Chaos ensues in the Kansas grasslands – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Chaos ensues in the Kansas grasslands

Saturday turned out to be a great summer day for wallowing in mud and self-testing wherewithal to overcome physical challenges in a lush Kansas pasture. At least 138 back country athletes attempted the numerous obstacles – mud troughs, high hurdles, cargo net climb, creek bottoms – encountered during the 5K Cross Country Chaos, set up on the Thompson farm southwest of Osage City.

According to organizer Perry Thompson, every competitor who registered for the event showed up to compete, and only a few did not complete the course.

One trio of racers who didn’t finish got bogged down in the “Terrible Trenches”. It wasn’t crawling belly down through mud and water under stretched barbed wire that stopped them, the problem was one male competitor had lost his wedding ring in the sludge. The man, his wife, and an apparently loyal friend, crawled around in the trench, trying to feel for the ring on the bottom, as other racers splashed and slimed past on the race course. At last report the ring hadn’t been found, but the trio decided they had had enough chaos for the day.

Thompson said there were only two minor injuries that local emergency personnel handled during the event. And he said those people still had smiles on their faces, as did most of the competitors when they crawled/slimed out of the last barbed wire mud pit at the finish line.

Although plans had been made to accommodate 300 to 500 competitors, Thompson said he was pleased with the turnout for the first fundraiser of this type for the Osage County Community Foundation. The idea for the event was originally developed by Thompson and others, who were trying to come up with ways to help the local foundation that assists area service organizations and groups.

At mid-morning Saturday, an unofficial head count of competitors, spectators, volunteers and event staff, estimated more than 300 people were wandering around the Thompson farm.

Thompson said his hope was that Saturday’s success laid the groundwork for more events to be held to help the foundation and other organizations.

During the race groups of 10 or so competitors were released from the starting line in waves, allowing teams to run together and assist each other at some of the obstacles if necessary.

After the races, competitors and spectators gathered under a farmyard tent to enjoy cold beverages provided by Flint Hills Beverage and barbecue offered by Rubbed Raw BBQ. Other sponsors of the event included Osage Building Materials, Berquist Farms, Jerry’s Thriftway, Agoge Training Center, PrairieLand Partners, State Farm, Edward Jones, Bank of Osage City, Fanestil Meats, Ag Choice, Osage County News, Theel Plumbing, Miller Elevator, Salt Creek Fitness & Rehab, Guions Showcase, Branine Chevrolet, and V-100. Timing for the event was conducted by Jed Ecord of Competitors Choice Timing Specialist.

High hurdles.

High hurdles.

181/2-foot cargo net climb.

181/2-foot cargo net climb.

Mud pit and barbed wire.

Mud pit and barbed wire.

Devilish diamond - balancing beam over a lily pad filled swamp.

Devilish diamond – balancing beam over a mucky swamp.


Mud pit and barbed wire.

See, share and comment on Osage County News’ Chaos photos here.

For more information, contact Thompson at 785-528-3006 or see

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