Prairie Sludge Trudge is a Muddy Fundraiser for Stuhr

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- The Stuhr Museum in Grand Island hosted over 500 runners competing in a 5K and 10K through mud, water, and hay in the 3rd annual Prairie Sludge Trudge.

The races included jumping over hay bales, running through the Wood River, and much more, all culminating at a climb up a large mud pile. And all this was to raise money for the museum.

"We make a profit off this, it goes to our education programs and everything else that we do out here so it's one of those things where in order to get in front of people of Hall County and in order to be relevant, we have to change what we do every now and then and this is that sort of thing," said Stuhr Museum Marketing Director Mike Bockoven.

Many runners had been to Stuhr before, but this trip definitely stood out.

Grand Island resident Chelsey Liefs said, " It's the dirtiest time I've been here, but it's fun! "

The unique race brings returning and new runners every year to the over 200 aces of land the museum owns.

"It's just kind of been a tradition we've always done and it's one of the funnest races we do," said 13-year old Levi Hesman of Grand Island.

10K winner Spencer Schenk of Ainsworth added, "A few of my buddies right around here were going to come out and run it so I just thought it would be a good time and pretty close to home, relatively speaking, it's 3 hours, so it just seemed like a good course and something easy to do."

And each participant had at least 1 part they deemed their favorite.

"It was this mudhill right here," said Hesman pointing behind himself.

Liefs said, "I think running through the river because it was refreshing after the long race."

"The 2nd lap was pretty fun, after being familier with the course and kind of knowing where to go," said Schenk. "The hay bails are good, the wire crawl underneath was probably the most challenging because it was right on the ground so that was pretty good."

Bockoven said, "My favorite part about this is just the diversity that you're going to get. You see families, you see people who aren't necessarily runners, you see hardcore runners, you see just lots of different people."

Bockoven said he can't guarantee the Sludge Trudge will continue far into the future, but as of Saturday, next year's race is for sure.