July 20 mud run in Vincent

Things are about to get down and dirty in Vincent.

A property in Vincent just west of the Barlow Fairgrounds will be home to the Ohio Valley Mud Run on a six-mile, 27-obstacle course. The July 20 event is expected to draw competitors from as far away as Richmond, Va., and across Ohio.

Not only will Dr. Michael McCutcheon participate in the event, he will be a sponsor, too.

The Barlow dentist said he will run the 5K race.

“Personally, I just wanted to test my own fitness,” said McCutcheon, 45. “I’m just looking to survive. I am not looking to break any records. I want to prove to myself I can handle an obstacle course.”

Todd Offenberger, 49, of Vienna, W.Va., and John Alfred, 49, of Barlow, formed a partnership, T &J Adventures, to stage this and other mud runs in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The partnership developed out of a conversation between Alfred’s wife, Kathi, and Offenberger, during session at the former Dynamic Fitness in Park Shopping Center in Parkersburg, where Offenberger was a trainer.

Spectators will be charged $10 per person to watch the event, or $20 at the gate. They will be able to see up to eight obstacles without going up on the hill of the property, Alfred said. By design, the main obstacles – and more difficult ones – will be at the bottom for people to see.

Offenberger said events such as the one scheduled for Barlow could attract up to 15,000 people.

“It’s a fun way to challenge yourself … if you have a goal to work toward,” he said.

Alfred has been working on the course design and the obstacles for the course, including an 8-foot tall, 24-foot wide challenge wall at the end of both the 5K and 10K courses and a 15-foot tall A-frame ladder obstacle runners will have to scale.

Also included on the courses are rope swings, a creek run, water slide, balance log, mud crawl, tire hazard and Dumpster dive, in which participants will swim through ice water.

Runs will start at 7:15 a.m. July 20 and every 15 minutes after that through 4:45 p.m. Awards will begin 30 minutes after the last race begins.

“We are trying to reach everyone’s limitation,” Alfred said. “It’s designed to push you beyond what you can do. People see this as a bucket list (item).”

He said he has a pair of 60-something sisters registered to run the course.

Alfred said he originally designed some of the obstacles to have smoke, fire and electricity. However, the California-based insurer covering the event balked at the idea, and he and Offenberger were forced to meet the insurer’s guidelines.