One Tough Mudder

Madison’s first Mud Run
to be hosted by the Lide White
Memorial Boys & Girls Club

Almost four years ago if you had asked Bettie Geer if she was interested in entering a 5K race dotted with obstacles she would have assumed you were joking. At that time, she weighed 130 pounds more than her current weight. Geer had a hard time completing a trip through the grocery store without sweating and leaning on the cart for support.

Bettie Geer

Photo by Jenny Youngblood

Bettie Geer stares down the wall she will have to climb at the inaugural Mud Run on September 13.

Those days are now in the distant past for the 45-year-old. She is preparing herself for Madison’s inaugural Madtown Mudder, to be held Sept. 13 at the Lide White Memorial Boys and Girls Club in Madison, Ind.
The club’s executive director, Ray Black Jr., said the event would be an opportunity to show the town of Madison off to visitors as well as raise some money for a good cause. The race is open to anyone over age 18. The course will begin at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St. Participants will follow the course through the town to the Heritage Trail, with an incline ranging from 6-16 percent. At 370 feet for ¾ of a mile, it’s a tough climb on its own. Throw in some hay hurdles, a tire maze, box jumps, a mountain of hay and tire flips?
No doubt about it, the Madtown Mudder is sizing up to be one of the toughest events of this type around. Participants may think that the race is almost over when they reach the top of the hill. But they will have to think again. Waiting for them at the Boys and Girls Club’s field is a daunting obstacle course including, among other things, a climbing wall, army crawl and monkey bars. Runners will be given the option to “buy out,” or opt out, of some of the obstacles for $10. The buyout money will go to the Madison Heritage Trail Conservancy.
Geer has entered races like this before. A veteran of the Rugged Maniac in Paoli, Ind., and the Dirty Girl Mud Run in Louisville, Ky., she has a confident attitude. There are obstacles included in the Madison event that she has not encountered in other races, such as the monkey bars. But she said she is looking forward to the challenge. She says the scenery offered at the Madtown Mudder is superior to the other races she has participated in and said that may help.
“It definitely seems to make the time go faster and the run a little easier.”
Geer said the drastic improvement in her fitness has enhanced her life immensely. She is now experiencing a stronger immune system, better mood and stamina, and, best of all, the ability to participate in sport activities with her children rather than simply watching them.
Fit for the King class instructor and friend, Tracy Hammond, says Geer is an inspiration to many. “She sets goals for herself and crushes them. That makes everyone around her want to challenge themselves as well.”
Chris Cammack, 42, has been training with a group of friends in order to prepare for the challenging race. He and D Hollihan, 28, have been undergoing some rigorous training under the supervision of former member of the U.S. Navy, David Vinup, 39. The trio exercise during their lunch break. Cammack said he has never entered a mud run before but says that coaching and playing softball with his children has kept him in shape.
Despite this level of ongoing activity, Cammack said his wife has expressed some concern. “She wants me to get permission from my doctor,” he said, laughing. Cammack said he is pleased that this event will offer two ways to help. He says the Boys & Girls Club and the Heritage Trail are great assets to the community. “It's gratifying to challenge yourself physically,” he says. “But it is also good to help out financially when you can.”
Black said that fun times await contestants at the end of the course. Live music by Eric Brunner, as well as food and drink vendors, are being provided in order to celebrate a job well done. One drink will be offered free of charge to all participants as well as a free T-shirt. Parking is available at either end of the course and a shuttle service will be provided. Interested parties can enter the Madtown Mudder for $50 at: www.MadtownMudRun.com.

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