On Saturday, June 3, over 30 students showed up at 10 a.m. to put themselves to the test – and raise money to help support their school. It was the second annual ‘Tough Mudder’ obstacle challenge, and the hardest part of the course was trying not to have too much fun.
There was a DJ who started the race off with ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey, followed with a spirited mix of more contemporary songs. The children paired up and took off to conquer a slew of different things, from a huge inflatable slide, a lap around the blacktop being propelled on a skateboard and toilet plunger, a hay bale obstacle course, and, as expected, a mud pit. At a little over a mile long, the set up wasn’t meant to be strenuous, so much as it was about having fun. It may have been a race, but winning seemed to be more about who crossed the finish line the dirtiest – not the fastest.
PTA volunteer Shanae Thompson was there bright and early, helping participants get their T shirt and number before the race began. She explained why this race was good for the school, as well for the participants, “This event promotes the community,” she said, “It brings people together and helps the school meet its goals.”
The day was overcast but warm, and student Bradeon Munjar was helping his dad get things ready for the course. Looking out at where the hay bales were being set up, he admitted that P.E. wasn’t one of his favorite classes, but that he was looking forward to the ‘Tough Mudder’ course, “It looks like fun,” he said, “and Lawrence Jones is a great school. I’m looking forward to it!”
The most striking thing about the event was the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ feeling. Weeks of preparation and hours of set-up came to a conclusion an hour after it began. The first participants came staggering over the finish line, red-faced, sweaty, and covered with mud from head to toe. They were also laughing, smiling and exchanging high-fives with everyone around, making all the hard work worth it. The hope is that as word gets out, participation will grow in the following years.