PINCKNEY, Mich. — Just days after health officials confirmed a Tough Mudder race in mid-Michigan caused more than 200 people to get sick, challenge seekers didn’t let that stop them from getting dirty in a similar kind of race.
Saturday racers swam, slid and sloshed through more than three miles of whatever Mother Nature could throw their way.
“Varied terrain, mud, water, ice slides, lots of military style obstacles and that type of thing,” said Dave Massey, President of Hell Survivors.
Run Through Hell in Pinckney is an event, like many extreme challenge courses, gaining massive popularity.
Avid extreme racers, Traci Felta and Donna Walton, said the mud and obstacles keep them coming back.
Those obstacles are similar to those at a Tough Mudder race at the Michigan International Speedway back in June, where more than 200 people contracted the norovirus.
Despite the health concerns, racers said there’s nothing that can stop them from running in the water, ice and even the mud.
“It’s not a concern at all,” said racer Jake Hincka. “I’ve done worse.”
According to the associate emergency medical director at Sparrow Hospital, injury and infections do increase with this style run. However, he said people can contract illnesses, like norovirus, anywhere, adding that the Tough Mudder outbreak was extremely unusual.
At today’s Run Through Hell in Pinckney, Massey wasn’t worried because he said they took proper precautions.
“We run a pretty clean ship out here,” Massey said. “We start them off in icy, soapy water to start out. So, they get a bath before they start.”
Conditions that give thrill seekers as much comfort as possible on the course.
“I’d earned this dirt,” said racer Rob Horn.
Saturday’s Race Through Hell in Pinckney raised money for the Arthritis Foundation. For more information on the organization, visit its website.