BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Runners navigate the muddy Survival Race course at the 4-H Camp.
More than 3,000 runners participated in the first-ever Survival Race 5K mud run to take place at the 4-H Camp in Riverhead Saturday.
One event staffer said it was the largest number of participants in two years of running the race in various locations.
“It was good,” said William Waller of East Patchogue, who ran the race with his wife, Michelle, and friends. “I would do it again, but I would like the mud pit to be longer.”
Mr. Waller said his crew ran the race to raise money for Children’s Heart Foundation of New York City.
The 5K mud run course was created by Dean Del Prete of Westhampton, also owner of Cousins Paintball in Calverton.
“This is crazy,” Mr. Del Prete said Saturday morning. “I love watching people have fun. It’s a great way to make a living.”
In the first wave of the day, Dan Broadbent of Center Moriches came in at 26:08 and the first female was Amanda McDonnell with a time of 31 minutes.
But the races were more about having fun and getting muddy than they were about results.
One participant yelled “don’t you realize this is gross,” as she hit the mud pit, which was near the finish line.
After cleaning himself off in a puddle and under the spray of an irrigation pipe, Justin Deiter, 29, of Babylon said, “It was fun. I do tough mudder races all over the world. They are a bit more involved, since they were created by the military.”
The last event Survival Race, held in Dallas, had 1,700 participants. The next race is in Toledo, Ohio on Sept. 29.
Despite the high volume of participants, there were no traffic problems reported on Sound Avenue. Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corp EMT Tommy Cappiello said there were only minor injuries, mostly bee stings.