Indian Mud Run organizers are excited to be back

| June 9, 2021

(Submitted)

When the park levy failed in 2012, an amazing fundraiser known as the Indian Mud Run was started. In their first year the obstacle race brought in more than 500 people, and it has grown every year since. 2019 was the year they had their best race and their best reviews. As a matter of fact, they had racers come from 38 states, Canada and Europe that year. According to Hubie Cushman 2020 probably would have been a huge year for the obstacle race had COVID not interfered.

“Covid has kind of thrown a monkey wrench into everything. I think we would have hit 1,200 for the race this year if it weren’t for COVID and the restrictions, but we will hit right around 900 people,” said Cushman who is the race director.

The Indian Mud Run obstacle race takes place every year on the Saturday after Father’s Day, which this year is June 26. There will be approximately 85-90 obstacles this year. “I would definitely have 90 obstacles this year if I had enough help” Cushman said. “We have a serious problem with having enough help setting up walls and putting the obstacles together. Hopefully it is a once in a life time problem. If there was ever a time someone wanted to help, now is the time. We could use help setting up and building obstacles before the race. It is also critical for clean up and mowing, weed eating, and mulching to get done where we will be holding the race. Auer Hardware donated a bunch of mulch, and Coshocton Lumber donated a bunch of wood, but I don’t have enough people to help me get everything together.”

Persons interested in volunteering even a few hours of their time can call or text Cushman at 740-502-5013 or he can be emailed at [email protected].

Sometimes it takes a village to host a fundraiser event, and as a race director, it has definitely been a blessing to connect with other race directors. This connection, along with the fact that Cushman has built this race to be a sort of a practice race for the Obstacle Course World Championships, has allowed Cushman to receive permission from other directors to use their obstacles in the Indian Mud Run obstacle race. For instance, this year the race will include an obstacle from a race in London called “Nuclear Ninja,” and a fairly easy but mentally challenging obstacle from Sweden called Dragon’s Back. This connection has also opened the doors for Cushman and the team to share some of their obstacles with others too. “We have obstacles we have designed that we have transported to the world championships,” Cushman said.

The Indian Mud Run is also receiving local support with Wiley’s Finest Fish Oil being the local corporate sponsor. In past years it was the Coshocton Foundation’s support that made the race a success. “Tom Edwards with Auer Ace Hardware and Joel Jumper from Coshocton Lumber have gone over and above what I could have expected, too,” Cushman said. Cushman also expressed appreciation for all of the help the Coshocton County Sheriff’s office is providing and shared how the Coshocton Regional Medical Center will be conducting the screenings on the racers. In addition, there will be squads from the fire department there. “We have a lot of support for racers when they are not on the courses. We have 80 to 90 National Guard soldiers helping out this year and that has been huge,” Cushman said.

As for racers, they can expect to be asked to wear masks in addition to being screened prior to their entry. Hand sanitizer will be in various places throughout the course and Cushman and his team have agreed to cap off the numbers this year due to COVID. This year, the racers will go out in waves beginning at 9 a.m. There will be a pro-age 10K and 5K, a competitive 10K and 5K, and an open 10K and an open 5K. For pro-age and competitive fields racers will be expected to try all of the 85-90 obstacles. Competitors can fail up to five obstacles and still place. For the open 10K and 5K, racers do not have to try all of the obstacles, and the 5K bypasses the extreme obstacles. There is also a long course option available to racers called the Chief’s Race where the goal is to complete the obstacle course three times.

The top three competitors in the age groups will receive authentic American made tomahawks made by a tribe in New Mexico. Those who complete the Chief’s Race will receive an American made arrow. “All of our finishers’ medals are made in Coshocton. We go out of our way to try to purchase our shirts and other merchandise locally. We are a local fundraiser, and we want to try to put as much back into our community as we can,” Cushman said.

For more information about the Indian Mud Run, which takes place at the former Hilltop Golf Course, you can visit their website at www.indianmudrun.com or go to their Facebook page, Indian Mud Run.

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