and I run it.”
Visit The Cyclery in Edwardsville on Friday, July 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for early bib and t-shirt pickup. Bib and t-shirt pickup and late registration can be done at the race site on race day from 6:00 7:45 a.m. Friday, July 24 will be the last day participants can register at a discounted rate.
For additional information go to?www.mudmountain.org?.