By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Registration is under way for Mississippi Mud Mania, the Quincy Family YMCA's first foray into the fledgling nationwide craze of long, muddy obstacle course competitions.
The June 8 event will be a 5K challenge similar to the Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash challenges in other areas of the country.
"One of the big focuses of this competition will be competition among teams, which may be family members or co-workers," said Mark Spiegelhoff, chief executive officer of the Quincy Family YMCA Association. "We're also developing a division for local service clubs, with a traveling trophy going to the organization that does the best each year."
Proceeds from Mud Mania will help support a variety of youth development programs at the YMCA.
Registration through March 31 is $45, with the cost increasing to $60 from April 1 to May 17. The cost from May 18 through race day is $75.
Mud Mania will be headquartered at Driftwood Campgrounds, 2300 Bonansinga Drive, but much of the competition also will include nearby bluff areas.
"This will be a unique event for this region," Spiegelhoff said. "We're expecting this to be not only popular among local competitors but also from across the region. This is something we are sure that will grow with time.
"We're in this for the long haul and are looking forward to watching it grow. We look at this as not only an adult fitness event, but something that will be a lot of fun for both participants and spectators."
Spiegelhoff said organizers are expecting between 500 and 1,000 participants this year.
Helping sponsor the inaugural Mud Mania are the campgrounds, Knapheide and Titan Wheel. Sponsorships also are available for each of the 25 obstacles for $500 apiece or co-sponsorships for $250.
Anyone interested in finding out more about sponsorships should contact YMCA Director of Development Amy Adair at (217) 222-9622.
The Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash competitions started in 2010. Both now have between 15 and 35 sanctioned events across the United States. No official attendance figures were available for the Tough Mudder challenges, but Warrior Dash organizers listed their average attendance has grown to about 13,000. Most of the competitions are held in rural areas.
"This should also be a boon for local businesses, hotels and restaurants," Spiegelhoff said. "There should be a lot of out-of-town visitors for this."