A mile full of muddy adventures lived up to runners' expectations at the Growing Great Kids Adventure Race at Kimmel Orchard on Saturday, Aug. 17.
The event drew 150-plus participants ranging from the young to the young at heart with runners of single-digit age ranges to grandmas and grandpas taking on mud and encountering obstacles.
This is the eighth year of the Growing Great Kids Adventure Race. In past years, the event had a one and a three mile course with runners taking on trails at Camp Catron and running through the creek there during the three mile event.
Creek conditions led to safety concerns and the three mile course was scratched for this year.
What this year’s course lacked in miles, it made up for in obstacles as Nebraska City High School junior Eric Poggemeyer provided course variations that kept the fun factor high for racers.
Poggemeyer provided obstacles for the course while fulfilling the project requirement to become an Eagle Scout.
The course featured obstacles including a 6-foot wall, a tire-inspired obstacle, a spider web of ropes and more. The mud pit was there of course, a five-foot wide and 20-foot long slog, but runners had the benefit of a cool off and clean up with a Slip-n-Slide style Redneck Water Slide.
Poggemeyer spent his Saturday helping runners navigate the sticky conditions of the mud pit, but said he heard that the other obstacles performed as he hoped they would.
That fact was the payoff for over 100 hours of planning and labor on the project as Poggemeyer and a team of helpers worked to create obstacles that could be used, not only this year, but for Adventure Races to come.
The project received support from Mead Lumber, which provided obstacle building materials.
Poggemeyer said he got some ideas for course obstacles from his aunt, Traci Reuter, an organizer of the event, but also said he had a lot of freedom in working to create imaginative obstacles.
Helping Poggemeyer was a team that included his mom and dad, his grandparents, his brother, his aunt, and others including Mason Hamilton, Gray Carpenter, Trey Purcell, Christian Tietz and Derek McCown.
As Poggemeyer's team worked toward their project goal, the work involved more planning than physical labor, but the tedium was rewarded in the end.
The team nature of Poggemeyer's work is a familiar theme for the event, which Traci Reuter said is made possible by a wide-ranging team of partners that includes Blum's Custom Frames and Engraving, Mike Kearney and the Ambassador Wellness Center, the Southeast Nebraska Health Department and CHI Health St. Mary's.
"We have a lot of partnerships," said Reuter.
The ultimate goal of all the coordination was to provide a family friendly event that inspires wellness. And that was definitely achieved.
Poggemeyer said he was glad to be part of it and glad that everybody enjoyed it. "Nobody got hurt. That was my main concern," said Poggemeyer.
Appropriately enough, Poggemeyer said he hopes to study engineering in college, although his ultimate college destination and specific focus of study in the topic are yet to be determined.