Cross Country Chaos incites pasture pandemonium at Osage City

Man vs. Mud: Cross Country Chaos competitors face barbed wire and muck at the finish line.

Springtime in Osage County usually means putting cattle out to graze the lush pastures. But in a pasture southwest of Osage City, it means total chaos is about to happen again. Cross Country Chaos, which is scheduled for June 14, 2014, southwest of Osage City, could be the dangedest spectacle you have ever seen in the Kansas grasslands.

Wet, muddy people climbing walls, scrambling in hay havoc, wallowing in muddy mayhem, swimming in lily pads, beam balancing, knotted up in a cargo net, and sliding down slimy creek banks. While you’re shaking your head and wondering if these strange folks might have got into some loco weed, keep in mind that it’s all for a good cause, and you’re welcome to sign up, too.

This year will be the second time Cross Country Chaos has ensued in the quarter section on the Perry Thompson farm. Such chaotic obstacle course races are quickly becoming popular among those who appreciate disorganized sports, also known as mud runs. But contestants at the Cross Country Chaos will not only race around the 5K obstacle course, they’ll also help the Osage County Community Foundation.

Thompson, president of the local charitable organization, said the idea for an obstacle race came up last year as he and others searched for funding methods. Last year’s race attracted 138 competitors, and Thompson reported that after expenses the event itself raised more than $2,000 for the foundation. He said the awareness raised by the event paid off even further. He attributed over $12,000 in donations afterward to donors who found out about the foundation because of last year’s event.

Thompson noted that spectators are welcome at Chaos, which follows up with a barnyard party to celebrate the success of the day’s competitors.

He said food served up by Rubbed Raw BBQ, of Osage City, and drinks will be available, and a DJ is scheduled to provide music from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We want everyone to come buy lunch, buy a drink, or buy a raffle ticket,” Thompson said. “Everything adds up to help the foundation down the road.”

Family and friends of mud runners, and interested spectators are welcome to socialize in the headquarters area. Raffle prize drawings, with everyone invited to purchase tickets, offer a number of prizes given by local merchants and are expected to begin around 10 a.m.

Although the focus of the event is having fun and helping the community foundation, racers with a competitive streak have the opportunity to claim a win from the chaotic timed event.

“We are giving away medals for top three people in each age division,” Thompson said. Each race participant also receives two raffle tickets.

Thompson said minor adjustments had been made to the course, but most of the obstacles will be the same as in last year’s event.

“We didn’t have any complaints,” Thompson said. “It’ll be pretty much the same layout.”

Running, walking, crawling or swimming through the course, contestants will face numerous obstacles. Tire and tree tangles, mud trenches, high hurdles, balance beam/gangplank, hay bale walls, lily pad bog slog, giant cargo net climb, slippery creek banks, slimy pond dam climb, farm pond swim with crawdads, ending with a delightfully sloppy finish-line barbed-wire-topped mud pit. A garden hose wash station awaits all competitors, along with a cold drink, food, and congratulations for the day’s tests of their abilities and wherewithal.

High hurdles.

Clean racers clear the high hurdles at the beginning of the race, while treacherous mud trenches await just down trail.

Thompson said all skill levels are invited to compete. Although a timed event, he said the race is about accomplishments and also giving to local charities, the mission of the Osage County Community Foundation. He invites local businesses or clubs to enter as teams in the competition.

The first wave of racers will head out into the pasture pandemonium around 9 a.m., June 14, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Pre-registration for planning purposes is appreciated. Register online at www.crosscountrychaos.com, or more information, contact Thompson at 785-528-3006.

On the evening of June 6, a packet pickup event is planned. Runners who have registered can pick up their registration packet that night at Sowers Pub, in downtown Osage City.

“People can also come in that night and register,” Thompson said, “and won’t have to stand in line the day of the event.”

The Osage County Community Foundation serves the countywide community with a mission to “provide a method of giving that represents the ideas and the interest of people who want to increase the impact of their philanthropy.”

For more information about the Osage County Community Foundation, see related story here.

Cross Country Chaos is located at 26667 S. Docking Road, Osage City, or approximately 2 3/4 miles south of the intersection of Market Street and K-170 in Osage City, then three miles west on 261st Street.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas