By Frank J. Buchman
“This year, there are new showers to wash off the mud.”
And, it’ll be another “fun time,” with plenty to drink, eat, and visit about, while listening to live country-rock music, when it’s all through.
That’s the pledge from Perry Thompson who’s organizing the third Cross Country Chaos after the second annual one last summer was so successful.
“However, most important of all, the full day of unique activity Saturday, June 13, at our farm near Osage City is that it’ll benefit the Osage County Community Foundation,” explained Thompson, a board member of that group and brainchild of the unique fund raising event.
“So successful have been the first two years’ runs that we’ve continued working to improve and expand for this one, and interest has been phenomenal. Entries are expected to surpass the 217 participants in the second event, and they continue to come in daily,” Thompson said.
“This is going to be a 5K mud run with contestants competing on a course we’ve developed over 200 acres on our farm,” detailed Thompson.
Then, Thompson happily added, “We actually installed showers last year courtesy of Theel Plumbing, because after participating in the fun mud event, everybody was always literally ‘a mess,’ to say the least.
“The runners said one of the biggest things to improve the day would be to have a place to ‘clean-up’ when they were finished in the mud, and then they could enjoy the rest of the festivities even more. We’re happy we’ve been able to now offer those needed and appreciated accomodations,” he said.
Not to be confused with popular truck mud pulling competitions, or even 5K run-walk events prevalent in many communities, this unique attraction has received widespread participation during the past two years, and in other parts of the country.
“I had heard about the mud runs, read about them, even watched videos and talked to other promoters and decided I had the perfect location to develop a course on my farm in this rough area where I’d hunted when I was a kid,” Thompson related.
Seventeen obstacles are included in the course, starting with Number 1: bridge out, high hurdles, terrible trenches, creek crossing, tires, trees, devilish diamond, fallen log, muddy bank, cargo net, hay pyramid, three-times-up-and-over, cool dip, shady creek, climb and slide, cow tipping and the climaxing mud pit to the finish line.
“There’s some pretty tough terrain that will be a challenge for everybody I’d say,” Thompson admitted.
“Now, even though we will keep times, and there’s always the challenge to finish first, participants don’t have to run. Those who want to walk the course, that’s just fine, too,” he said.
Getting the entire course in place has not been a single farmer effort, according to Thompson, who has generously provided his farm land, done much of the organizing and been persistent in footwork to get the fund-raising effort to become a reality.
“This has truly been a community project with outstanding support in developing the course, and with so many very bighearted donations,” Thompson appreciated.
Sponsorships are still available and welcomed.
“Last year, the oldest participant was 62, and the youngest was 14. Interestingly, women comprised 55 percent of the contestants with males making up the reminder,” informed Connie Call, Thompson’s coworker, and one of the original group developing the fundraiser idea.
“Majority of our participants were from Kansas; actually they came from all over the state. Interestingly, we did have one contestant registered from Georgia, and there were two participants from Missouri,” Call added.
Several participants agreed, “The course was tougher than others we have been on, but we still loved it, and we’ll be back next time.” They’ve already signed up this year, and many of their acquaintances are on the roll too.
“The Osage County Community Foundation was truly the winner. We had one spectator write a check for $1,000 to the foundation. I did not expect that,” Thompson added.
An estimated crowd of more than 100 spectators from many miles around have been coming to watch the fun fund raising action. “They really seem to like it, too, and certainly have fun at the after-party,” Thompson critiqued.
Again, Thompson emphasized, “The whole idea is to benefit the Osage County Community Foundation which can be funded by donations from businesses, groups and estates with support given through grant applications to deserving organizations throughout all of Osage County.”
Among those assisted to date are the Chamber of Commerce with welcome flag, and the American Legion with American flags for cemetery display. Other organizations that have also benefited include: USD 420, Osage City, Melvern Pride Organization, and Burlingame Historical Society.
“There will be an entry fee to run, or walk the course, but only a parking fee will be charged to spectators. When it’s all done, competitors will get a Cross Country Chaos t-shirt and a cool drink, but there will also be t-shirts available for sale along with a variety of food and beverages to partake during the live musical entertainment.
“Additionally, we are having a raffle for several valuable prizes which have been given by businesses over a wide area,” Thompson pointed out.
“All of the raffle proceeds go directly to the Osage County Community Foundation,” Thompson re-emphasized
“The concept of Cross Country Chaos came about while brainstorming ideas for raising money for charitable organizations. We wanted something that would be a fun challenge and give people a sense of accomplishment while giving back to those in need,” Thompson reviewed.
“Chaos is basically giving participants and their friends and family a way to enjoy the challenge of the country terrain and then getting to enjoy live music, together afterward with a ‘drink in hand.’
“It is a challenge of willpower, drive, and physical fitness that brings about a sense of achievement and camaraderie to cross the finish line. Be prepared for a fun challenging run where you get a little dirty and muddy in the country, but get rewarded with a cold beer and cheers when you finish,” Thompson welcomed.
Cross Country Chaos, June 13, is located at 26667 South Docking Road, Osage City. Entries are still open with details at www.crosscountrychaos.com. People can also interact on Facebook.