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Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
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Mud run will raise money for charity that builds youth character

PLANT CITY - Mike Nelson calls the mud run he is promoting to help his charity the Godzilla of all mud races. Nelson, chief operating officer of The Youth Alliance, expects 1,500 competitors at the MudZilla Mud Run, which will be held May 18 on a Plant City ranch. His nonprofit group promotes character building for youngsters. The 3.4 mile course includes two dozen obstacles such as a mud pit, wall, cable walk and more. The race is designed to test balance, agility, strength and teamwork, Nelson said. Above all, the event will be a lot of fun for competitors and spectators, Nelson said.
Nelson, his brother Steve and son Scott, along with local builder and triathlon athlete Ken Winter, designed the course on land made available by Kimbel Wetherington at 1500 Prevatt Road. The property has natural barriers on it such as hills but the group added about $7,000 in obstacles, he said. Nelson said he has been thinking about sponsoring a mud run fundraiser for about two years and visited several courses to find out about what competitors like the best in a course. He also brought in members of a running club to critique the course. Registration is $79 per person. Teams get a 15 percent discount. Participants must be at least 12 years old. Runners, who will compete in age groups and skill level, will start on the course at 8:30 a.m., with more runners allowed to start at 30 minute intervals. Winners will be awarded trophies and all participants receive medallions. A costume contest for participants follows the race. There’s no charge for spectators although there’s a $5 per vehicle parking fee. Spectators are allowed to bring in food and beverages, including alcohol. Vendors will also sell food and drinks. Nelson hopes the event will raise at least $10,000 for The Youth Alliance, which puts on anti-bullying programs in schools, among other events that build character. For information or registration, go to www.mudzillarun.com or call Mike Nelson at (813 719-0244.

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