Wow! What an amazing event the Mountain High Games was this year! ATV rides, horseshoe tournament, archery tournament and the “Mudda of All Mudders” the Mogollon Monster Mudder! More than 512 people participated in the overall event. At 269 “Mud Runners,” this was the largest race in Payson’s history. With an event this large it is a logistical nightmare making sure that everyone has a good time, that communication is spot on and that everyone is safe. The main planning committee made up of regional firefighters, local business owners and staff planned this event for more than six months.
I personally want to thank all of our firefighters, specifically the chiefs of the Rim Country regional fire departments, for taking time to help plan and construct the course. Chief Mark Essary and Chief Mike Williamson took on a lot of responsibility in helping us put this “Monster” on. Chief Marty deMasi helped us make mud with his department’s sprinkler system and Chief Ron Stottlemier helped with our communication logistics and first aid needs. We had many off-duty firefighters who came and gave of their time to make this a successful event and I so appreciate it. No one more so than AJ Foradory, he was there from start to finish, we could not have done this without his positive attitude and willingness to jump in and make things happen.
Once again Payson stepped up with volunteers, more than 80 to be exact. With an event this big you have to have good people that you know and trust. I am so thankful for our great volunteers and how they conducted themselves. I had one runner from Phoenix say that she was so impressed by the number of volunteers and how “happy” and “encouraging” they were. She said it made the overall event so much more fun. Thank you. Thank you for your dedication and willingness to give of your time. This event was a success because of you!
Our sponsors are the best. Special thanks to Native Air and Rim Country Powersports for taking on the biggest financial burden of being our co-title sponsors. We also had many corporate sponsors and banner sponsors that continue to support these events. We are so grateful to you for helping us do this. Special thanks to Home Depot for constructing several important pieces for the event and the Steve Coury team for running our baggage claim area.
Lastly I want to thank our Town staff for their hard work. This was not an easy set up and we had several crews helping us put it together. Thanks to our Town of Payson Streets Department for digging holes, making mud and just making it happen, you guys were all fantastic! The Parks and Recreation team, you guys are the best!
Thanks again everyone for a truly amazing event. We hope to do it again next year!
Cameron Davis, director,
Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism