By Andrea Howry
On a warm day with clear skies, 640 people wallowed in muck Saturday, May 19, during the annual Mud Run at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme.
“It’s a perfect day, and the turnout is great,” said Deborah Williams, site manager for community support programs, estimating the total crowd, including spectators, at 1,500.
Last year’s event, held on a cold, gray day, drew 488 competitors and a much smaller crowd.
Williams had high praise for the Naval Construction Training Center, which changed the course to make it flow more smoothly. Gone were the tunnels and the rope traverses that had long lines behind them in previous years.
“Everyone incorporated the lessons learned,” Williams said. “And next year, look for it to be even bigger and better.”
The 2-mile obstacle course, which came after a 3-kilometer run, included 10 muddy mountains, 17 trenches filled with waist-high water, a 4-foot wooden wall, floating logs and a low crawl through slippery, gooey mud.
Robert Hubbert, a 16-year-old cross-country runner at Adolfo Camarillo High School, finished the course first with a time of 27 minutes, 40 seconds.
“The hills were the hardest,” he said. “After about three in a row, it was exhausting.”
Melissa Russett, also a cross-country runner, finished first among the women with a time of 29 minutes, 45 seconds.
“The water pits were really hard,” said the 17-year-old student at Thousand Oaks High School. “It was really hard walking through them, so I swam.”
Several teams ran, their matching T-shirts bearing names like “Muddy Buddies” and “Dirtylicious.” Some runners had slogans like “Got mud?” and “Just add water.”
Money raised from the event will go to Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs on base, including liberty trips for Single Sailors, intramural sports and lunchtime fun runs.