A recent article by the Asbury Park Press:
LAKEWOOD— Some ran through bravely, with their teeth clenched and their arms outstretched. Others opted to crawl, digging their bodies into the muddy water.
Either way, it was hard to avoid the dangling live electrical wires at the “Lightning Shocker,” one of several obstacles thrown at those who competed in the first MudManX event in Lakewood on Sunday.
“If you’re going to crawl, put that face in the dirt!” barked U.S. Army Sgt. Theodore Berry at a participant, before turning to an observer. “This is a lot of fun.”
Hundreds of people ran through mud pits, crawled through drainage pipes and endured hurricane-force winds during the race, held on a muddy course outside First Energy Park.
The theme of the race was overcoming the challenges presented by earth, wind, fire and water, said Jason Heleotis, a Neptune resident who heads MudManX.
“It’s all about conquering the elements,” Heleotis said. “We want to take you back to when man had to battle the elements to survive.”
The race proved attractive to people of various backgrounds and age groups.
For example, a group of fit police officers from Mount Holly ran together, wearing matching T-shirts that read “Muck City Pigs.”
“You don’t have to be super macho and in shape to do this race,” said Clifford Spencer, one of the Pigs. “All kinds of people can do it.”
Also in the race was 62-year-old Marcy Seymour, who received cheers of encouragement from other participants and onlookers as she trudged through the mud.
“I surprised myself in my ability to complete the course,” said Seymour, a Toms River resident who ran with Team Leddhead. “Because you’re in a group, I figured that if I got stuck somewhere, someone would drag me out.”
Every 30 minutes, approximately 150 participants took on the course, which featured obstacles such as “King of the Mud Swing,” “Kamikaze Crossing” and “Blizzard Beach.”
But afterward, many of those who endured the race were chattering about “Lightning Shocker,” which produced electric shocks that were audible to onlookers.
“I was doing good and then one got me and I just buckled,” said Dan Leeman, who chided his teammate, Amy Lane, for trying to crawl below the wires. Both are from Bayville.
As he enjoyed a beer after the competition, Andrew Tabussi thought back to a moment in the race when he had to move forward on his hands and knees.
“I never thought I would crawl through a drainage basin in Lakewood,” said Tabussi, of Manchester. “I would do it again.”