On August 18, Fort Smith is hoping dozens of runners will hoof it through a mud pit, over tires, and through rope webs during the first annual Mad Bison Mud Run.

While some elements are still in development and may change, organizers say the run will include eight to 10 obstacles over a five-kilometre course.

The run begins at the Slave River Lookout beside Riverside Park, then follows forest trails to the sand pit and back in a cross-country, costumes-welcome style.

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Jeff Schwartzenberger, program coordinator for the Town of Fort Smith, acknowledged mud runs have already become popular in other places.

“I would absolutely encourage anybody that wants to run and walk [to participate],” he said. “You don’t have to be in tiptop shape – we haven’t put any 15 ft walls on it.”

Schwartzenberger believes if you can walk five kilometres, you can make it through the mud run. If you are uncomfortable with an obstacle, you can walk around it instead.

Diane Seals, the Town’s economic development officer, said the run is only open to participants aged 16 and up as organizers test how challenging the course is in its first year.

Runners can register up to 30 minutes before the start of the run at 10am, although the first 30 registrants will get a T-shirt.

The town will donate $5 from every $30 registration fee to the Fort Smith Animal Shelter.