The annual Muds to Suds was canceled due to unusually high winds tearing down tree branches along the obstacle course on August 29, at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale.
The run began at 9 a.m. and was suspended after the 11:45 a.m. wave of people entered the course. Waves of runners were scheduled every 15 minutes until 4:45 p.m. Anyone who had a start time after noon is able to get a full refund or apply their ticket to next year’s Muds to Suds, which will definitely be happening, said executive director Curtis Anson.
“I think people were disappointed, but they were understanding of the conditions,” Anson said.
He was not sure how many people were able to run the course but of the nearly 1,000 who preregistered, more than half were estimated to go in the first couple hours, he said.
About 2,000 people annually run Muds to Suds, but that number was significantly lower this year.
“(The weather) may have affected our walk-up registration, which is usually pretty high,” Anson said.
Kelly Shepherd and her two children were in the final wave of people to run the course. It was a really fun but also scary time, she said.
“It was a little crazy for them,” said Kelly about her children. “In the beginning it was pretty scary, we saw half a tree fall.”
Melina Shepherd, Kelly’s daughter, said one large branch fell only a couple feet away when they were going through the forest.
When branches started cracking, the race was suspended to see if the course could be redirected or shortened and still be safe. At 1 p.m. the call was made to cancel the event completely.
“For everyone’s safety, it’s best,” Straub said.
At one point on the course, runners go through a field. Race coordinators were telling people to leave the course and stay in the middle of the field to avoid debris.
No injuries were reported.