Alta Vista’s population will more than double when the Mud Runners come to town.
“We’ll have contestants from four states and spectators from throughout the Midwest for our Bogging in the Vista, right at the south edge of Alta Vista, Saturday, Aug. 22, with gates opening at 8 o’clock, and competition beginning at noon,” announced Crystal Brabb, enthusiastic promoter-coordinator of the family-oriented event and member of the Alta Vista Chamber of Commerce, competition sponsor.
This is the 18th year the chamber has sponsored a mud run as the group’s only fund raising activity for the year. “They are so popular that the chamber is able to fund many community activities throughout the year from this one event,” Brabb said.
A permanent Alta Vista Mud Run site has been established just inside the south side of the city limits of the eastern Wabaunsee County, Kansas, community.
“The 200-foot long pit, filled with the blackest, stickiest mud this side of the Mississippi, with ample shutdown room for even the ugliest of trucks, is a major reason the event attracts so much enthusiastic participation from such distance,” Brabb contended.
There is also a permanent concession structure and an abundance of bleacher seating, both adding to appeal for the entertaining event.
“However, many spectators prefer to bring their portable canopies and lawn chairs, so they can get up close and personal with the excitement,” Brabb said.
“The pit has been completely renovated in the past few years, so contestants really like to come here, not to mention our small town hospitality, and all of the extra effort that goes into the event,” she added.
Sanctioned by the Kansas Mud Boggers (KMB), headquartered in Carbondale, entries are expected from neighboring states: Colorado, Missouri, and Oklahoma, and of course from throughout Kansas.
“We had 71 entries during a mud run last year when it was raining, so we’re sure expecting more participants this summer. Again, sometimes it depends on the weather, but the crowds are always big, and there’ll likely be more than 700 spectators watching from the sidelines,” forecasted Brabb, noting that there are only 483 people living in Alta Vista.
“Obviously, the community’s population really grows when we have a mud run, and down town businesses, several which are quite unique in their own right, will be open to cater to those special visitors,” Brabb related.
While many of the contestants will be vying for KMB points, there will also be numerous others just wanting to enter, or suddenly get the urge to try out the inimitable sport.
Originally, there were mostly local farm trucks competing to see how far they could pull through the mud, but now there are classes for almost every variety of truck imaginable.
“We have many different divisions, depending if the truck is stock, or modified, as well as the type of tires, and other variables,” according to Jason Richardson, a promoter.
Winners will be determined by either distance or speed. “For those who don’t’ make it the full 200-feet of the pit, the one going the furthest is the winner. And, for those contestants getting through the mud, the ones with the fastest times receive top honors,” Brabb clarified.\
This year, there will be a NAPA Fast Pass Award, sponsored by NAPA in nearby Council Grove, owned by Rick Haug, who has been a longtime supporter of the event.
Entry fees are paid by contestants, and trophies will be awarded to the top three entries in every division, along with payback, depending on the number competing in a particular category.
“Anyone who wants to enter is welcome, and there’ll definitely be a class to fit your type of vehicle. Last year, Fort Riley brought a Hummer and tried their luck at the pit, only to fall short on length, but the soldiers had a lot of fun trying it out,” Brabb said.
“To finish out the day is the ‘run what you brung’ class, and this is always the real climax, when some guy or gal, who just has a plain ole highway pickup, and wants to get in on the fun of trying it out in the mud,” Brabb smiled.
Kickoff event is the Mini Mud Boggers for youngsters, two-to-nine years of age, on their power wheels, starting right at noon.
Then, mud officially flies at 1 o’clock, with the rail class featuring vehicles designed and built specifically for mud running. Competition is likely to continue until about dark, based on the number of entries.
Highlight for this summer’s Bogging in the Vista is a live remote broadcast of Legends 106.9 Radio.
“These mud runs are really family-oriented events with good ole boys and girls and their trucks playing in the mud. Everyone wants to win, but everyone is anxious to help out their competitors, if they need a part, or assistance in any way. It’s one big happy family, and a well-run organization,” Brabb verified.
Concessions are available on site featuring pulled pork, and the Masonic Lodge will have hand cranked homemade ice cream.
“This year we are fortunate to have all our advertising expense covered by a local company: K Construction, Inc. Their support is essential to the future of such events and greatly appreciated,” Brabb said.
“We sure invite everybody to come to Alta Vista this Saturday Aug. 22, starting at noon for one of the best times you’ll ever have in your life. We’re sure you’ll come back again,” Brabb welcomed.
Details are available on Facebook at Alta Vista Chamber of Commerce, and at www.bogginginthevista.com.