Victory rewarded with mud, fun and chaos at Osage County pasture competition

The pasture 5K course near Osage City promises plenty of mud, water, fun (and did we mention mud?) for all who accept the challenges of Cross Country Chaos on Saturday, June 11, 2016. File photo.

“It is a challenge of willpower, drive, and physical fitness that brings about a sense of achievement and camaraderie to cross the finish line, while benefitting a needy cause.”

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 fourth Cross Country Chaos after the first three have been so successful.

“However, most important of all, the full day of unique activity Saturday, June 11, at our farm near Osage City is that it’ll benefit the Osage County Community Foundation,” explained Thompson, a board member of that group.

“So successful have been the first previous runs that we’ve continued working to improve and expand for this one, and interest has been phenomenal,” Thompson said. “Entries are expected to surpass the 213 participants last year, and they continue to come in daily.”

“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.

“Runners the first two years 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,” Thompson said. “We installed shower facilities last year to accommodate those requests, to make the day more fun for all.”

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 challenges 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.

James Martin of Topeka topped the 213 participants in 2015, with a time of 27 minutes and 24 seconds. Average time of the 188 finishers was 52:20, with the average pace of 16:52 per mile.

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.”

“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.”

“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,” Thompson welcomed. “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.”

Cross Country Chaos, June 11, is located at 26667 S. Docking Rd., Osage City. Entries are still open, with details at www.crosscountrychaos.com. Cross Country Chaos is also on Facebook.


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, Kan., lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and radio marketing consultant.


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