MINOCQUA (WAOW) -- The extreme mud racing at Minocqua Winter Park Saturday morning was not for the faint of heart.
The 2.5-km Muggy Buggy race took runners up steep hills and through mud and swamps.
It got messy.
"There was a swamp back there and a marsh where it was all mucky," said Sean Ryan of Wheaton, Ill. "You get buried and your shoes get stuck. People were losing shoes."
The extreme mud run took racers through the muddiest parts of the park.
"I like to tell people it's because the mud has this exfoliating quality, it's good for the skin, but really it's just about having fun and playing like a kid," said Tim Collins, the race's organizer and the executive director of Minocqua Winter Park.
Various runners races for different reasons.
It was a relaxing Fourth of July getaway for Jennifer Chaudoir.
"I have five kids so this is my little mini-vacation and what makes me go back home and be a better mom," Chaudoir said.
It's not her first mud run, and she says it won't be her last.
"I'll be back every year until I can't walk anymore," said Chaudoir.
This wasn't Ryan's first race either.
"I remember the last time I did it I think I came in fourth," he said.
This time though, he ran with a purpose.
"I'm enlisting in the Marine Corps," Ryan said. "I can't wait for it so this is just preparation."
He says the key to getting through the course is staying motivated.
"This is nothing, I'm just going to keep going," said Ryan. "Nothing can stop me from reaching my goals and getting across that finish line."
Ryan says he finds a camaraderie in the mud run similar to what he expects in the Marines.
"It's [about] helping each other out," he said. "You say, 'Hey man, you can do it,' and if you need help, you help someone out."
Even for those who didn't run, a muddy pat on the back was a welcome gesture.
Organizers say about 200 people mucked their way through the course.
There was also a flat-trail 5K before the mud run.