The Bedlam Mud Run, a nonprofit event established to raise awareness of childhood obesity, will take place for the first time this year. Hosted by Lemon Tree Nutrition Lounge and Helo Oklahoma, it steps off Saturday at Guthrie’s Lazy E Arena, with a one-mile course for kids and a 5K course for adults, each including such obstacles as climbing walls, hay bales and mud pits.
Ben Cordle, event creator and Lemon Tree owner, envisioned the Bedlam Mud Run more than a year ago. His inspiration was the Warrior Dash, a for-profit running series with similar characteristics.
He said the main goal for the mud run, which he hopes will become an annual event, is to raise enough money to fund projects in Oklahoma that fight childhood obesity and provide good nutrition to underprivileged kids. He and other organizers said they plan to use the money to purchase nutritional products — the same ones found in Cordle’s store — for children in need.
“Because obesity and childhood obesity tends to follow poverty lines, we’re going to work with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to donate all these products to families,” he said.
In addition, they plan to have community outreach classes in which low-income families can learn about these products and the importance of nutrition.
Mason Carter, who at just 12 years old has lost 85 pounds to fight prob lems with obesity, will be involved with Saturday’s run.
“We’re going to make him the ‘spokeskid’ of the event for the kids’ race, and we’re just trying to promote him as much as possible because he’s doing really good things,” Cordle said.
Carter has started an organization, Strive for 85, a name that references the weight he lost. He said he wants to raise awareness of childhood obesity, which he said is a significant health concern in Oklahoma.
“I think it’s probably a big problem because a lot of kids don’t see how physical or active they really need to be,” Carter said.
He mentioned that events like the Bedlam Mud Run encourage parental involvement.
“I think it can help a lot if the parents get involved with more physical activity, because usually children take after their parents,” Carter said.
The event also will include live music and refreshments. Registration can be completed up until the day of the run, and spectators are welcome.
Cordle said he thinks events like this can have a long-term impact.
“The biggest thing is if we can change the minds of kids today,” he said. “Ten years from now, when they’re adults, then this problem might be on the decline.”
Bedlam Mud Run organizers announced late in the day on April 11 that the event will be postponed to late summer or early fall. An exact date has not yet been determined.