PINNACLE — Things are going to be getting dirty in Pinnacle once again this summer.
While it’s still a couple of months away, plans already are in place for this year’s fifth annual Marine Corps Mud Run.
The event is set for June 7 at Jomeokee Campground in Pinnacle.
Organizing committee member Lewis Pleasants said he hopes this year’s event will be even bigger than previous years.
“This year is a milestone for us,” he said. “Since it’s our fifth year we want to make it extra special.”
Some of that “extra special” involves new and improved obstacles on the course.
“This year we’re going to have more obstacles than in the past,” Pleasants said. “We try to do new obstacles every year in addition to those from previous years. This year, for example, we’re going to have a cargo net climb on the course, and last year we added an ice hole about halfway through the race. The participants just loved it because by that time they were wanting to cool down anyway.”
The course can be as hard or easy as participants want to make it, he added.
“The 5K run/walk is both competitive and family oriented,” Pleasants said. “It includes wooded areas, streams and open fields with lots of hills, obstacles and mud.
“The big thing is this is a very family-oriented thing, so many participants bring their families to cheer them on,” he added.
Volunteers, including active-duty Marines who serve as drill instructors for the day, will be stationed along the path with water and to offer any assistance needed by participants.
Adult participants in the 2013 race topped 3,700.
“What’s so great about this is when a runner comes, there are people coming with them, so we estimate that there were between 8,000 and 10,000 people there last year.”
In addition to the run for grown-ups, once again this year the event will feature a Pollywog run for children age 12 and younger, and Pleasants said the children’s run is also a much-anticipated event.
“Last year, we had about 400 kids participate, and we’re really trying to top that this year,” Pleasants said.
And while the goal of the day is to test your mettle and have fun, the mud run benefits worthy charities, Pleasants added.
“One of the major groups we support through this event is the Wounded Warriors Battalion East,” he said. “It’s based at Camp Lejeune and is a reconditioning program with the goal of getting Marines back to their units. It’s the only one in the country right now, but it’s been so successful that they’re opening up one in California.”
Registration is under way, and participants can register online at usmcmudrunnc.com.
Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.