by TaLeiza Calloway
It’s kind of hard to prepare to run, walk, jump and climb while covered in mud, but St. Joseph Mayor Rick Schultz will do just that next month.
Schultz is training for the Mud Man 5K Extreme Obstacle Course set for Aug. 18 at Powder Ridge in Kimball.
“I’ll probably be the slowest 50-year-old out there,” Schultz said with a laugh, “but it’ll be fun.”
The Mud Man is a 3.2-mile obstacle course that features 17 different obstacles this year, all designed by endurance athletes, personal trainers and all around fitness enthusiasts. It aims to test all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie.
This is the first time Schultz is participating in the competition. However, his goal is not to compete, but merely to experience the event. It will be a family affair with Schultz’s daughters running alongside him.
Initially, his wife found some information about the Warrior Dash, a similar extreme obstacle course and running event. After some research, he decided to give the Mud Man a try.
“It looks like it’s an easier stepping stone,” he said of the Mud Man. “I don’t want to do too much too fast.”
The motto of the event says it all: “Having fun will be easy. Staying clean will be impossible.”
The rigorous course promises to thoroughly test participants all in the name of a good and muddy time.
Schultz is participating in the event as part of his recovery from cancer. He was diagnosed and started treatment last year. He is doing fine and the last scan was clean, he said a few months ago.
Running is a large part of his training. He used to run every day but now runs only a few times a week. The 55-year-old has always been a runner and an athlete, competing in high school and college. His active lifestyle continues and the Mud Man is one aspect of it. For him, the best way to get back into it is by setting goals. His goal is not to compete.
“It’s just a personal goal to get back in shape,” he said. “It’s about exercise and getting involved. It should be a fun day.”
In preparation for the event, Schultz ran the Earth Day 5K in St. Cloud. He plans to participate in another event before the Mud Man next month. For more information about the Mud Man Race, visit: www.mudmanrace.com.