September 5, 2012
Competitors in the inaugural Western Mudd Rush held recently have dubbed the icy, injury-inducing conditions part of the reason more than 6500 people chose to get down and dirty.
F**k off Hill and the adult sized Slippery Dip were two of 18 obstacles in the eight kilometre course, with many participants walking away with broken bones and torn muscles.
Emma Winters, a nurse by profession, from team ‘Code Brown’, saw some of the injuries take place.
“We saw a girl break her arm badly from falling from the top of a rope ladder…,” Ms Winters said.
“About four people broke their wrist in the monkey bar [part of the course], but the odds weren’t as bad as it sounds considering there were 6500 people doing it.”
David Olivieri, one quarter of team ‘Curtin Saints American Football Club’ said the danger of the obstacles was what made the day fun.
“Anything over-policed or too safe and careful isn’t fun, and you don’t get the ‘rush’,” Mr Olivieri said.
Sister and teammate Gina Olivieri agreed that doing something a bit dangerous was all part of the thrill for competitors whose lives are often so sanitised and ‘safe’.
“I sometimes wonder if we’re losing our instincts to keep ourselves alive and unharmed, because we don’t have to worry about danger on a daily basis,” Ms Olivieri said.
“You feel a whole new level of ‘alive’ when your senses are sharpened to deal with danger.”
Teams of up to 60 people tackled the obstacle course at the State Equestrian Centre at Brigadoon.
Meanwhile, spectators and competitors listened to live bands, DJs and enjoyed complimentary beers courtesy of event sponsor Feral Brewery.
Prizes were awarded for competitors in fancy dress, including: best-dressed bride and groom, best-dressed male as female, best-dressed team and best team chant.
Mr Olivieri cited teamwork both among and between teams as a key part of the day.
“It was required for a couple of the obstacles,” he said.
“The fact that it wasn’t timed meant people weren’t so keen on beating one another.”
For Ms Olivieri, there was yet another drawcard to the event.
“I remember reading once about Roller Derby and how it makes women appreciate and value their bodies for what they can do, rather than how they look,” she said.
“Perhaps Mudd Rush does something similar.
“It doesn’t matter how my body looks as long as it can get me over that wall.”
Entries are already open for the 2013 Western Mudd Rush.
Photos: Caitlin Choveaux
This story was written and produced by the team at Western Independent.