St. Clair will never look filthier than it will on Saturday.
For the fifth year in a row, the Swampfoot 4 Mile is making its return to the St. Clair farm that will be turned into a “hardcore, military style obstacle course.”
And, as it does every year, this year’s course will see even more runners and more daunting obstacles.
“We kept building on everything, making bigger and better obstacles,” John Cook, one of the race’s founders said. “All the big ones are still here, but we added a bunch of stuff.”
The race that is all but guaranteed to dirty up the 2,800 runners head-to-toe isn’t just a grueling day on the farm — it’s a mess of fun. There are more than 75 obstacles spread throughout the course, including monkey bars, a tire climb, slides and plenty of rope challenges just to name a few.
Online registration is closed, but final registration is happening today at the farm on 7103 Gratiot Ave, St. Clair from 4-7 p.m. There is no race day registration.
Among the must-have items to bring is an outfit you don’t mind caking in mud, $5 for parking and a change of clothes. For a memorable time on the course, bringing a few friends wouldn’t hurt either.
“It’s a lot more fun with a group and with your friends,” said Richmond’s Bret Zihlavsky, who went with a group of high school friends. “I was up front by myself and it got pretty boring, so I slowed and went back with them and that was better.”
One downer on most of these mud races around the country is the horror stories of illness and injury that pop up from time-to-time. However, there hasn’t been a reported incident in Swampfoot’s history.
“We have bigger bodies of water (than most races), and we are also filling the pits up (Thursday and Friday),” Cook said. “This race is also smaller compared to others, like the big races are doing 20,000 people through the same water in three days, and we just do 2,800 people in one day.”
Continuing tradition, the race will send some proceeds to the Liberty Riders handicapped riders program, and two heats in the day are dedicated to Lone Survivor.
Even for people who aren’t racing, the final stretch of the race is a sloppy spectacle that draws everyone’s attention.
“It really brings the whole community together,” Cook said. “We have a lot of family and friends that help volunteer and everybody comes out and enjoys the whole day.
“We really don’t see anything but exhaustion and smiles.”
Contact Matt Sheehan at (810)-989-6267 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s on Twitter @Sheehan_Sports.
RACE DAY FORECAST
•High of 82 degrees
•Zero percent chance of rain
•4 mph winds