Engines rev, tires spin, mud flies and a whole lot of water is displaced during the running of a mud bog! Such was the case during Snow Lake's inaugural Mud Run, held on the afternoon of Aug. 3 in the Paintball Pit east of the community. Eleven ATVs (quads) and three UTVs (side-by-sides) took part in the event and the machines and drivers were put through their paces in a 60-foot long by 15-foot wide mud and gravel pit, filled with two feet of water (there was a further 20 foot extension of the pit for modified classes).
Mud bogging is a form of off-road racing popular with an ever-growing multitude of ATV and UTV operators. The objective is to drive an off-road vehicle through a pit of mud. Winners are determined by the distance travelled through the pit. However, if said vehicles are able to travel the entire length, the time taken to navigate the pit determines the winner.
Getting underway at 12:30 p.m., the races began with 500 cubic centimtre (cc) stock class, before moving quickly through to 1000 stock, prior to the stock side-by-sides taking to the track. After a break in the action, the ATV and UTV modified classes followed. The winners were: 500 Stock - 1st Blair Stoupe, 2nd Shelby Stoupe, 3rd Adam Taylor, 4th Blair McLaughlin; 700 Stock - 1st Al Johnson, 2nd Blair Stoupe, 3rd Dennison Brule, 4th Nick Norlock, 5th Warren VanDamme; 800 Stock - 1st Travis Shewchuk, 2nd Dennison Brule, 3rd Nick Norlock; 1000 Stock - 1st Dennison Brule, 2nd Nick Norlock. In the UTV Stock Event - 1st Alex Menzies, 2nd Richard Gartly, 3rd Stephan Lavoie. In the Modified Events: 800 Mod - 1st Dennison Brule, 2nd Nick Norlock; 1000 Mod - 1st Travis Shewchuk, 2nd Dennison Brule, 3rd Nick Norlock. In the UTV Mod Event - 1st Alex Menzies, 2nd Stephan Lavoie, 3rd Richard Gartly. Additionally, in somewhat of a twist to the afternoon of motorized races, those in attendance who were interested threw $5 each into a pot and raced on foot through the pit. Of the four women and one man taking part, the male, Dennison Brule was declared the winner.
The entry fee for each vehicle was $20 and all money went to winners in the respective classes. In addition to those taking part in the races, there were a good number of spectators in attendance and the whole affair took on a bit of a festival atmosphere. There was a canteen selling hot dogs, coffee, pop and such and overall it was very well structured.
The event was a labour of love for the organizer, local businessman Chris Chell. He advised that this was something that he has wanted to do in the community for years. Chell's preparatory work began several weeks back in shaping the pit; and from there came the arduous task of transferring water from lake to swamp to pit, in order to get it filled. He also had help from family and friends, and enthusiast Robert Stoupe advised that members of the SnoDrifters Snowmobile Club lent a hand as able. Chell hopes the mud bog will become an annual affair and he would also like to see it attract more folks from outside the community making it a bit of a destination weekend for the ATV and UTV crowd.