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Here’s Mud in Your Eye — and ears, nose … and mouth

Participants have a ‘DAM’ good time getting dirty



  • Derek Kohlmeyer slips while exiting the mud pit during the Dam Mud Run.

  • “Now how do you get down?” this Dam Mud Run participant asked after getting over the top of this wall obstacle. She eventually figured it out herself.

  • Press photos by John Burbridge Participants of the Dam Mud Run attempt to negotiate one of several water hazards along the course.

  • Gee ... this mud crawl looks like a lot of fun.

  • Just what Dam Mud Run participants need — an ice bath before getting filthy

  • Dan Theilen and Taylor Storck keep low to the ground to prevent from being shocked by live wires.

By John Burbridge


NASHUA — Funny, but the bath and soap came before the muddy filth.

Regardless, Brad Theilen thought best to go through the rinse cycle three times.

“I just love doing this,” Theilen said of the annual Dam Mud Run that took place Friday in and around Cedar View Park as part the Over the Dam Days.

Those who wanted to question the run’s convoluted sequence — like why the ice bath and the soapy side preceded the malodorous mud cave and pit crawls — Brad and his younger brother Dan may be people to confront. They both helped set up the course.

“I don’t know what we will can add to make this more challenging, but we’re not taking out the electric shock obstacle,” Dan said of the crawl under hanging live wires. “I got zapped pretty good a couple of times.”

What makes the electric shock crawl — a staple in most mud runs —  such a hazard is that participants have a natural inclination to lift their prone bodies off the ground once they get shocked only to get shocked some more.

The Dam Mud Run even had some human hazards, like Brad who knocked a whole line of participants into the creek when he shook one of the rope-crossing lines.

“I fell in myself,” said Brad, who led the first section of participants through the course.

A former all-state athlete in football, wrestling and track at Nashua-Plainfield, Brad continued his athletic career at the  University of Sioux Falls where is was a member of the Cougars 2008 and 2009 NAIA Football National Champions.

“I’m not really into sports that much anymore,” Brad said. “I just workout and try to stay in shape, and do things like this just to have fun.”

When Greensfield, Ohio resident Amy Borsini came to north Iowa to visit high school friend Joleen Graham of Mason City, they made sure they had an itinerary of things to do for Borsini’s week stay.

“And doing this mud run was on the top of the list,” Graham said.

“I never done one before, so I didn’t know what to expect,” Borsini said.

“Neither did I,” Graham said.

They both agreed it was challenging but fun, and they felt great about finishing the whole course.

“I wouldn’t say the mud was so bad … for me, climbing over the obstacles was the toughest,” Borsini said.

When asked about what was the toughest part of the journey for her, Graham said it was the electric shock crawl.

“When I got shocked, I felt it in my teeth,” Graham said.

So how did it feel for you, Amy?

“I walked around that part,” Borsini said.

Itinerary be ‘DAM’ned, getting shocked wasn’t on her ‘to do’ list.