Mud Run to see thousands of families descend on Riverhead

Dean Del Prete, Survival Race, Long Island
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Survival Race creator Dean Del Prete at the recently installed mud pit Friday, the day before the big Mud Race.

Ready to get your mud game on?

Survival Race creator Dean Del Prete is holding the first-ever event of its kind on Long Island Saturday in Riverhead, called The Survival Race 5K Mud Run.

And he’s expecting some 5,000 people to arrive to town for the family friendly event.

The event is being held at the Dorothy P. Flint 4-H camp on Sound Avenue.


Mr. Del Prete is leasing the camp for the weekend and the 5K race with obstacle courses starts at 9 a.m., with continuing waves of racers heading out every half hour. The last wave heads out at  3 p.m., he said.

Each wave will have 350 participants and it should take anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour to finish the course.

Some people even walk it.

Obstacles include a cargo net, swamp swing, pipe crawl and mud pits.

Mr. Del Prete ran four different survival race events last year in Dallas, upstate New York and South Jersey.

Mr. Del Prete also runs Cousins Paintball, which he recently relocated to  a 24-acre site in Calverton.

It had run out of Medford for 20 years.

Every race has a charitable component, he said, and this one will give the 4-H Camp $1 for every participant. The 4-H camp is run by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County.

For every two racers, the event can attract one spectator, so he is expecting around 4500 people Saturday.

Riverhead Police will be on duty on Sound Avenue to monitor traffic and Mr. Del Prete is donating $500 to the Riverhead Ambulance Corp to have volunteers on site for the day.

Police said they do not expect any road closures Saturday.

On the entertainment side, the band ‘New Life Crisis’ will be performing and there will be food, vendors and a Port Jeff Brewery beer truck. Greg Allen of East Setauket’s “Visionary Adventure” will be operating a separate height-challenge course with rock climbing and a zip line for an additional fee. Specially trained facilitators to help people with height issues, he said.

When asked why he created the Survival Race, Mr. Del Prete said: “Its just real fun and really powerful things happen to you. It brings you back to who you were when you were a kid and could play in the mud. It is that simple and it’s really social too.”

There will be shower facilities on hand for racers, he noted.

There are not contest winners, though everyone who completes the event will get a Survivor Race medallion, which are like dog tags.

Mr. Del Prete said that the racers feel a great sense of accomplishment when they’re done.

At one event he saw a woman collapse in her husband’s arm and whisper in his ear “I’m so proud of myself.” He said it gave him chills.

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