WHAT: 2nd “Lil’ Mudder” Fun Run
WHERE: Eagal Lakes, 12 East Lorenzen Road, Tracy
WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 30 – Gates open at 8:30 a.m. and the first wave starts at 10 a.m.
HOW MUCH: $25 for each child with a $5 sibling discount for each child after that.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND: A 1-mile course complete with obstacles, mud bogs and slides that give kids a fun and challenging experience that they won’t forget. A smaller, 400-meter course for younger children and those who aren’t up for the 1-mile challenge is also laid out.
FOR MORE INFO: Call (209) 640-4252 or visit eagallakes.com.
TRACY – At first glance it appears like any other obstacle course.
There are 25 yards of open space and then a series of tunnels that the participants have to crawl through.
Another 20 yards ahead there’s a wall with hay bales on either side.
And then there’s a huge pit full of muddy water to plow through – a welcome break from the early fall heat that is set to scorch the Central Valley this weekend.
It’s the type of mud course that has become all the rage with adults in the last year – with people traveling from throughout the region to participate in “survivor-style” runs that test their endurance and their resiliency.
But the course at Tracy’s Eagel Lakes Resort isn’t set up for the adults to come test their mettle.
It’s for kids between ages 4 and 13 that want to come have some dirty fun.
“We had one for the adults so we thought we’d have one for the kids, and we ended up with over 800 participants,” said Karen Eagel. “When we saw that kind of response we thought that we’d do something else in the fall. Right now we already have over 500 kids registered, and we’re expecting a lot more in the next two days.”
Unlike the previous undertaking, this event is already set to be much more official.
Kids before only had the chance to make a pass through the course, but those who paid the $25 entry fee – a $5 discount will be applied to each additional child in the family – in advance will get a t-shirt, a race number and a medal at the finish line.
Everyone will get a snow cone to cap off the event.
While the special event is something that John Eagel couldn’t have imagined when he first purchased the property for a waterski club 23 years ago, it plays right along with the theme that he had all along – a family event that focuses on physical activity and helps promote an outdoor lifestyle that’s disappearing from today’s youth.
“It’s something where the kids put down the computers and the video games and go outside and have fun, and that’s right along with what John had envisioned with this all along,” Eagel said. “It’s great to see all of that playing out. It’s about family – health and fun and enjoying the outdoors and what we have here along the river.
“It’s great to see the smiles on their faces as they cross the finish line.”
And it’s a chance to promote the 192-acre facility that just recently opened up a man-made lake where waterskiers and wakerboarders can come and enjoy themselves in a peaceful and professional setting.
The facility also hosts the Cross Country events for Tracy Unified School District – blending the park’s serene surroundings with the natural riparian habitat along the levees – and provides access to the San Joaquin River.
It’s also a destination for schoolchildren at the Nature Academy on-site, and routinely hosts Boy and Girl Scout groups who come and camp and use the area to earn badges and get a better understanding of the outdoors.
“There’s a lot that goes on out here and we’re happy to have the groups out here that we do have,” Eagel said. “We have our regular members – social members that come and use the facilities to ride bikes and walk the trails and use the canoes and others that come to use the boats and the lake.
“We’re looking forward to Sunday. It’s going to be a good family day.”
Eagel Lakes is located at 12 East Lorenzen Road in Tracy. To get there take I-5 south to the Kasson Road Exit and turn left. Follow the road until you reach Lorenzen Road (look for the palm trees) and turn left. The facility is all the way at the end and the other side of the levee.
Gates are scheduled to open at 8:30 a.m. and the first wave will start at 10 a.m. Those wishing to register on site are encouraged to attend early. For more information call (209) 640-4252 or visit eagellakes.com.
209 staff reporter