Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Not Your Grandma’s 5k
. . . .

Not Your Grandma’s 5k

Local race directors take on growing trend of obstacle course races

Erin Crowell - September 3rd, 2013  

Obstacle course races are surging in popularity across the country. Events ranging from three to a dozen miles take participants through mud, over barriers, under log beams and across the finish line with a sense of completing something more than just a running race.

One such event recently made headlines in Michigan.

Around 16,000 people participated in the Tough Mudder—a 12-mile obstacle course of ice water, walls and electric live wires that raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project—at the Michigan International Speedway this June. Hundreds of those people reported getting sick after the race, which officials later reported to be an outbreak of the Norovirus.

But that hasn’t deterred folks from participating in other Tough Mudder events throughout the country. Registration is already open for the Michigan race in 2014.

Yes, despite being chilled by ice water and exhausted by ascending wobbly cargo nets, athletes are loving obstacle course races. Two such races will be happening this September in Traverse City.


Athletes will test their mettle with the return of The King of the Mountain, a 5k obstacle course race set on the rolling terrain of Mt. Holiday, on Sept. 7.

Mettle, as described on the race website, is “A person’s ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way.”

Like the Tough Mudder, King of the Mountain is a military-themed race with a course designed by Navy and Air Force personnel. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Ryan Patrick Kennedy House, a new Post Traumatic Stress treatment facility in Traverse City.

“Every single branch of military will be there,” said race director, Matt Myers. “There will be sergeants out there yelling on the course to try and shake (participants) up.”

There are two participation race portions: recon and lone warriors.

“Recon teams consist of four members, male or female or both, who compete against other teams. We encourage them to wear uniforms, and you’ll probably see a lot of costumes,” Myers laughed. “The event is not totally serious. It’s going to be fun.”

Myers, who along with sons Matt and Keegan Myers organize the annual M22 Challenge in Glen Arbor, was brought on by the folks at Mt. Holiday to run the third annual King of the Mountain.

“They told me about their event and thought I’d be perfect to help them out,” Myers said before adding with a laugh, “I guess I fooled them.”

Although the course is designed to be challenging, Myers wanted to make sure it was designed so that everyone could finish. Otherwise, participants can expect a genuine boot camp atmosphere.

“Mt. Holiday is going to look like a military installation. There will be flags everywhere, big SUVs and machines parked here and there. And as long as the wind isn’t blowing, I think we’ll have smoke to help ‘confuse’ racers.”


Aside from testing their physical prowess, King of the Mountain is designed to test one’s mental mettle.

“We’ll have mind game stations along the course, questions that pretty much everyone knows but they make you stop and think for a minute,” said Myers. “There will also be problem solving stations, like using limited tools to stop a leak on a set of water pipes… or throwing a grenade—which is a water balloon—through an open window.”

One of the course highlights is a 120-foot-long sheet of plastic going down the mountain. Participants must try to aim themselves to grab a red flag from a “medic” located halfway down the hill, to give to their comrades at the bottom.

And if they miss? “You’ve gotta run back up and give it another try,” Myers smiled.

Half the course is viewable from the deck of Mt. Holiday’s lodge, and the race will include a kids’ course option. Post party events include a beer tent with live music, with proceeds benefiting the non-profit ski hill.

If you’re into country music, race participants also get free entry to the Chris Cagle concert at Streeters Ground Zero later that evening (a $30 value). The King of the Mountain starts at noon. For more info on how to register, visit imkingofthemountain.com.


When the 2,500 to 3,000 participants of the annual Traverse City Turkey Trot were surveyed last year on whether they would be interested in a mud run format race, the answer was clear.

“It was overwhelmingly positive,” said Brian Hagerty of UpNorth Media, the host sponsor of the Turkey Trot. “Couple that with the property owner at Timber Ridge Resort was looking at hosting a race, and it just fit.”

UpNorth Media and Byte Productions presents the Here’s Mud in Your Eye 5K at Timber Ridge Resort on Sept. 14, with a portion of proceeds to benefit Michael’s House and the March of Dimes.

“The course is designed to be the most rugged that registrants have ever seen, however all obstacles can be made optional,” said Hagerty.

The Mud in Your Eye course design included help by fitness experts, military fitness course experts and past Spartan Race designers (with events throughout the world).

Not sure if you’re ready? No problem. “When you sign up for the race, you get free membership to train with people who know the course at Fit for You, up until the race,” said Hagerty.


Otherwise, the format for the course remains a mystery.

“The idea is to have a fair amount of confidentiality,” he said.

In other words, the best way to know what the course will be like is to just sign up and do it.

The race, which is geared for ages 18 & older, will include a 21 & older post party with beverages on site.

The first 100 registrants will receive a commemorative logo beach towel. But hurry, time is running out.

Registration is already close to 100, said Hagerty; however towels will be available for purchase at $15.

When asked why he believes the race community has jumped on the obstacle course bandwagon, Hagerty said it’s a matter of switching things up.

“There is and has been a number of races that don’t have any texture. That’s why we’re seeing color runs pop up, disco themes, prom date themes… there are night races with illumination; and I think the general public is interested in a little variety than the traditional 5k.”

Expect such variety when Timber Ridge Resort hosts the first ever Here’s Mud in Your Eye 5K on Saturday, Sept. 14, starting at noon. For more info, visit events.bytepro.net/ HeresMudinYourEye5K.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5