Rural Community Picks Up Pace And Size When Mud Runners Have Competition Saturday

Alta Vista’s population will more than double when the Mud Runners come to town.

“We’ll have contestants from four states and spectators from throughout the Midwest for our Alta Vista Summer Mud Run, right at the south edge of Alta Visa, Saturday, Aug. 16, with gates opening at 8 o’clock, and competition beginning at noon,” announced Crystal Brabb, enthusiastic promoter-coordinator of the family-oriented event, and official of the Alta Vista Chamber of Commerce, run sponsors.

“This is the 17th year the Chamber has sponsored a truck mud run as our major fund raising activity of the year. They’ve become so popular that we’ve had two runs annually for the past three years,” Brabb continued, noting special the community’s special Easter, Old Setters’ Day, Halloween, and Christmas promotions, as well.

A permanent Alta Vista Mud Run Course has been established just inside the south side city limits of the eastern Wabaunsee County, Kansas, community. The 200-foot long pit is the most important part, and there is also a permanent concession-office structure, and ample bleacher seating.

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Jerry and Tyler Glessner of Alta Vista has been working on this vehicle they’ll have entered in the Alta Vista Mud Run Saturday, Aug. 16, beginning at noon. Sanctioned by Kansas Mud Boggers, the competition is expected to attract entries from Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and all over Kansas. But, there’ll be an array of open classes, so anybody interested in trying the sport can run their vehicle in the mud.

“However, many spectators prefer to bring their portable canopies and lawn chairs, so they can get more involved in the excitement,” Brabb said. “The pit has been completely renovated in the past couple of years, so the mud runner contestants really like to come here for that reason, let alone all of the extra effort we put into the event.

Sanctioned by the Kansas Mud Boggers (KMB), headquartered at Carbondale, entries will definitely be in attendance from four states: Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and of course from throughout Kansas.

“We had 71 entries at our spring run this year, but it was raining, so we’re sure expecting more participants this summer. Again, sometimes it depends on the weather, but the crowds are always big, and there’ll likely be more than 700 spectators watching from the sidelines,” forecasted Brabb, noting that there are only 483 people living in Alta Vista.

“Obviously, the community’s population really grows when we have a mud run, and downtown businesses, several which are quite unique in their own right, will be open to cater to those special visitors,” Brabb related.related. “Our new Alta Vista Market is even hosting a Farmer’s Market in the backyard of their neighboring Bill’s Barber Shop, throughout the morning.”

While many of the contestants will be vying for KMB points, there’ll also be a good number of KMRO (Kansas Mud Runners Organization) participants, as well as numerous others just wanting to enter, or suddenly get the urge to try out the inimitable sport.

Originally, there were mostly local farm trucks come in to see how far they could pull in the mud, but now there’ll be classes for almost every variety of mud puller imaginable.

“We have many different divisions, depending if the truck is stock, or modified, as well as the type and size of tires, and other variables,” according to the promoter.

Winners will be determined by either distance or speed. “For those who don’t make it the full 200-feet of the pit, the one going the furthest is the winner. And, for those contestants getting through the mud, those with the fastest times receive the prizes,” Brabb clarified.

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Brian Hestermann, Council Grove, has participated in a number of mud runs with this unique vehicle, and he’ll be driving it Saturday afternoon in the Alta Vista Mud Run, hoping to take home one of the three trophies plus prize money to be presented top entries in every class.

Entry fees are paid by contestants, and trophies will be awarded the top three entries in every division, along with payback, depending on the number competing in that particular category.   

“Anybody who wants to enter is welcome, and there’ll definitely be a class to fit your type of vehicle. Finale of every mud run is a ‘run what you brung class,’ and that is usually the real climax for the day, when some guy or gal who just has a plain ole highway pickup and wants to get in on the fun of running in the mud,” Brabb said.

Kickoff-event is the Mini-Boggers for youngsters two to 13 years of age on their power wheels starting right at noon. The main mud run begins at 1 o’clock, with the rail class featuring vehicles designed and built specifically for mud running. Competition is likely to continue until about dark, based on the number of entries.

Highlight for this summer’s Alta Vista Mud Run is a live remote broadcast of The BIG 94.5 Country, from 1 to 4, with the ever popular mid-day personality Stephanie Lynn as host for the fun affair.

“These mud runs are really family oriented events with good ole boys and their trucks playing in the mud. Everyone wants to win, but everybody is anxious to help out their competitors, if they need a part, or assistance in any way. It’s a very big happy well rounded organization,” Brabb verified.

Reflecting a first time spectator at this spring’s Alta Vista Mud Run, Brabb said, “This women had never been to anything like it, and she came up to me all excited about how much fun she was having, and how everybody seemed to be having such a good time. The lady said she’d was never going to miss another mud run and was going to tell all of her friends and acquaintances to come, too.

“We sure invite everybody to come to the Alta Vista Mud Run Saturday, Aug. 16, starting at noon, for one of the best times you’ve ever had in your life. And, you’ll also come back next time,” Brabb welcomed.

Details are available at Alta Vista Chamber of Commerce on Facebook, and at