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Kids Can ‘Run-A-Muck’ Again in West Hartford

Wolcott's Run-A-Muck in 2019. Courtesy photo

Wolcott Elementary School’s fundraiser returns on May 22.

Wolcott’s Run-A-Muck in 2019. Courtesy photo

By Sean Burns

If you have trouble finding laundry detergent in the area next week, don’t stress – it’s not a throwback to the March 2020 toilet paper melee.

It’s just a sign that Run-A-Muck is back at Wolcott after two years away.

For the uninitiated, Run-A-Muck is a mud-filled obstacle course race covering 1.2 miles through the Wolcott Children’s Forest and fields behind the elementary school on Wolcott Road. Racers will be faced with challenges including balance beams (over mud), tire climbs (caked with mud), slack-line challenges (over mud), and a cargo net wall.

Wolcott’s Run-A-Muck in 2019. Courtesy photo

Run-A-Muck 2022 is scheduled for Sunday, May 22, and is a rain-or-shine affair. There is a “little rascals” run for 4-5 year olds that begins at 9:15 a.m., with groups for ages 6-13 going off four times every hour between 9:30 and 1 p.m. The race is open to all in the community and surrounding towns, but spots are filling up quickly. Registration is $20 for ages 6-13 and discounted to $10 for the 4-5 year olds, who run a shorter course.

The 2022 Run-A-Muck is either the 7th or 9th annual race, depending on how such things are tabulated in the age of COVID. Kids who were kindergarteners last time it was run in 2019 are returning as seasoned third graders, ready to take on the challenging course put together by volunteers from Wolcott’s PTO.

“There’s lots of excitement and enthusiasm for this to come back,” said Wolcott Physical Education teacher Beth Glasier, who also leads the school’s popular running club. “Since we haven’t been able to hold this event for two years, many of the kids here now didn’t even know about it. But we showed them a YouTube trailer at last week’s Town Meeting, and they’re ready to go.”

According to the race registration page [https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080f4da4ae2da3f49-kids1], four of the time slots are already full as of Thursday evening, with a fifth one registration away from also being closed out.

There’s something of a tradition for kids to go through the course more than once, according to Glasier.

“They’ll come through completely covered in mud, and hit that last slide down the hill covered with dish soap, which really isn’t very clean water anymore by the end of the day anyways, and head right back to the line to start over again,” she said. “It’s great to see them having fun while being active and making memories with their friends – especially since they haven’t had many chances to do this kind of thing the last couple of years.”

Wolcott’s Run-A-Muck in 2019. Courtesy photo

Run-A-Muck has been one of the biggest dates on the Wolcott PTO calendar since it was launched back in 2014 as a way to raise funds for PTO events and activities while also taking advantage of the forest and trails between the school and Wolcott Park to the north. Russell Trent, whose children are now a freshman in college and a sophomore at Conard, was among the original organizers of the event, building many of the obstacles that are still in use.

“We’re super thrilled that [Run-A-Muck] is back and still happening in 2022,” said Trent, who operates a landscaping business in West Hartford and will be donating time and materials for the pre-event forest cleanup this weekend (May 14) and set-up next weekend. “This is a great community event for the kids, and we’re happy to be able to donate some time and equipment to keep it going.”

Wolcott’s PTO was out this weekend working in the children’s forest alongside volunteers from the town to rake, trim, and otherwise prepare and beautify the forest for the spring with a mind to next weekend’s event. There are also plans for a “set-up and build” day on Saturday, May 21 before the big event.

Volunteers are welcome for any span of time they can spare if they wish to help out with the clean-up or event, with details available at WolcottPTO.org.

RUN-A-MUCK 2022 EVENT DETAILS

DATE: May 22, 2022

WHERE: Wolcott Elementary School
71 Wolcott Rd.
West Hartford

TIMES: 9:15 a.m. – Little Rascal Run (Ages 4&5)
9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – RAM (Ages 6-13)

REGISTRATION FEES: Little Rascals (Ages 4&5) – $10
RAM (Ages 6-13) – $20

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