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California Town Cancels Mud Run Because of Water Shortage

18 May, 2015

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

It was bound to happen.  In California, a local park district has canceled a popular mud run due to the water restrictions.

According to an article in the Press Enterprise, San Jacinto-based Valley-Wide Recreation and Park District had scheduled the Jurassic Classic Mud Run for May 16 at Diamond Valley Lake Community Park. The 5K race, which was to feature obstacles and mud pits, had more than 500 participants last year.

The event, a fundraiser for Friends of Valley-Wide Foundation, would have required thousands of gallons of water to create the course, Valley-Wide General Manager Dean Wetter said.

He said it would be irresponsible to use potential drinking water for such an event.

“We are very alert to how we use every drop of water,” Wetter said.

When water restrictions were announced in April, Michele Fox, the executive director of Valley-Wide Foundation, told the paper she had investigated calling the event a ‘drought run’ and changing the format to that of a straight obstacle course, or another type of novelty run, but the registered participants insisted the event needed mud. And the only two remaining options weren’t viable – rain (which didn’t fall) and recycled water (which cannot be used for events involving human contact). In addition, noted Fox, the ground had become so hard as to require an unusually large supply of water to create the necessary mud. Ultimately, holding the event simply was not feasible.

Eastern Municipal Water District spokesman Kevin Pearson said he had not heard of similar events being canceled, and organizers of upcoming mud runs in Temecula and Lake Elsinore could not be reached for comment.

Expect the drought to continue to make life difficult for organizers of athletic events and managers of athletic facilities. California’s sports fields and golf courses are feeling the heat. Some facilities have closed because of unsafe conditions, while others are covering surfaces with mulch or other materials in order to allow play to continue.

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