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Here comes the big muddy
10,000 descending this weekend on Lathrop for hellish race
Teri and Mike Farrell the organizers of the Tough Mudder Fudders will be part of a team of 38 people tackling the Survivor Mud Run this Saturday at DellOsso Farms. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

• WHAT: Survivor Mud Challenge
• WHERE: Dell’Osso Family Farms, Manthey Road and Interstate 5, Lathrop
• WHEN: Saturday & Sunday at 9 a.m.
• INFO: Entries are closed with 10,000 pre-registrants. Spectators are welcome although there is a $10 charge for parking. There also will be a beer garden, vendors, entertainment and food
• MORE INFO: Go to

Mike and Teri Farrell are no strangers to thrill-seeking.

From ropes courses to repelling walls to whitewater rafting, the Manteca couple enjoys pushing the limits in the name of fun and memory-making. They’re always searching for something that’ll make for a great experience and a great story.

And when they’re waist-deep in a muddy bog with 36 of their friends at Dell’Osso Farms for the first ever Northern California Survivor Mud Run, focusing on the finish line will be the order of the day.

Because that’s where the party will start.

“I want to be able to say that I did it,” Teri Farrell said. “Our son is going to bring his GoPro camera and after we’re all done we’re planning on having everybody back at the house for a party – we’ll throw the tape in and watch it and see what happened.

“It looks like it’ll be a great time.”

The team members are among 10,000 who paid $57 apiece to compete on the 3.47-mile challenge course that involves 16 “extreme” obstacles.  There will be 5,000 participants this Saturday and another 5,000 on Sunday. Waves of 300 participants start competing at 9 a.m. each day with new groups starting every 15 minutes. On each day of the competition there are vendors, a beer garden, food, music, and other activities. There is a $10 parking charge collected by organizers as well. For more information go to

A friend in Arizona has invited the couple in the past to come down to San Diego and participate in similar events, but making the trek to Southern California just to compete in a grueling 5K race didn’t seem all that appetizing.

But when it showed up right in their backyard they figured that they had found their opportunity.

Teri began calling family members and friends to assemble a team – the “Baddest Mudder Fudders” – and ended up with a total of 38 people to tackle what is described as “3.47 hellish miles.”

Shirts were made. Posters were printed. And Mike even picked up a pair of antique aviator-style goggles at a flea market to keep his eyes clear while jumping, wading and diving into the pits that, in videos, look grueling.

While the couple have done what they felt they could to prepare – Mike’s job as a carpenter keeps him in pretty good shape and Teri has been walking three miles every night to get herself right – they aren’t looking at it as a full-on race.

“I think it’s something that we can go out there and really enjoy,” Mike Farrell said. “All of us getting together and having fun is what I’m looking forward to the most.”

The course itself, as well as some of the obstacles, is laid out on the organization’s website to give participants a glimpse of what they’ll be in for when they show up.

Military crawling underneath nets, scaling walls and negotiating monkey bars will all be things that participants will have to deal with if they don’t want to have to wade through massive pits of mud designed to drain their energy and give the course its brutal reputation.

It’s the obstacles that aren’t announced – the “mystery obstacles” – that have Teri Farrell worried.

“I’ve been watching the videos and looking at the pictures and a lot of those things we’ve done on a ropes course. But they were on dry land at the time,” she said. “It’s the ones that they don’t tell you about that I think will be the most difficult part. That’s what I’m worried about.”

It’ll all be worth it though, she says, when everybody retires back to the house to get cleaned up and tell stories about their experience.

“I have a feeling that our shower drain is going to get a workout,” she said. “I hope they have hoses there.”