Mud, fun, rough terrain: Overcoming obstacles for Cross Country Chaos fundraiser – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Mud, fun, rough terrain: Overcoming obstacles for Cross Country Chaos fundraiser

Perry Thompson and his daughter Kristy wade through the “terrible trenches,” one of 15 obstacles in the 5K mud run-walk Cross Country Chaos fundraising event this Saturday. Participants and spectators are welcomed to the day’s activities that will conclude with refreshments and live music.

No showers have been promised to wash off the mud. But, it’ll be a fun time, and there’ll be 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 first Cross Country Chaos to be held Saturday, Aug. 17, at his farm near Osage City.

“However, most important of all about the full day of unique activity is that it’ll benefit the Osage County Community Foundation,” said Thompson, a board member of that group.

He explained the event is going to be a 5K mud run-walk with contestants competing on an obstacle course over 200 acres on the farm. Thompson and a few others came up with the idea for the event while brainstorming about how to raise funds for the local community foundation.

Not to be confused with popular truck mud pulling competitions, or even 5K run-walk events prevalent in many communities, unique attractions such as this have received widespread participation in other parts of the country.

“I heard about the mud runs, read about them, even watched videos and talked to other promoters,” Thompson said, “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.”

Fifteen obstacles are included in the course, starting with No. 1, bridge out, then high hurdles, terrible trenches, creek crossing, tires and trees, devilish diamond, fallen log, buddy bank, cargo net, hay pyramid, cool dip, shady creek, climb and slide, cow tipping and climaxing mud pit to the finish line.

For some of the uniquely-titled obstacles, participants “will just have to wait and find out what they really consist of,” Thompson said. “There’s some pretty tough terrain that will be a challenge for everybody I’d say.”

Specifically, Thompson pointed out that the cargo net is 18½ feet tall and will certainly “require some maneuvering.” Likewise the high hurdles are 5½ feet high, the tires and trees are “by no means easy,” and the terrible trenches do fit their name: “terrible,” by some reviews.

081313-mud2A frame 18½ feet tall has been constructed for the cargo net obstacle at the Cross Country Chaos.

“We expected to have to fill the trench with water, but now with all of the rain, we may have to pump some water out,” Thompson said.

“Even though we will keep times, and there’s always the challenge to finish first, participants don’t have to run. For those who want to walk the course, that’s just fine, too,” he added.

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 fundraiser 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 said.

Sponsorships are still available and welcomed.

From clearing brush and piling it, to mowing grass, to constructing the “what could rightfully be described as magnificent obstacles,” there have been more than a dozen people physically assisting in course development.

“I haven’t totaled up the hours, or the out-of-pocket expenses. But, there are hundreds of hours, and the machinery construction costs would certainly be more than $15,000,” Thompson tabulated.

One good thing about all of the initial inputs, according to Thompson, “The majority of the cost is up front, just like with a small business the first year. So, when we have mud runs in the future, we won’t have all of that expense.”

He said the goal of Cross Country Chaos is to benefit the Osage County Community Foundation, which is primarily funded by donations from individuals, businesses, groups and estates. Donors can designate how their funds will be distributed, or the funds are included in grants the foundation offers to organizations in Osage County.

“We wanted something that would be a fun challenge and give people a sense of accomplishment, while giving back to those in need,” Thompson said.

Among those assisted to date are organizations such as Osage City Chamber of Commerce with welcome flags, the American Legion with American flags for cemetery display, USD 420, Melvern Pride, and the Burlingame Historical Society.

“Since this is a first time event, we really don’t know what to expect for participation, but similar competitions throughout the country are drawing thousands of people,” Thompson said. “It’ll probably be as much fun for the spectators as the participants.”

He said the event gives participants, their friends and family a way to enjoy the challenge of the country terrain.

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

Entries are still open, with details at There is 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. There will also be T-shirts available for sale along with a variety of food and beverages during the live musical entertainment. Also, several raffles offer valuable prizes that have been given by businesses over a wide area. All raffle proceeds go directly to the foundation.

Cross Country Chaos is located at 26667 S. Docking Road, Osage City.


Perry and Kristy Thompson verify the “high trenches” will have ample height for some participants in the Cross Country Chaos fund raising event near Osage City on Saturday, Aug. 17, benefiting the Osage County Community Foundation.

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