Get dirty and get clean at Muds to Suds Race

Participants reacts to an ice-filled mud pit at the 2013 Muds to Suds Race. The 2015 race is Aug. 29 at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale.
Participants reacts to an ice-filled mud pit at the 2013 Muds to Suds Race. The 2015 race is Aug. 29 at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale. The Bellingham Herald

Curtis Anson, the race director for the fourth annual Mud to Suds race, says that even if you’ve participated in the past, one of the things organizers like to do with Muds to Suds is to keep the race entertaining and fresh.

“Part of doing that is to add new and fun obstacles each year,” he says. “We’ve added a few figure eights within the course to keep things interesting.”

This year, the race has eight new obstacles, and the course is reversed from last year. There are 25 dirty obstacles all together, including seven major mud pits. There’s also a costume contest and a beer-and-root-beer garden. Families can form teams with kids 8 and older.

This year’s race is Saturday, Aug. 29, at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale. The first race starts at 9 a.m., with waves leaving every 15 minutes until 4:45 p.m.

Anson works for Whatcom Events, which also hosts the Ski to Sea Race and the Tour de Whatcom. Besides a few seasonal interns from Western Washington University, he’s the only full-time employee.

Anson is in charge of everything from applying for permits, to setting up traffic cones the day of the race and paying the electricity bill at Whatcom Events’ office.

The job has its challenging moments, but is incredibly rewarding, he says.

“I’ve found that for a lot of participants, this is their first experience doing an event of this nature,” he says. “I would love for Muds to Suds to be a gateway for anyone who may be hesitant to register for their first 5K, half marathon, or a number of other events.”

The race is pretty much an equal-opportunity event — it’s all about getting dirty, and then about getting clean.

“I can say without a doubt that kids enjoy Muds to Suds,” Anson says. “One of the biggest draws to Muds to Suds is that it is a family-friendly event, as well as extremely spectator-friendly.

“We get church groups, sports teams, and extended families all coming together and sharing memories with one another.”

Anson speaks from experience when he says how exhilarating it is. Not only does he organize the event, he participated last year for the first time, with a group of friends.

“I can honestly say that it really is as much fun as it looks,” he says. “And that’s the main point; it’s all about having fun.”

Registration includes a Muds to Suds T-shirt, a beer or root-beer float, bratwurst on a bun, and swag from local companies.

Online registration closes at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, but Anson says not to worry if you missed it. Walk-up registration is available the day of the race.

Mud to Suds

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29

Where: Hovander Homestead Park, 5299 Nielsen Ave., Ferndale

Details: mudstosuds.com, mudrace@skitosea.com.