“It is a lot of fun, and there’s a great feeling of camaraderie among the members of the Muddy Runners,” says historian David Hsiung. Everyone cheered for each other when watching their fellow runners cross the finish line. Ryan Mull ’17, of Fairfax, Va., created a slogan for his team at the race, “Come for the running—stay for the camaraderie!” and the other runners agreed that this embodied who they are.
Historian David Sowell provided background on the race and its connection to Juniata. Members from the college started running in this race in 2002, when the teams were made up of only faculty. Throughout the years, the teams started running with local residents of the Huntingdon community. In 2011, Juniata students also joined in. The amount of students, faculty, staff and community members have grown each year.
Four teams represented Juniata, comprised of first-timers and returners. Three of Juniata’s teams were called, “the Muddy Runners.” There were 66 teams overall in the race, divided into different categories. In the Mixed Open Relay for seven- and eight-person teams, Muddy Runners Team A came in second place, and Muddy Runners Team C came in fourth. In the Men’s Open Relay for seven- and eight-person teams, Muddy Runners Team B took fifth. The Juniata team called, “Two Amazons and a Spartan,” came in fifth in their Mixed Open Relay tri/quad group. “We exceeded our goals, so we’re happy about that,” Mull says.
There were different approaches when preparing for the grueling race. “Some of the people came and ran part of the trail here to get a sense of what it was all about,” shares Erin Paschal, director of student engagement. They also practiced running hills. During the race, a member of the team ran while the other members rode in vans to the next leg to greet the runner. When one runner reached the end of a leg, they handed off a baton to the next runner.
“The vans were stopped, checking on how the other teams were doing and when they finally left, Nick had gotten to the finish line. He was there to greet the van, but it is usually the other way around”Erin Paschal, director of student engagement
Nick Terz ’17, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., ran the last leg of the race for Muddy Runners Team A. “The vans were stopped, checking on how the other teams were doing and when they finally left, Nick had gotten to the finish line. He was there to greet the van, but it is usually the other way around,” adds Paschal.