Indian Mud Run Race
Indian Mud Run Race Embodies Strength, Endurance, and Passion
By Trish Mann
In 2012 the first Indian Mud Run Obstacle Course Race took place in Coshocton, Ohio. After a park levy failed, one family took matters into their own hands and came up with an idea to raise funds for their local park distinct around the idea of an obstacle course, and the Indian Mud Run (IMR) was conceived.
Ten years later, $150,000 raised to support the Coshocton County Park District, and the IMR is making its mark on the world of Obstacle Course Races (OCR).
Each year on the Saturday after Father’s Day, the race takes place at Lake Park, in the Coshocton County Park system. Last year they averaged over 1,000 racers and it is expected to reach 1,500 this year for their 10th anniversary.
Logan, a 2019 race participant, says “It’s an amusement park of obstacles from the terrain to the rings. Better then OCR world championship and NORAM!! YEAH, I SAID IT!! You can’t beat the amazing community that puts it together and the heart that goes into it…. and the oatmeal cookies.”
OCRs are a series of challenging obstacles for a team or individual to navigate. They can include running, climbing, swimming, jumping, and crawling through the weather elements, mud, water, and various terrains and obstacles while testing endurance and agility.
What sets this race apart from other OCR races around the country? IMR is a nonprofit that donates everything to the local park district. Alyssa Haines and her dad, Hubie Cushman, are the two-person crew who puts on one of the country’s toughest single series obstacle course races. IMR was recently awarded Best Small Race Series in North America in a Community Choice Award and brings in racers from 38+ states, Europe and Canada to Coshocton, Ohio each year.
But Haines gives a lot of the credit for IMR’s success to her dad. Known as “Legend” in the Obstacle Course Racing community, she believes it is who her dad is as a person that sets this race apart.
“My dad’s second obstacle course race he ever ran was his own, and it’s grown into a destination race that embodies everything good about the sport and community of obstacle course racing. His nickname in the OCR community is ‘Legend’ for a reason.
He is the most passionate, humble, hardworking human I’ve ever met, and he is a mastermind of trail and obstacle building. The way he uses natural terrain mixed throughout challenging obstacles is unmatched. His heart and soul are put into this course. Not to mention, he is a gold medal world champion master’s obstacle course racer.”
“Indian Mud Run is hands down the best competitive obstacle course race in North America. Innovative and difficult obstacles that are just plain fun and a set up for ‘mandatory’ obstacle completion that encourages competition and completion even if you happen to fail an obstacle,” says Megan, a 2021 race participant.
Obstacle races have gained in popularity as people from all walks of life rise to the challenge of pushing their bodies and minds beyond any expectation. The race consists of 6.6 miles of natural and man-made obstacles, such as rock-climbing walls, water slides, and floating hanging walls. If that doesn’t sound exciting enough, check out some of these: Dragon’s Back, Warriors Peak, and FPO Destroyer.
With over 50+ obstacles, there is something to challenge anyone. This race is not just for the solid athletic type. Racers and challenges come in every size and shape.
- Chief’s Challenge: 3 laps of the long course (only 30% finished last year)
- Short Course: 5K course
- 10K course
- Team Competition: 6.6 Miles
- Kids: 12 and under
Awards are given in each age group, to the top 3 finishers except for the Short Course, where finishing is your award. There are also Pro Division awards and the Chief’s Challenge award.
What is the motivation for entering the race? Haines believes, “The beauty of obstacle course racing is anyone can show up.” There are professionals who thrive on the competition, teams of all sizes who come to challenge themselves and have fun with their teammates, and there are people who have never run an obstacle course before IMR. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to race, even if you just walk.
IMR is also proud to be hosting the incredibly inspiring Operation Enduring Warrior (OEW) on the course this year. “OEW is a veteran-funded nonprofit whose mission is to honor, empower and motivate our nation’s wounded military and law enforcement veterans through physical, mental, and emotional rehabilitation.”
If this isn’t enough to inspire you to join in the mud and fun, there is always great music, food trucks, and beer to cap off the day. Another race participant from 2019, Kate, says “Brutal but amazing!
I love that the course ran through natural sites, up hills, over creeks, bounding up rocks, under trees…. trail running at its best – and hardest! this was my first time with IMR, but I’m hooked.”
Indian Mud Run is built on passion, not profit. There are no investors, nor is there a huge crew. Yet IMR remains a top-level obstacle course race committed to its charity and its racers. Let’s see you on the course!
Indian Mud Run Race