The Worldwide Tough Mudder Community has grown to over 3 million adults who have stepped outside their comfort zone and back into the joy of running through the mud. But why should grown-ups have all the dirty fun?
Well, if you’ve been looking for a kids mud run and wishing there was a pint-sized version of Tough Mudder—a kids’ Tough Mudder, if you will—we’ve got good news: Mini Mudder is back. Designed for kids ages 7-12, Mini Mudder is a 1-mile, 8-obstacle event that that we’re putting on in collaboration with Nickelodeon—and it lets kids experience teamwork and adventure all while getting really, really muddy.
Need more convincing? Check out these four reasons why you should sign up your kids for a Mini Mudder—and make obstacle course racing a family affair.
1. They’ll get in touch with nature. Literally.
I have run with my kids on a number of occasions, both in our backyard of Kauai and in organized kids mud runs. Every time, their aim was to get as muddy as possible. For kids, getting muddy means exploring a world that’s new and exciting. The feelings of rebelliousness and freedom are too good to deny. And that’s a good thing: Our kids need to feel and touch nature—and they’ll definitely do that than at a Mini Mudder.
2. They’ll learn that teamwork makes the dream work.
“Play nice. Play Fair.” That motto has slipped from my lips a million times as I send my kids out to play. Mini Mudder events offer kids the ability to work together to overcome obstacles—and I’m not just talking about kids helping each other get over Mini Everest. Memorable moments happen each event when I see kids simply get their shoes stuck in the mud and how they band together to get it out. They devise a plan, try it, sometimes fail and fall in the mud… but always come away with some good laughs and problem solving skills refined. Obstacle courses and mud runs are truly a life lesson that every parent should give to their kids.
3. It’s fitness disguised as fun.
As a coach and movement scientist, I’m partial to obstacle course races. The level of athleticism it takes to be good at all the obstacles and tricky terrain is so high. Obstacle courses require strength, power, agility, and endurance. Given the fact that recess and physical education are disappearing in many schools, a kids obstacle course event is a great way for kids to attain those physical skills. But just as important: They’re fun.
4. They’ll learn about commitment and accomplishment.
When they decide they want sign up for a kids obstacle course event, your littles are essentially making a very grown-up commitment. After all, no one else can do the work necessary to get them across the finish line. (With my own kids, we sit down and map out a plan for success after the commitment to a kids mud run has been made.)
Setting goals and working towards something is proven to increase independent action and thought—a good thing for growing kids. For parents, this offers an opportunity for dialogue and mentorship along the way, which is always important. And as proud as you’ll be when they finish, the sense of accomplishment they’ll feel when they achieve their goal will be unmatched.