Thousands enjoy muddy mayhem in Maldon

THOUSANDS of people turned out today to watch 250 competitors take part in the muddiest mayhem imaginable down in Maldon.

James Hore

THOUSANDS of people turned out today to watch 250 competitors take part in the muddiest mayhem imaginable down in Maldon.

The Maldon Mud Race now attracts competitors from all over the world who run, swim, wade and crawl their way round the short course.

Said by some to be tougher than a marathon, entrants splash into River Blackwater at low tide and along its treacherous banks before going back into the water a second time before struggling up to the finish.


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Many of the people dressed up for the occasion with chefs rubbing shoulders with convicts and superheroes and Santas dashing into the water.

Before the race even started lumps of mud from the bottom of the river were being hurled around by the competitors.

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And after a count-down by Olympic silver medal-winner Fatima Whitbread, the race was underway.

First to complete the course this year was 41-year-old James Haskey-Jones.

Speaking at the finish-line he said: “I am chuffed to bits. I have been in the top 10 before.

“The worst bit was the water - the current was really strong and pushing you about.”

Avril Duckworth, 47, was the first woman to cross the line, improving on her result of third placed female at last year's event.

The mother from Burnley said: “I had a really bad start and there were people trampling all over me - I had my head down and went on all fours. The water was so cold and so deep.”

As competitors completed the course they were handed foil blankets to help them warm up before showering off the thick Blackwater mud.

Ken Davies, a plumber from Swanley in Kent, was completing his 40th charity event in the space of a year in memory of his friend Mark Brace who died from cancer.

The 40-year-old, who kicked off his events with last year's mud race, said: “I have done 40 events for Cancer Research including 12 triathlons, 15, 10kilometre runs and a couple of bike rides.

“It was so hard out there because of the current.”

The mud race was actually the second one to take place this year after the 2008 event was held on January 4, 2009 due to tide times.

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