Town Gets Tough

Dayton Event Returns For Second Year To Benefit Wounded Warriors

Posted: July 17, 2013

Dayton Muddler participants, such as Shay Kelley, will face challenges including carrying cinder blocks, navigating wooden obstacles and making their way through net-covered sand pits during the event to be held Aug. 3. (Photo by Justin Falls / DN-R File)
(Photo by Justin Falls / DN-R File)
(Photo by Justin Falls / DN-R File)

Designed by the British Special Forces, the Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile obstacle course intended to challenge one’s mental and physical stamina.

Participants run among pits of fire, swim through freezing water and traverse a field of electrified wires. Their pain is for a good cause, however, as the proceeds raised at Tough Mudder events benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

When Dayton’s Mayor Charles Long heard about the Tough Mudder, he was immediately inspired. Looking for a fun summertime event that would attract people to Dayton, he decided to create a lighter version of the hard-core obstacle course.

“I wanted to scale it back,” he explained, adding that he hoped a wider range of people would be able to participate, as opposed to only the extremely athletic.

With these thoughts in mind, he set about forming the Dayton Muddler, a 3.2-mile adventure course held in historical Dayton. Among the tasks to complete: crawling through mud pits, jumping hay bales and carrying cinder blocks through a creek.

Long, however, made sure that one aspect remained the same — the proceeds raised at the Dayton Muddler also benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

“I wanted to give back to all those who served our country,” said Long. “[They suffer] more than external wounds — they witness things we can’t even imagine.”

According to Long, the first Dayton Muddler — held last summer — was “overwhelmingly well-received” and even attracted out-of-state participants from areas such as Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“It was heart-warming,” he remarked. “You see how people are compelled and driven to get through something they wouldn’t normally do.”

One of those people was Kelly Pults, an employee at Rockingham Memorial Hospital’s Wellness Center. Pults, who had never done an obstacle course before, says she had “a lot of fun” participating last year on a team with her coworkers.

“It was much more fun than a typical 5k,” she said. “The obstacles made it go by faster.”

While Pults wasn’t daunted by crawling through mud pits or jumping over hay bales, she admits that the summer heat got a little intense.

“It was hot,” she recalled.

However, Pults says many Dayton residents were committed to helping the participants stay cool.
“The people in Dayton stood outside of their houses with their garden hoses to spray us,” she recalled.

“We really appreciated that!”

Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or

Want to participate?

When: Aug. 3

7 a.m. Registration/check-in at Wilbur Pence Middle School.

8 a.m. Individual competitions (15 and older).

9:30 a.m. Team competitions (minimum of four people).

11:30 a.m. Youth competitions (ages 10-15).

Cost: Entry fee is $40 per person; proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

To pre-register, visit

Pre-registration is not required.

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