A perennial favorite! The Holiday Valley Mudslide returns on Saturday, June 18. Now in its 5th year, Holiday Valley has turned a simple ‘mud run’ into something way cooler that appeals to far more people. Runners have their choice of two tracks - one of 3.5 miles, the other 5.4 - that wind through the beautiful upper tier of the resort. Unlike other mud runs, the Mudslide does not require you to put yourself through freezing water, fire-breathing dragons or other painful obstacles. Quite simply, the Mudslide appeals to the fun lover.
To start, you get a nice ride up the Spruce chairlift to the starting gate. Wave to people on the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster or the ones working their way through Adventure Park’s ‘Black Storm’ course. The party starts by Spruce Lake, where High 5’s are rampant. As you wind your way around the lake, look for standup paddleboards and kayaks on the lake, courtesy of Adventure Bound onthefly. (FYI: Adventure Bound will be giving away an inflatable SUP via a bib draw, so everyone has a chance to win!)
You’ll then head over the cross-country trail to Tannenbaum, working your way through tubes. All he while, make sure to keep yourself aware of the beauty of the trees. (They were planted in the 1930s by the CCC as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. If you haven’t been up to that part of the resort before, you’ll see it in an entirely new light, accessing trails and scenery you didn’t know existed.)
By this point, you’ll be adequately muddy. But it’s just getting started! Hang a right after the Mountain Ops building and head over and around to the bottom of Morning Star. This is where the course splits - the 3.5 heads back up across Mardi Gras, while the 5.4 adds another loop … expect some surprises along the way!
Ellicottville local Maria Pierce has run the Mudslide multiple times, and will do so again this year. Her favorite part? She couldn’t decide, so she went with the entire event.
“My favorite part, hands down, were the obstacles. They were challenging but a ton of fun. It was a really fun race to watch, too, because people were dressed up and having fun splashing around in the mud,” she said. “It was different than other runs because it was centered more around fun than competition. It's way more fun to run this race with a big group of your friends! This race is totally doable for all ages and fitness levels. It helps being able to choose which course you want to run.”
Last year, we saw Minions, Captain America, Ironman and other hilarious costumes. They’re encouraged, so get those creative juices flowing! This year, Pierce and her partner in crime, Shelley Nagel, are going for Disney characters.
As much fun as the race is, the party at Yodeler afterwards might top it. You finish the race via ‘Mudslide’ into a giant pit of mud. Music at the start line will be provided by Tyler Burns, aka DJ Tyler Swift, while music at the finish will be courtesy John Barry. Grab some food and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with finishing a race such as the Mudslide. Local shops will have a tent city set up, so you can check out what they’ve got to offer as well.
Feeling muddy post race and want to clean up? The Mountain Ops crew has you covered. They’ll set up some snow guns for you to rinse yourself off. And don’t forget to let your kiddies race, too! The Kids’ MiniMudslide starts at 1:30pm.
The Holiday Valley Mudslide happens on Saturday, June 18. There are lodging packages available, and those who aren’t participating are still encouraged to come watch and cheer! For more information, head to www.holidayvalley.com/mudslide.