Southborough duo create ‘Wicked Mud Run’
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Southborough – For Dan O’Rourke and Ray Thompson, creating the “Wicked Mud Run” was the perfect blend of business, competition, endurance and as they said, “a wicked lot of fun!”
O’Rourke is a former U.S. Marine and an Ironman triathlete. In 2007, after working 10 years in the corporate world, he became an entrepreneur, founding NRG bars (all-natural, energy bars that are made from real foods). Thompson has spent the bulk of his professional career working in high tech, combining his love of sports, media, and technology. He is a runner who, like O’Rourke, is striving for a healthier lifestyle.
Thompson and O’Rourke met through their respective spouses, Jen and Kristen, who have been good friends for years. An introduction on a Nantucket beach spawned a friendship which would, three years later, result in a business partnership – the creation of the Wicked Mud Run.
“Wicked Mud Run was an idea that Dan and I thought of while sitting on the beach in Nantucket,” said Thompson. “We were both interested in creating a cool, local New England- based obstacle course race that would grow to put on six to 10 events per year. We wanted to focus on a race which would combine mud runs, road races, and obstacle courses into one wicked fun event! Also, it was important for us to give back to the community. We decided early on that we would donate to three charities with the idea being that as our business grows, our ability to donate more and more to these causes would grow with it.”
A seasoned athlete, O’Rourke designed the Wicked Mud Run 5K as a timed obstacle course. The run will take athletes through sloppy mud, over walls and beams, through trees and trails and trenches full of water (and more mud), through a sandbag gauntlet and then more undisclosed hardcore barriers, he said.
According to the men, the Wicked Mud Run is designed to be fun and challenging and a chance to “switch it up” from the conventional 5K model. It is, they said, a race that anyone who runs road races can do and have fun doing it. Following the race, there will be live music, a barbecue, clam chowder and Cisco beer straight from Nantucket – all included in the registration price of $69.25.
While the race will be a for-profit event, a portion of the proceeds will go to three charities: Autism Speaks, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, and Big Nick’s Ride for the Fallen.
“I picked Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance and Autism Speaks because my niece, Jamie McAdoo, suffers from both,” said Thompson. “Watching my sister and her family raise her has been an inspiration to me and I wanted to help families like my sister’s and organizations that are looking for a cure. Dan picked Big Nick’s Ride for the Fallen because he is a former US Marine and this charity donates money to military families who live on the Cape and have lost loved ones.”
The first ever Wicked Mud Run will be held Saturday, June 22 at the Bolton Fairgrounds, Route 117, Lancaster. If everything goes as planned, said O’Rourke, it will become a monthly event (weather permitting).
To learn more about the Wicked Mud Run visit www.wickedmudrun.com
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