Fun in the mud for the whole family

By From page B3 | February 28, 2014

Maybe “prim” isn’t your style. If you’re a more active type who likes mixing it up and getting a little dirty, then Mud Aide, El Dorado County’s first ever mud run, could be a great opportunity to have some fun, get in a training run and help out the Infant and Parent Center in Cameron Park.

This family-oriented event takes place at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, on Saturday, March 1 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. It’s 1.6 miles of mud, walls, cargo nets, tubes, balance beams and tires to crawl through, flip over or carry, designed by race director Brett Steward of


Taking to the course

Beginning at 9 a.m.,”waves” of participants will go out on the course together. From 9-11 a.m. participants 12 and older and teams will take to the course. From 11 a.m.-noon, family groups with children 6-11 years old will tackle the course and from 12:15-1 p.m. Mud Aide volunteers will get to challenge the course for free.

For adults or families with younger children, 0-5 years old, there will be a Mini Muddies Pavilion with activities during the event to keep the little ones occupied, allowing older family members to participate in the mud.

Mud Aide isn’t timed and there are no awards — it’s just plain fun that you can do with your whole family, or as a team — and it benefits families.

All proceeds benefit the Infant and Parent Center of El Dorado County.


About the center

The center was founded in 2008 to provide therapy for families with children from infancy to 5 years old as well as prenatal counseling.

The staff assists El Dorado County families as well as families from near-by counties to create strong foundations of family well-being during a child’s early years and provide services in family and individual therapy, home visitations, bilingual services in Spanish, perinatal consultation, parent-child assessments, parenting support and guidance.

IPC also collaborates with community and family agencies and local physicians to provide comprehensive care for at-risk families.

“We’re the only agency that serves only 0-5 year olds,” said Jen Kalsbeek, co-founder of IPC. “We specialize in peri-natal mood and anxiety disorders and have two therapists that can offer bilingual services.”


Help for families

Lorraine King, volunteer for IPC got involved with the organization because, with an adopted child of her own, she understands the need families have for support, especially in the early years of their childrens’ lives.

“I looked at where to intervene to make the best difference in the lives of children and families and, although we need all the organizations in our community that help children at all the different ages, helping new moms and babies get off to a good start with a good foundation to support the family is what appeals to me,” King said.

“Families need support — there’s a lot of pressure and not everyone has family to help,” said King. “Pregnancy and a new baby can be stressful and scary, especially when there are financial problems, postpartum depression or single parents. It can affect the bonding between parents and a child and that can affect a child’s whole life. IPC works on the relationships between children and parents.”

King, her husband and her son plan to participate in the Mud Aide.


The course

Brett Stewart, who regularly designs mud runs all over the United States, is used to huge challenges. The first-ever mud run in El Dorado County will be a blend of challenge and safety.

“The emphasis is creating a course that’s fun for the whole family while also being challenging … All the low-to-the-ground obstacles that are easy and fun for the kids will be challenging for the adults to squeeze through and some of the 3-, 4- and 6-foot walls or cargo nets are usually a piece of cake for adults — or at least they think so until they have to climb them,” said Stewart.

Stewart said there will be no obstacles that require a lot of strength or skill to navigate. While Mud Aide isn’t a competitive event, those who want to add some spice to their mud are encouraged to put together teams and challenge other teams.

Stewart will arrive from his home in Phoenix the day before the event to set up, bringing a trailer full of walls, barrels, tires, cargo nets, tarps and other equipment.


Here comes the mud

“For Mud Aide, we’re working with Blaine Stumpf, Rock Sand and Gravel who is providing several tons of dirt which we will be making into some super-gooey mud pits in large pools. We also have some great local sponsors. Lee’s Feed, providing hay bales for obstacles and safety, and a local hardware store delivering lumber, snow fencing, culverts and other materials to create awesome obstacles and a super-fun course,” said Stewart.

“We wanted to think outside the box and do a fundraiser that was different,” said Kalsbeek. “Mud runs are very popular right now and no one has done one in our county yet.”

During the event, DJ music will be playing and there will be concessions for food and beverages, including the Union Mine High School Boosters Club and Jamba Juice. Kid-friendly activities like balloon making and face painting will also be available.



To participate register online at The cost is $40 age 12 and older, $20 ages 6-11. Parking at the fairgrounds is $5 per car.

Race packets can be picked up on Friday, Feb. 28, the day before the event, at Sports Authority in Folsom from 3-7 p.m. or at the fairgrounds on the day of the event. Last minute registration will be accepted until 9 a.m. on the day of the event, Saturday, March 1.

Volunteers are still needed for the event.

“We need more adult volunteers for the obstacle part of the course and middle and high school students for things like the water station,” said Klasbeek. “We will provide a breakfast and a lunch for volunteers; they get to run the course for free and for teens, it counts as community service.”

To volunteer call 530-676-2899.

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.

Wendy Schultz

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