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Stephen Lynch of Dumfries, Virginia and Christine Hanke of Arlington, Virginia are all smiles coming out of the steep mud pit at the end of the course.

Photo by Valerie O’Berry

Mud, obstacles make Run Amuck fun for everyone

16 Jun 2016 | Valerie O’Berry Marine Corps Base Quantico

Good, muddy fun was had by all at the 9th running of Run Amuck, put on by the Marine Corps Marathon June 4 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Run Amuck is a fun race through the steep hills and trails of the base, which are booby-trapped with 28 fun obstacles and the crowd favorite -- lots of mud -- from mud pits to mud crawls over and through muddy trenches -- there is something for everyone.

The race was started in 2008 and is part of the MCM Event Series, which includes the Historic Half/ Semper 5ive, Quantico Tri/Quantico 12K and the Turkey Trot. Those who participate in all the events in the series get a Distinguished Participant Award, which is presented in conjunction with VA Runner and is given after the Turkey Trot 10K.

All of the runners in the Run Amuck race said the same thing when asked why they participate: Because it’s fun. And, some participants even dressed up in costume for the occasion. For example, Laverne Beck, Rhonda Jeffers and Debra Boddie from Woodbridge, Virginia all dressed up in pig costumes, complete with pig snouts, pink leotards and pink tutus.

“You’ve got to look cute out there too,” said Boddie about the tutus. She said she and her friends dressed up like pigs because it was appropriate for wallowing in the mud, which is a big part of Run Amuck.

Families also run the course together and runners as young as 8 years old participate in the fun. Marine Lt. Col. Michael Russ, TECOM and his wife Vicki started running with their two kids three years ago.

“It’s fun,” said Vicki about running the race as a family. “It’s a love-hate relationship with me, every year I tell myself I’m not going to do it again, yet here I am.”

“It’s something we can do together. It’s a fun, physical activity, so you get some exercise,” said Lt. Col. Russ.

Among the 28 obstacles tackled in Run Amuck by participants are the A-frame climb, narrow tunnel crawl, tire dash, cargo lift, log jam, money bars and cargo nets and spider web ropes. However, perhaps the hardest part of the course is the final obstacle, a deep mud pit with a steep hill participants have to climb, which is slippery and muddy. People running the race have to negotiate this obstacle when they are the most tired. In the end, though, runners were rewarded with a water blast so they could clean up and cool off, courtesy of the Quantico Fire Department.

In addition to obstacles on the 4- mile Run Amuck and the 2-mile Mini Run Amuck courses, there are physical training exercises to complete along the way. Participants are asked to do jumping jacks, crunches and pushups, for example, and the courses are staffed with Marines who ensure that everyone does the required PT.

For more information on upcoming Marine Corps Marathon events, visit

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