The panting runners emerging from the course all seemed to be dressed in similar grayish brown, soaking wet articles of clothing.



The Extreme Run at Three Sisters Park on Saturday was the first of its kind in central Illinois, said organizer Wayne Lamb.


The panting runners emerging from the course all seemed to be dressed in similar grayish brown, soaking wet articles of clothing.

The Extreme Run at Three Sisters Park on Saturday was the first of its kind in central Illinois, said organizer Wayne Lamb.

A 3-mile trek through obstacles ranging from a 100-foot long slip and slide to a 200-foot mud crawl had participants tired and dirty but definitely satisfied by the time they reached the finish line.

“Everybody should do this,” said Alec Gonzalez, a 19-year-old from East Peoria who finished second in the first race of the day.

The course was designed by Lamb and co-organizer Jon Bergen after the two attended several races out of state that were just a little different from the average race.

“What’s different is most of the time you’re running in the roads, the streets, and there’s not a lot of scenery,” Lamb said.

Inspired by national events such as the Warrior Dash and Spartan Race, and tired of having to travel hours away to participate, the two wanted to bring the fun back home.

“These are a little more challenging,” Lamb said. “You’re using different muscles. More of a cross-training type of activity. And it’s a lot of fun.”

Through community support and a lot of planning, Lamb and Bergen transformed Three Sisters Park into a 3-mile obstacle course. They installed rope walls, created a mud pit and a pool at the end of the race for runners to splash and wade through before finally reaching the finish line.

Another difference was the number of shoes that became casualties of the mud pit. Runner after runner emerged from the race with only one foot still covered, including Lamb’s son, who participated in the kids’ half-mile fun run.

While a good number of the more than 200 participants were veteran runners, everyone seemed excited to try something that was, for many, a brand new experience.

“It was really fun,” said Chelsea Streitmatter, 18, of Princeville, who ran the course with four other members of her family after another 5K race that morning in her hometown.

“We were wondering if we would make it,” said Chelsea’s father, Doug, after the group emerged covered in sheets of muddy water.

Lamb and Bergen plan to make the event a yearly occurrence.

“You’re getting muddy, and it’s just pretty fun,” Lamb said with a chuckle.