Mud Dash challenges all for a messy good time
Gila River Indian News
As the sun set on the horizon of the Gila River Indian Community, the Sacaton fairgrounds accommodated the Sept. 7 Mud Dash event, where 147 Community members and tribal members gathered for a muddy obstacle course fit for a refreshing evening to cool off active Community youth and adults. The Gila River Tribal Recreation and Wellness Center (TRW) department and its grounds crew hosted the 2023 Mud Dash event with assistance from the Gila River Fire Department.
The Mud Dash began at 5:30 p.m., allowing families of all ages to prepare for the 16 obstacles they would have to jump, climb, and crawl under while enduring or avoiding the muddy water pits. Adult Community members were seen competing with their friends and loved ones, recreating their memories from their youth in the mud. Meanwhile, children enjoyed the setting by splashing around and taking advantage of the opportunity to get as muddy and messy as they wanted to be.
“I wanted to play in the mud and have fun,” said 9-year-old Kaydence Conde, District 2, as she tagged along with her family to the event. She said that the fun part of the Mud Dash was when she climbed through a tunnel and climbed up the hill to a slide where firefighters were hosing the slide with water as she slid into the mud pit below.
“My brother, my sister, and the kids wanted to do this event,” said Emily Miguel Rhodes, District 3. She said the most challenging part was the walls she had to climb over. Otherwise, her favorite part of the course was just being in the mud.
TRW’s Multimedia Specialist and head coordinator of the Mud Dash event, Tiffany Enos, District 4, explained that the Mud Dash was the first of its kind, post-pandemic, for families and friends to gather around to reconnect socially and be physically active. “I like to see the Community come out and just have fun in the mud, and just be rez kids playing in the pits,” said Enos. “For me, just getting the Community active again especially being in COVID times for so long, it’s nice to see the kids out here smiling again.”
TRW wrapped up the event as the sun cleared the sky for the night at 7:30 p.m. Community members were given light snacks and a commemorative 2023 Mud Dash t-shirt and sticker for their participation.