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Participants in the Defenders of Liberty Mud Run at Barksdale Air Force Base faced several obstacles on the course.
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Runners had the option to donate their muddy shoes to the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission.
As the sun set over Barksdale Air Force Base on May 30, cars navigated the gravel and dirt roads on their way to the Defenders of Liberty Mud Run. It rained most of that day. For any other race, that could spell disaster. But this was no ordinary race, and nature provided just what runners came for: a muddy course.
The Defenders of Liberty Mud Run course consisted of 15 challenging obstacles stretched out over more than three miles of wooded trails and swampy waters. About 600 participants signed up for the race. They were given the option to run on Friday night in the dark (headlamps were required) or run on Saturday morning.
For Jeffery Leach, it wasn’t even a question of which day to choose. He participated in last year’s mud run on Friday night and was hooked. The obstacle he was most excited to tackle this year was crossing the river via a single rope “bridge.”
His wife, Jaime, volunteered at last year’s event and cheered on her husband as he competed. This year, she was inspired to run alongside him.
“I’m looking forward to sliding down the water slide,” she said, referring to a hill covered by a large tarp with water continuously spraying down. Ethan Lowe, a first time participant, agreed.
The Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission designated a spot for all runners to donate their muddy shoes, and by noon on Saturday the pile of donated shoes was quite large. Both Jaime and Ethan planned on donating their shoes after the race.
There was a DJ playing popular songs on both race days, as well as a bonfire, to keep the crowd entertained; but perhaps the most entertaining of all was watching racers cross the finish line covered with mud from head to toe and smiling from ear to ear.
By Katie Roxberry