FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (AP) - A 5-kilometer run and obstacle course in Frankenmuth that offered lots of mud on the course and beer afterward has raised $25,000 for charity.
Frankenmudder took place Saturday in the tourist town known for its Bavarian theme. The inaugural event featuring more than a dozen obstacles was a fundraiser for Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth and the Travis Mills Foundation.
The event drew about 380 competitors, who received free admission to the Michigan Bier Celebration and other mementos. Those who finished also received a dog tag bearing the message, “Never Give Up. Never Quit,” the foundation’s slogan.
Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills is a Vassar native who was wounded after dropping a bag on an improvised explosive device in April 2012 during his third deployment. He’s among few surviving servicemen to lose four limbs in combat during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Mills, who greeted participants at the finish line and posed for photos, told The Saginaw News (http://bit.ly/1qpj9v7 ) he was happy to be a part of it and “help any way I can.”
Organizers say the event exceeded expectations and will likely return next year.
“People wanted to get involved for a great cause,” said museum board member Jon Webb. “Including Travis was an easy decision. He’s a local hero, and his story reached people who wanted to compete and help. I’ve heard nothing but positive things so far.”
Participant Bob Nelson, former director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint, said Frankenmudder achieved the right balance.
“Not only was it a lot of fun, but it was for a really good purpose - not just some guy making money,” he said. “As someone who worked for a nonprofit, it doesn’t really get any better than that.”
Information from: The Saginaw News, http://www.mlive.com/saginaw