The year was 1981. I had been recruited to be on a team of two that would negotiate 28 miles of trails with my partner and myself taking turns, leapfrog style, running and riding a horse. One of us would ride a few miles, tie the horse to a tree and then take off running. Meanwhile, the partner is running to where the horse is tied up, unties him, rides past the partner and everything repeats. Sound like fun? It is. The problems? The horse weighs 2,000 and can kill you, it can be a tad messy…and how many people actually have a horse in their garage?
The solution was the Muddy Buddy Ride & Run Series, which we launched with four events back in 1999. The event touched a nerve and was immediately a huge hit. The two partners now took turns running and riding a mountain bike over an obstacle course that was approximately six miles. There were fun challenges every mile or so, participants wore awesome costumes, decorated their bikes, created hilarious team names, crawled through the world’s best mud pit and headed to the Red Hook Beer Garden coated in mud and smiling ear to ear. There are now nine REI Muddy Buddy Adventure Series Benefiting the Prostate Cancer Foundation events around the country and nearly 160,000 Partners in Grime have joined in the fun as we head into our 14th season. Every Buddy gets a medal. Every Buddy has a blast…and Every Buddy wins. What could be better than that?
Bob Babbitt-AKA Mr. Frog- Founder of the REI Muddy Buddy Adventure Series Benefiting the Prostate Cancer Foundation