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Mud runners get filthy for a cause

Acton mud run raises money for typhoon victims

Posted: November 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Brothers Zack, right, and Alek Kaufman, 15 and 11, crawl through the muck of one of the courses at the Getting Dirty for Charity mud run in Acton on Sunday. Photo by Jim Holt.

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They got dirty for clean water Sunday when runners took part in a fundraising mud run for Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, at least 70 hearty participants got down and dirty at the Paintball USA facility on Crown Valley Road in Acton, raising $4,000 for typhoon victims, said event spokeswoman Robin Heinz Bratslavsky.

The fundraising beneficiary of the mud run, dubbed Getting Dirty for Charity, was changed six days ago by officials at the Temple Beth Ami in Santa Clarita, who didn’t want to delay the help they could offer victims who urgently need the assistance.

“We put this together in five days,” said Rabbi Mark Blazer, spiritual leader of Temple Beth Ami. “We had the mud run already scheduled but then someone said, ‘Let’s try to raise the money for the victims in the Philippines.’”

When temple leaders decided to direct the mud run money raised to typhoon relief efforts, the death toll from the disaster was reported at more than 2,000. The death toll has since climbed to nearly 4,000 people, according to the Associated Press.

Tens of thousands are injured and even more remain displaced and are in desperate need of food and clean water, mud run organizers said in the news release they rushed to publish mid-week. All proceeds of Sunday’s event are to be used to provide food and water for the victims.

“It was a matter of connecting the dots,” said event organizer Gregory Goldstein, who has a friend in the Philippines who owns a water company.

“I said it would be fairly easy to get the money together, then send it down to get water for victims immediately,” he said. “It all came together in the last couple of days.”

Organizers say they could have spent more time promoting the mud run in an effort to let people know, however, they decided not to wait on help urgently needed.

The runners who did show up, enjoyed a winding course through the hills, climbing ropes and crawling through tunnels.

“Any excuse to get dirty,” said veteran mudder Sgt. Dana Bohlig of the U.S. Marines Corps, who convinced her friend Joel Soltero to try it for the first time.

“For me, the cardio workout was the most challenging,” Soltero said.

For Bohlig, the race was “a walk in the park,” she said.

Mud Run coordinators were in close contact with the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles this past week in an effort to help assess the needs of typhoon survivors. Food and water are priorities, so all proceeds from Sunday’s event will be used to help relief groups provide these much-needed staples, they said.
“We wanted to find a way to help the people of the Philippines,” Blazer said before the race. “Sunday’s Mud Run provides an opportunity for people across the Los Angeles area to make a difference.”


on Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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