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Seabees’ Mud Run brings out athletes for some good, dirty fun

A competitor makes his way under one of the obstacles along the course the 2016 Seabee Volkslauf Mud Run at the Gulfport Seabee Base on Saturday. More than 1,000 athletes signed up to splash in the mud over the 5-mile course.
A competitor makes his way under one of the obstacles along the course the 2016 Seabee Volkslauf Mud Run at the Gulfport Seabee Base on Saturday. More than 1,000 athletes signed up to splash in the mud over the 5-mile course. Special to the Sun Herald

Extreme athletic courses with obstacles featuring mud pits have become popular with millennial runners.

One course would itself be considered a millennial, having been in existence for 21 years. The 21st annual Seabee Volkslauf Mud Run took place Saturday at the Naval Construction Battalion Center.

This year, 1,134 registered participants took on the challenge of trudging through deep, slushy and sludgy Mississippi mud.

The course, redesigned each year, was lengthened to 5 miles. Construction of the mud pits began six months ago. Seabee Base staff filled the obstacle course with water the week before the mud run.

“We’ve been lucky this year, with a lot of rain,” said Steven Gallagher, the base’s sports director. “The water has been higher so they haven’t had to add as much water as in the past. Only a couple days of the week they’ve had to re-flood the trenches; last year they had to flood every day.”

Nearly 700 of the runners were members of JROTC programs from Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida.

“This is a great event where we have lots of fun, “ said Capt. Cheryl Hansen, NCBC commanding officer. “And it’s for a good cause because all of the money gets donated towards our annual Seabee Ball that’ll occur in 2017 when we celebrate the Seabees’ 75th anniversary.”

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