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Good, dirty fun at Tawasentha Mud Mania

Winning isn’t the only thing at annual race

Runners in the kids’ race emerge from the cargo net crawl at Tawasentha Mud Mania Saturday, June 14, in Guilderland.

Runners in the kids’ race emerge from the cargo net crawl at Tawasentha Mud Mania Saturday, June 14, in Guilderland. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— Most of the participants in this year’s Tawasentha Mud Mania race Saturday, June 14, in Guilderland wanted to have some good, dirty fun. But Michelle Davis had a different focus.

The Schenectady resident was after her third consecutive women’s division title, and she wasn’t about to let anyone pass her – not even her friend and co-worker, Meghan Warren.

“I knew what to expect (from the course), but I also had Meghan Warren as my competition,” said Davis.

True to her pre-race prediction, Davis fended off Warren to claim her third consecutive women’s title.

“She was behind me (late in the race), but she said, ‘It’s only me.’ Since I knew she was behind me, I felt comfortable,” said Davis.

“I knew I couldn’t catch her. She’s fast,” said Warren. “I am happy. I improved (my time) over last year, and there’s always next year.”

On the men’s side, Ray Webster had a successful Mud Mania debut. The soon-to-be Capital District resident won the men’s division title in the competitive heat.

Webster, who said he is in the process of relocating to this region from Burlington, Ver., had experience in muddy obstacle course racing prior to his Mud Mania debut.

“I did the Spartan Race (in Vermont) several times. This is a good tune-up for the season,” said Webster.

While the competitive race offered runners a chance to test themselves to complete the 5-kilometer course in the shortest amount of time, the spirit of the day shone through in Mud Mania’s other divisions. Adults and children took on the hilly, muddy course at their own pace and sometimes in costume. One group of runners donned inflatable floatation devices on their arms, while three young runners competed in tutus and tie-dyed T-shirts.

Andrew and Heather Gettle from the Oneonta area traveled with their three children to participate in Mud Mania. They all wore yellow shirts that red “We Eat Mud” on the front and “Hungry 1,” “Hungry 2,” “Hungry 3,” “Hungry 4” and “Hungry 5” on their backs.

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