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Kids and parents to team up for Big Muddy Challenge at Patterson Farm

MT ULLA — Patterson Farm Market & Tours will host Rowan County’s first Big Muddy Challenge obstacle course, a back-to-school event for families, on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the farm, 10390 Caldwell Road, Mt. Ulla. Teams will be assigned a start time prior to the event.

The emphasis is on fun, not competition, according to Michelle Patterson, Director of Fun for Patterson Farm Market & Tours.

“You will get wet and muddy,” says Adam Spisak of Raleigh, the founder of the Big Muddy Challenge. “If you have brand new kicks or sweat gear, it’s probably best to not wear them. Jewelry of all kinds is encouraged to be removed and left at home. Costumes, however, are highly encouraged!”

The Big Muddy Challenge offers these family-oriented obstacle courses at locations throughout Mid-Atlantic States. Races have been held in Raleigh and Charlotte.

Spisak came up with the idea of running through mud and water, getting muddy, and climbing through obstacles in 2012, when he was looking for family-oriented athletic events to include his own daughter. He had participated in adult obstacle races, such as the Tough Mudder in South Carolina, but could not find family-oriented obstacle course.  Some of the adult obstacles offered separate kids’ challenges, but not teams of parents and their kids. “I wanted to blend kids into parents’ active lifestyles,” he says.

His first event, held near Raleigh, drew more than 1,000 parents and kids.

Participants in the Challenges have ranged in age from 6 to 82. Kids have to be 6 to participate. Challenges are team-based and 70 percent of the participants are kids from ages 7 to 10. Participants are encouraged to go at their own pace.

“You will hear equally loud cheers regardless if your team walks or runs,” he says. Average finish times range from 29 to 53 minutes. The event includes Big Muddy Challenge “finish” shirts and free photos.

Patterson Farm Market & Tours will have picnic areas, playgrounds, the petting zoo, the barn and market open for visitors. Chicken sandwiches and ice cream will also be available.

Register at bigmuddychallenge.com

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