Annual mud run set for Independence DayPublished 6:21pm Wednesday, June 25, 2014
PANTEGO — Mud will fly this Independence Day as contestants, vendors and spectators join for the Pantego Volunteer Fire Department’s 31st annual Mud Run.
The department’s Fire Chief Derrick Myers said the run, next door to Paul Service Center, 28224 Hwy 264 E in Belhaven, costs $10 for admission. Children seven years old and under are admitted free. Gates open at 9 a.m. the run starts at 1:30 p.m.
Myers said the run features four classes of races. Each class is separated by requirements and specifications and the top five winners will be recognized from each class. First-place winners get a trophy.
There is a 30-car cap for each class, Myers said. However, it’s a first come, first served system in which a driver whose car meets multiple class specifications can race in different classes if the 30-car cap has not yet been met when they sign up.
Myers said the run also features a number of vendors, including the nonprofit Angels N Camo as well as Kona-Ice, an ice-cream vendor that donates a percentage of its sales to the fire department.
Members of the department start preparation for the run well before July, Myers said.
“It’s very rewarding. We start by getting sponsors to cover the cost of putting the run on,” Myers said. “We have to get the hole ready and there’s stuff like getting the bleachers up and mowing grass that takes place.”
The 200-foot hole made for the mud run is a process, Myers said. The members have a hole in the ground they fill with topsoil, dirt and water. Those making the hole take a chisel plow and get it all mixed up and ready for the races. There is also a sand pit made on the other side of the hole to ensure no cars go past it, Myers said.
Announcers in the main booth commentate the race and three people time the cars by stopwatch. Timing lights on the track measure how fast each car is going, Myers said.
“Each class has a certain amount of feet they have to go,” Myers said. “We have the hole marked. When they run that day, we have two guys get out ther and measure how far the car goes.”
Myers said the run brings competitors from all over, including some from Virginia and South Carolina. Ponzer Volunteer Fire Department sells food like hot dogs, barbeque sandwiches, chips and drinks for the run.
“It takes all the manpower we have to put on the mud run,” Myers said. “So Ponzer helps us with the food. We do this every year to help run our department and maintain our equipment to continue helping our community and surrounding areas when they need us.”
For more information, contact the Pantego Volunteer Fire Department at PantegoVFD.com or on facebook at Pantego VFD.