The Mudda Of All Mudders

Not many trails in “the wilds” of Rim Country make for easy running — just ask competitors from earlier Mountain High Games — and with the addition of manmade obstacles, including lots of mud and even more mud, don’t expect the new Mogollon Monster Mudder event to make the course any easier.


Not many trails in “the wilds” of Rim Country make for easy running — just ask competitors from earlier Mountain High Games — and with the addition of manmade obstacles, including lots of mud and even more mud, don’t expect the new Mogollon Monster Mudder event to make the course any easier.


The Mogollon Monster Mudder is the featured event of the 2013 Mountain High Games.

Sponsored by Rim Country Powersports and Native Air the Mogollon Monster Mudder will take place starting at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 1 at the Payson Event Center.

However, it will kick off at 4 p.m., Friday, May 31, as regional law enforcement personnel take on regional firefighters in another mudder event just for them.

“It is a way to build camaraderie between the different departments,” explained A.J. Foradory of the Northern Gila County Firefighters Association, who suggested the idea and is helping with obstacle construction for the course.

Admission is a can of food for the area food banks.

“It is not something that has been done here before (a firefighter vs. cops event), though departments all over the country do it. So, we decided we wanted to do something here. It is something different and it is also a way to give back to the community (with the food drive),” Foradory said.

He said spectators and fellow competitors can expect to see some departments represented in the 5K too. A number of firefighters have been talking about being in the race with their families.


Roundup file photo/Andy Towle

The planned obstacles and mud may be cause you to rethink running gear and garb at the 2013 Mountain High Games.

The Mogollon Monster Mudder course and its obstacles were created in coordination with local and regional fire departments. Foradory said the Houston Mesa, Beaver Valley and Christopher-Kohl’s fire districts have all helped build the obstacles and the Payson Fire Department is providing the water for the mud sites. The mud run is a 5K mountain trail run with natural and man-made obstacles, challenging ups and downs, rocky, wooded and wet terrain, shallow water crossings and, of course, more mud than is natural at this time of year in Rim Country.

It is a timed event, with emphasis on fun and teamwork — everyone is encouraged to help each other finish safely. Times will be recorded for individuals, even those who compete with a team. Organizers ask that participants register with their team at the same time.

Costumes are encouraged and a special prize will be awarded for the best costume. Organizers are looking for a costume that best resembles the Bigfoot/Mogollon Monster theme.

At approximately 11:30 a.m., right after the end of the adult mud run, kids will have a crack at the fun with the Kidz Monster Mud Run for those 8 to 12 years of age. There is no cost for the kids mud run.

Once you are done with the race come and hang out in the hospitality area and enjoy a true musical treasure in the Dina Preston Band. There will also be a beer garden, deep-pit barbecue, raffles and vendors.

Awards will be presented in the base area later in the day.

Registration to participate in the Mogollon Monster Mudder 5K is $65 per person. If not made in advance, contestants can register at the Event Center the day before, from noon to 5 p.m., Friday, May 31, or the day of the competition, from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., Saturday, June 1. Race day registration will be on a first come, first served basis and must be paid in cash.

The event will start at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 1. Waves of up to 50 will start at 10 a.m. and go every 15 minutes thereafter.

Picking up a participant packet early is not mandatory but definitely recommended. Early packet pickup will be from noon to 5 p.m., Friday, May 31 at the Payson Event Center.

Please bring a signed waiver (this can be found and downloaded from and ID to pick up the packet. If you are picking up a friend’s packet you will need a copy of their ID and a signed waiver for them.

For registration information, please visit or call the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department at (928) 474-5242, extension 7.

Mogollon Monster Mudder obstacles

The trails for past runs at the Mountain High Games were sometimes naturally treacherous with hills, loose rocks, brush and more. The 2013 Mountain High Games 5K will be treacherous at an entirely different level — even a little malicious in spots. And definitely much muddier — given the name; it is after all, called the Mogollon Monster Mudder 5K.

Volunteers from area fire departments have spent weeks designing and building the obstacles runners will encounter in the June 1 5K.

But, to be nice, here is the advance notice about what competitors will face:

• Tree Weave — Weave in and out of trees

• Rock Rumble — This is not the rock pile you remember from childhood

• Timber Climb — Climb up and over huge logs

• Mogollon Rim Wall — 12-foot high wall made out of pine logs —get help from your buddy; you will need it

• Tangled Forest — Weave your way through a maze of trees and ropes

• Barbwire Hell — Stay low that is the name of the game here — get dirty and scoot on your belly because what looms above you is pure hell.

• Sand Bag Lug — Carry 50 pounds of sand as you traverse one of the muddiest parts of the course

• Cargo Slither — Get on your belly and slither like a snake up a muddy hill

• Bigfoot Tracks — This is all about balance as you walk along huge trees

• Mystery Obstacle — There have to be a couple surprises

• Tunnel of Doom — This is not for the faint of heart — it’s dark in there

• Arctic Trench — Ahhh a refreshing ice bath

• Belly Creep — Creep through the culvert — we will make sure there are no snakes (if we can)

• Gauntlet — Climb up and over — make sure you don’t drown

• Mystery Obstacle — Only one hint — be swift

• Dirty Gully Claw — Claw your way out of the trench

• Mammoth Mudslide — Mud, water and more mud ...

• Volcano Mountain — Make sure you do not take too long climbing this obstacle or the soles of your shoes may plumb burn off

• Yetti Trail — Climb through large tractor tires ... oh yeah … in the mud

• Sasquatch Mountain — Don’t let the beauty deceive you, many a Bigfoot sighting has been seen on this treacherous mountain trail; and watch out for house-sized boulders, you never know what might be lurking behind them

• Forbidden Forest — The forbidden forest will test your stamina; it will test your will to survive … just when you think it is over ... it is just beginning

• Point of No Return — At this point all may be lost — but wait, the worst is behind you ... or is it?

• Hills of Peril — You have made it through the mental part of the course, but now you will have to overcome the physical fatigue that is setting in ... watch your footing, the second floor is a real doozy

• Back Draft Alley — Ever wonder what it would be like to walk using your arms rather than your legs and feet; upper body strength is the key

• Coliseum of Terror — Modeled after the Roman Games that took place in the Great Coliseum you will finish the race in front of all who dare to watch

• Mystery Obstacle — Watch out for swinging things

• Human Tether Ball — Hold on for dear life, it is only a short fall from the top ... but the dizziness and the mud may be more than you can bear

• Barbwire Hell — No kidding; watch out for the barbs ... they are a little prickly

• Truss Scramble — Climb up one side and down the other — sounds easy enough, right?

• Power Mud Crawl — Get ready to army crawl Rim Country Powersports style

• Mud Slide — Remember the Slip ’N Slide ... oh yeah baby


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