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Romp in the Swamp features fun for a good cause

PLANT CITY – The Oct. 12 Romp in the Swamp will offer a challenging course and – thanks to mud and man-made obstacles – the chance to have fun, organizers say.

About 800 to 1,000 runners are expected to take part in the 5K fundraiser for charity. Discount registrations are available through Oct. 11, and on-site registration will be offered.

Runners compete in waves starting at 9:20 a.m.

“It’s going to be an awesome run,” said Jana Butler, executive director of the South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation.

The inaugural Romp in the Swamp will benefit the foundation Butler heads and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

“We’re expecting to have a great time and lot of participation for a good cause,” Butler said.

The course will include 25 natural and man-made obstacles at the Lower Green Swamp Preserve, a county park formerly known as the Cone Ranch.

The obstacles Mother Nature will provide range from creeks to forests to mud holes. The man-made obstacles range from monkey bars to a treadmill-like contraption to a revolving tube, among others, Butler said.

Showers and a party with music and food await runners at the end of the trail.

The 5K race is for ages 14 and older and participants may run, walk or jog as they see fit. The participants will start in waves depending on their skill level. There will also be a wave for couples who want to get married or renew their vows with a notary public, who will be at the end of the course.

Children will compete on a 1-mile course in age groups of 5-8 and 9-13. The children’s runs cost $25.

Adults receive $45 off the $80 registration fee if they use the code TBL 2013 to register online by Oct. 11. On-site registration will be $80 per person.

Each Romp in the Swamp participant will receive a dri-blend shirt and finisher medal, and awards will be given for fastest times, best costumes and largest team.

Parking is $10 per car.

The county has been very accommodating in allowing use of the park, 3536 E. Knights-Griffin Road, Butler said.

“They’ve worked with us in so many ways to help make it all happen,” she said.

Orthopaedic Medical Group of Tampa Bay is the presenting sponsor.

For information, call (813) 757-1277 or go to www.rompintheswamp.org.

Twitter: @dnicholsonTrib

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