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

MOUNT ULLA — Patterson Farm Market and Tours will again host Rowan County’s Big Muddy Challenge obstacle course, a back-to-school event for families, on Saturday, Aug. 20, beginning at 8 a.m. at the farm, 10390 Caldwell Road, Mount Ulla. Teams will be assigned a start time when they register online at bigmuddychallenge.com. More than 1,300 participated in last year’s Muddy Challenge.

The emphasis is on fun, not competition, according to Michelle Patterson, director of fun for Patterson Farm Market and 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 family-oriented obstacle courses at locations throughout Mid-Atlantic States. Races have been held in Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina.

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 six to 82. Children must be at least 6 years old to participate. Challenges are team-based and 70 percent of the participants are children 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 and Tours will have picnic areas, playgrounds, the new Treasure Mine, 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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