For more than 15 years the World Famous Mud Run has been aboard Camp Pendleton growing from one race with 200 people to five races with more than 6,500 participants each and is now a part of the Marine Special Operations Command Hard Corps Race Series.
The race was developed in order for civilians to come on base to show their support to the Marines and sailors by paying to ‘be a Marine for a day’ and experience Camp Pendleton by participating in the World Famous Mud Run.
“All of the revenue produced from the mud run goes back into programs for Marines, sailors and families of Camp Pendleton,” said Christina J. Chilleme, the special events manager for Marine Corps Community Services, Camp Pendleton. “Not only does the revenue from the mud run generate enough funds for other athletic programs on-base, but it also allows for all other races in the MARSOC Hard Corps Race Series to be free.”
In 2011, MCCS designed the first of what is now called the “Filthy Fun Fest,” which is a party in conjunction with the World Famous Mud Run.
“Back in the day, participants would just run the race, shower and leave,” said Chilleme. “Last year we brought in bands, interactive activities, MCCS information, food and beverage options and a beer garden. We really tried to make it an environment that you want to come into and stay at. Mud runners are fun people who dress up, do costume contests, drink and listen to music.”
This year the event has been expanded to not only include the music and concessions, but a whole new “Action Zone” which includes the Water Walker Experience, a rock climbing wall, the Zipline Experience and a paintball demonstration booth. Each race has three bands that perform from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“Each race day will feature a different genre of music,” Chilleme said. “For example, there is Classic Rock Day, 80’s Day, Reggae Day, Alternative Music Day and a Country Day.”
The World Famous Mud Run not only creates fun environment for the participants, but also for the spectators and supporters.
"What we are trying to do is create an environment that the patrons spend money at and enjoy while enhancing the view of the Marine Corps," said Chilleme.
Static elements are also becoming a big part of what is being included in this event. MARSOC has brought out their vehicles and information booths, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force brought a Garrison Flag along with vehicles and artillery gave civilians the “Marine for a day experience.”
“The mud runs are extremely important to Camp Pendleton Marines, sailors and families because it is our ‘bread and butter,’ allowing us to do what we do for Camp Pendleton,” said Chilleme.