A good vacation begins with the sand between your toes. The Columbia Muddy Buddy must be some kind of vacation because this rings true just one step into the race, which starts by running in the Boulder Reservoir.
This is a race that falls out of the ordinary. Founder, Bob Babbitt, generated the idea after running a race called the “Run and Tie.” Two partners switched off running and riding a horse. But if your hearts not pumping the entire time, something has got to change, especially if you are a seasoned athlete like Babbitt.
He liked the idea of partners constantly switching activities, but traded the horse for a bike. One partner on the bike, the other on foot for a total of six miles, facing challenges along the way.
Inflatable obstacles and slides, cargo nets and of course the signature mud pit. And there is no cheating on this one, banners lay low to the pit, forcing you to crawl through. No matter what, it keeps you on your sandy toes.
It’s a day Babbitt says is about “fitness, fun & giving back.” Babbitt knows firsthand the richness sports and fitness bring to your life. Growing up in Chicago, he calls himself the “organizer” of the gang. Orchestrating baseball games and outdoor activities made him a leader. His enthusiasm kept on and he landed a job teaching sports camps to kids. Babbitt eventually excelled further by bringing the glory of sports to disabled athletes.
Some of the proceeds from the Columbia Muddy Buddy benefit the Challenge Athletes Foundation, co-founded by Babbitt. He saw an urgent nee to help disabled athletes purchase prosthetic limbs that allow them to participate in sports like running, cycling, skiing and more. Adaptive equipment is extremely expensive and is often not covered by insurance because insurance companies don’t cover that type of prosthetic.
Enough money has been raised by the Challenge Athletes Foundation to grant 900 athletes running prosthetics. People like David Rozelle, one of the participants of this year’s Columbia Muddy Buddy, are able to stay in the game.
Rozelle lost his leg in Iraq eight years ago after he ran over a landmine in a humvee. He says when he looks in the mirror he misses his leg but with his running prosthetic he doesn’t have to miss running.
The Boulder, Colorado Muddy Buddy may be over until next year, but still check out:
Minneapolis, MN Aug, 28, 2011
Portland, OR Sep. 18, 2011
San Jose, CA Oct. 09, 2011
DaDallas, TX Oct. 16, 2011
Los Angeles, CA Nov. 6, 2011
Miami FL, Nov. 20, 2011