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Holiday Valley Mudslide returns for 8th year June 15

Holiday Valley Resort will host the eighth annual Mudslide Obstacle Race on Saturday, June 15.

This off-road run takes place on the Holiday Valley ski trails where up to 1,000 runners will navigate 11 obstacles along the very muddy 3.5-mile or 5.4-mile courses.

The number one goal of the event is to have fun, and people of all ages and fitness levels are encouraged to join in.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Jim Kelly’s Hunter’s Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to giving hope through education and awareness, research and family care for Krabbe, Leukodystrophies and Newborn Screening.

Race packet pickup is at the Yodeler Lodge on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. or Saturday morning from 7 to 10 a.m. The event will start at 10 at Spruce Lake at the top of Holiday Valley’s mountain. A ride to the start on the Spruce Lake chairlift is included in the entry fee. Spectators may ride up the lift for $10.

The 3.5-mile course travels east across the cross country trails to the top of Eagle, down Woodpecker and Fiddler’s Elbow to Morning Star then through the woods and across Mardi Gras, down Holiday Run to Edelweiss to the finish at the Training Center. The short course elevation has a downhill drop of 600 feet and includes 11 obstacles.

The 5.4-mile course adds three more obstacles and a loop from Eagle across to the woods behind Cindy’s, down Bear Cub to the Wall and then a challenging uphill where it joins back into the short course.

Several new obstacles have been built, but probably the most unique is the snow mountain on Firecracker. At the end of the ski season, the mountain crew pushed up the remaining snow on Firecracker into a huge mound, then carefully insulated and covered it to preserve it all the way to June 15 — the cold weather has helped. Runners will have to scramble up one side of the pile then slide down the other side before continuing on to the finish.

Some of the more unique obstacles include a maze, “lily pads” in Spruce Lake, spinning tubes over a giant mud puddle, enormous amounts of bubbles and, the final challenge, a giant mudslide down lower Yodeler. Stay tuned for a possible “snow” feature, weather permitting.

Medals are awarded to all finishers. Unique handmade trophies will be awarded at the post race party at the Yodeler Lodge to the three fastest men and women in each race, as well as the most creative costumes.

Ellicottville’s City Garage Ski Shop will provide free demos of Salomon Speedcross trail shoes and will award the fastest man and woman on the long course with a pair of Salomon trail shoes.

Adventure Bound on the Fly is providing prizes for the fastest man and woman in the short course. Several additional local merchants have signed up as prize sponsors and will have tents set up in the Vendor Village.

If the Mudslide intrigues you but you don’t want to run, how about volunteering? There are lots of different jobs available. Email Jake Swan, jswan@holidayvalley.com or call him at 699-3932 to sign up.

The post-race party is held at the Yodeler Lodge where competitors receive a pulled pork sandwich or hot dog and two beers (or water). DJ Tyler Burns keeps the music pumping and there’s an atmosphere of after-run euphoria and fun times for all.

Online registration is currently $60 at holidayvalley.com/mudslide for the 3.5- or the 5.4-mile run and $10 for the kids’ run (up to age 12). There’s also a special local’s discount of $15 off. Go to holidayvalley.com/mudslide and click on registration. Enter “local” in the promo code box.

The registration fee goes up to $65 on June 10 and day-of-race registration is $70, available until 10 a.m. at the Yodeler Lodge. All competitors will receive a goody bag and a super cool finisher’s medal.

Following the post party, all Mudslide participants are encouraged to visit Ellicottville to use the coupons from local businesses that are included in competitor goody bags. Special lodging packages including Mudslide entry fees are available at the Inn at Holiday Valley, the Tamarack Club and Holiday Valley Rental Management Properties.

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