As the weather warms up and athletic events move outdoors, so begins the season for marathons, dashes, and road races. Here’s the inside scoop on upcoming USM races, muddy obstacle courses, 10k road races and the toughest challenge of all.

USM starts the running season with two organized events; the Husky Dash 5k and the Into the Mud Challenge. Benjamin Moore, a junior communication major and vice president of Enactus described the Husky Dash 5k as USM’s premier road race. These are fun social events providing students and community members with a chance to spend time outdoors with friends and family while raising money for charitable causes.

For students looking for more challenging events, we recommend the TD Beach to Beacon 10k road race and the Tough Mudder. William Christian Webb, a junior biology major at USM, participated in a Tough Mudder last year at the Mt. Snow location in Vermont.

“My favorite obstacle is called Everest,” said Webb. “It’s kind of like a half-pipe, and you have to run up it.” Groups of participants stay at the top of the 15 foot wall and help pull others to the top. According to Webb, it’s not just your own teammates that help you conquer this obstacle, competitors work together to help each other to the finish line.

Webb is already registered for the Westbrook Tough Mudder this summer with the Student Veterans Association team. “It’s expensive to sign up, but a lot of the money goes towards the Wounded Warrior Project which makes it worth it,” said Webb.

Having attended with a group of friends last year, Webb described the Tough Mudder as a really fun bonding experience. Webb also plans on running in the Husky Dash 5k later this month.

Connor Hamilton contributed to this article.

USM’s second annual Husky Dash 5k is organized by Enactus, a student organization focused on entrepreneurship. The proceeds help Enactus fund future community service learning projects and a portion is donated to the Massachusetts General Hospital Fund for cancer research in honor of a USM Enactus member who died from leukemia last year. The race will kick off at 9:30 a.m. on April 12 from the field house in the Costello Sports Complex on USM’s Gorham campus. T-shirts are not guaranteed for those that register after March 30, and participants are encouraged to register online up until the night before the race.

Challenge yourself and get dirty while running through a muddy obstacle course! The fourth annual Into The Mud Challenge will take you through two and half miles of mud in the Gorham athletic fields starting at Gorham Middle School on Sunday, April 27. The day is kicked off at 9:30 a.m. by the Oakie’s Muddy Dash, a one mile mud course for the kids, and a costume contest followed by three waves of adult races. The event is sponsored by Oakhurst with all proceeds going to USM’s Sports Management scholarship fund. Participants who register before April 18 will receive a t-shirt at the event.

The Tough Mudder is not for the faint of heart. A 10-12 mile course that includes obstacles such as climbing walls, frigid ice bath plunges, trench crawls and high-voltage live wires, this extreme course is meant to be a test of strength and willpower, All proceeds are donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. Registered participants that complete the challenge will receive a t-shirt, a headband, and a hard earned beer (for those over 21 years of age). The race kicks off in Westbrook on August 23, with events continuing to the next day.


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