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Iron wills, muddy feet

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

There were faster runners, but nobody had more fun than the “Cathletes” from Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church at the second annual Warrior Mud Run Saturday morning at Waccamaw High School.

Twelve women from the church divided into three teams to run the 5-K obstacle course and benefit the Waccamaw High School Athletic Booster Club.

“There’s something about being in the mud,” said Becky Fico, one of the Cathletes. “It’s both exhilarating and cleansing at the same time. It makes you feel young. All the girls just loved it.”

Fico said running as four-person teams made the event more enjoyable even though the course was harder this year. “Helping each other makes all the difference,” she said. “It’s more bearable when you have each other to help push you over the walls and cheer you on.”

Jackson Stacy, who ran the fastest individual time last year, ran with former teammates from the Waccamaw High cross country team Blake Marsh and Robert and Perrin Jones. The friends ran for fun this time and crossed the finish line proclaiming “You Are A Warrior!” in 38:01.

Jones said his father, event organizer Robby Jones, promised stickier mud this year. He delivered with the help of a heavy rain on Friday afternoon. “I’m learning that you don’t want to put too much water because they become pools,” he said. “Every year you learn a little more about making mud. It was better this year, but I know what to do next year. “

Robert Jones, a Waccamaw graduate and student at Clemson, said the course was a little tougher this year with the improved mud and added features. The course had 34 obstacles, including a number of new climbing walls and some sports challenges. Exhausted runners had to kick a soccer ball into a goal before they could finish. If they missed the goal, they had to retrieve the ball and try again.

“Really tough,” said all-state cross country and track and field runner Amelia Jones. She ran as part of a team last year and got help with the heavy tires and the pull-ups. “I am so tired,” she said at the finish.

Kristen Sousa, who works in rehab at Waccamaw Community Hospital, ran with David Nelson of HealthPoint. The tires, they agreed, were the toughest challenge.

Their boss, Tidelands Health CEO Bruce Bailey, ran the course too and liked the concept of a health and fitness event to raise money for the booster club.

Another difficult point, said Jerry Butler of Charleston, was carrying 30-pound sandbags up and down the football stadium’s steps just as he thought he was getting near the finish. “Yeah,” Robby Jones said, “coming into the stadium, that was cruel.”

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