A dash though the mud

Nearly 700 runners, plus volunteers, gathered at the base of Henricus Historical Park for the second annual Dauber Dash Saturday. During the five-mile race, which is designed as a fun run, runners faced obstacles along the Dutch Gap Conservation Area trail loop before returning to the 1611 Citie for the final leg of the race.

Everyone was a winner and all received the reward of a refreshing mud bath at the end of their trek. The race was sponsored by the Chesterfield County Department of Parks and Recreation and Sports Backers. The proceeds from the race benefit the historic park.

To avoid congestion at the obstacles on the course, the runners were sent out in six different groups.

“It is really a fun event, not a timed event,” said Jeff Fitch, of Sports Backers. “A community celebration of health and fitness.” With more runners than the first year, he said:

“It is bigger than last year. We have an incredible venue right here on the river and I see stronger growth [for this run] in the future.”

The first group to take to the course was the Mud Racers, a group of serious muscle-bound runners, who were followed by the Fun Mud Racers and so on to accommodate the nearly 700 registered entrees. An additional 50 registered runners were classified for the Mud Guppies Race, a one-mile run for those ages 8-14, which took place at 11 a.m.

Coming in first with a time of 33:20 was Thomas Thorogood from Richmond. Avery Martin, 16, of Midlothian was second and John Fulbright came in third. All three thought the race was great, but expected a lot more obstacles.

Holly Sheffield of New Kent, the first woman runner to the finish line, also enjoyed the race.

“I am surprised,” she said. “Surprised to get first.” Coming in second for the ladies was Diana Tramel and coming in third was Lorie Rochelle. The top three runners of each group received prizes.

Drew Zoller, a junior at Thomas Dale High School, said this race was his first.

“It was fun,” he said. “I enjoyed it a lot.”

Also running for the first time in the Dauber Dash was Heather Seymour, of Chester.

“It was a blast,” she said. As far as the mud bath at the end, she said, “It felt good, because it was cold.”

Before and after the race, runners and supporters were able to experience the depth of Henricus Historical Park and the 1611 settlement. The park offers the experience of life in 1611 when the settlers arrived and where they established one of the first settlements in the New World, along with a Native American village.

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