Local athletes like it dirty!

Sunday, October 21, 2012
Danielle Newman, Danielle Helderman, Amy Featherston, and Robin Featherston crossing one of the mud pits on the BackWoods Beat-Down course.

Nearly 150 athletes participated in the inaugural BackWoods Beat-Down on Saturday in Blodgett, MO. The BackWoods Beat-Down is a 5k (3.1 miles) foot race, filled with more than 25 obstacles. Athletes jumped over a total of 3 ranks of wood in the first 2 miles of the race. In the third mile, participants crawled thru underground trenches, climbed steep sand dunes, waded thru a shallow pond of ice-cold water, fought their way thru massive mud pits, muddy ditches, and other obstacles. In the final tenth mile, participants raced on their hands and knees thru a small dark tunnel where they were drenched in molasses. Athletes escaped this tunnel and ran to the next obstacle, which had been converted from a small silo, and was filled with cotton-balls. The next obstacle was yet another converted silo, where runners low-crawled thru small openings and were covered in pink feathers, to symbolize Breast Cancer Awareness. The feather-covered athletes conquered 3 more obstacles before making their way to the finish line, where each finisher was awarded a BackWoods Beat-Down Survivors shirt & other goodies.

Roy Leighton, of Cape Girardeau, was the first to cross the finish line, establishing a course record of 22 minutes, 18 seconds. Morgan Chaffin, of Carbondale, led the women's competition, outrunning her nearest female competitor by over 3 minutes. Morgan graciously awarded her 2-tier trophy to one of the youngsters who completed the 5k course.

At the conclusion of the BackWoods Beat-Down, kids 12 & under took part in a similar event, Down-N-Dirty. Down-N-Dirty is a mile mud run. In this race, kids climbed up a steep sand dune, before jumping into a 2 ft. deep mud pond. Once youngsters made their way out of the mud pond, they ran or slid down the steep sand dune and sprinted to an empty field that had been plowed for the occasion and made into a "mud field", with the irrigation system still running. Kids ran thru the mud and straight to the finish line, with huge smiles! All Down-N-Dirty finishers were awarded a dog-tag style medal and Survivors shirt, along with other goodies.

The BackWoods Beat-Down and Down-N-Dirty, was hosted by Tank Tech Inc and SplitMaster Timing. These were just two of many events that made up the inaugural Scott Co. Fireman's Festival. Other activities included Darryl Worley and Logan Toon live in concert, a parade, fire truck rally, pageants, carnival rides, arts & crafts show, and street dance. Event Proceeds benefited local volunteer fire departments, Autism, and Breast Cancer Awareness. Results of the BackWoods Beat-Down and Down-N-Dirty are available at www.SplitMasterTiming.com.

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