Local team gets muddy for MS

Hope's Dawson Hollmann finishes the five-kilometre course second overall

Brenda Deschenes (left) and Elaine Lawton clamber out of a water hole at last Saturday’s 5km Muck MS obstacle race

“No muck about it! We’ll stamp out MS!”

That was the motto stamped on the T-shirts of a team of 10 fun-loving participants from Hope in last Saturday’s Muck MS 5km obstacle run at the Dicklands Farms in southwest Chilliwack.

Participants each paid a $70 entry fee for the privilege of slipping and sliding through mud holes, giant slip-and-slides and multiple pits of muddy water — as well as covering five kilometres through fields and trails — with proceeds going toward MS research and support.

In all, 650 people took part in the first Muck MS event in western Canada, with Dawson Hollmann finishing second overall, in 34:06.

“He might have come second… but he didn’t get dirty!” said fellow team member Brenda Deschenes on Tuesday. She got plenty dirty, as did her son Blake — and there are many photos to prove it.

Brenda and team organizer Elaine Lawton finished ahead of the middle of the pack in about one hour, 10 minutes.

While the team was there for the fun challenge — they were also there to support Lawton, who was diagnosed with MS in June of 2013. As a way to improve her fitness, Lawton joined Hope’s Team Fit walking and running group in January, taking part in the learn-to-walk and urban poling sessions.

Lawton is in the early stages of the disease, which affects the brain and spinal cord but it was a mid-summer stress fracture in her ankle that kept her from training more for the event.

“We had three weeks to limp our way through training for the run,” said tail-twister Miranda Cowan, whose son Levi was keen to join in the muddy fun.

“None of us had done a mud race before — and kids from 12 to 17 had to have an adult go with them,” said Cowan, whose husband wasn’t so keen. “Jacob said ‘Absolutely not!’”

Fraser and Bendix Hollmann were the other Hope youths taking part. With parents Kim and Peter Hollmann also in the race, the only missing family member was Kai, who was too young.

“Kai really wanted to be in it,” said Deschenes.

“None of us really wanted to get cold, or wet, or dirty — but we just dove in and had fun,” said Cowan. “I’m sure next year, more people will want to join in.”

There were no shower facilities but there was a man with a tanker truck, ready to hose off the worst of the dirt.

“The guy told me he didn’t have enough water to get me clean!” laughed Deschenes. “He said I should go sit in the Vedder River.”

Deschenes and Lawton did the run together and they had a scary moment on a slip-and-slide that ended in big bales of hay.

“The guy had just greased it with some soap and we went flying — with our arms locked at the elbow,” said Deschenes. I didn’t want to hit the bales feet-first, so I turned, so I hit on my side, with Elaine right behind me.

“It was okay, though. I was a little bruised but we got up and finished the race.

“Miranda and Kim came back and joined us for the jump into the last water hole. I was struggling to get out because the mud was so slippery, I’d just slip back in. Blake told me to just slide out so I slid out on my chest.”

Three other women from Hope took part in a different heat of the race: Larissa Dyble, Jodi McBride and Samantha Kelly.

For individual times and placements, see http://www.sportstats.ca/displayResults.xhtml?racecode=109613

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