River Partners' mission is to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment.

Home » News/Events » The Journal » December 2011 » Mudder Nature Challenge: Fun, Frivolity and Competition

Mudder Nature Challenge: Fun, Frivolity and Competition

Members of Springboard Biodiesel's The Clean Team and other runners are put to the test, slogging through one of the obstacle course's five mud pits. Photo by Kyle Delmar.

On September 10, 2011, River Partners held its first annual Mudder Nature Challenge, hosting more than 700 runners, bikers, volunteers, and spectators at its conservation site, Willow Bend, along the Sacramento River. Racers ran or biked along nature trails, tackled tire fields and hay bale climbs, and more importantly, sloshed through five gigantic mud pits. This event attracted outdoor lovers and athletes from the entire region and created a fun, community atmosphere that celebrated fitness, responsible recreation, and river-land conservation.

For years, River Partners envisioned holding an event that would create a positive, recreational experience on the Sacramento River. Last year, River Partners acquired a conservation property along the river, which enabled the organization to put this plan into action.

River Partners’ new 150 acre site, called Willow Bend, has a beautiful beach, natural riparian woodlands, and weedy open fields that are slated for restoration. Located between Butte City and Colusa, it was the perfect venue to invite the public to experience life in the riparian zone. The beach was big enough to host 800-1,200 people without harming the woodland area. And the weedy fields that will eventually be disked and replanted with native grasses, trees, and shrubs, in the meantime can easily house the large mud pits—the star features of the Mudder Nature Challenge.

“Since the Mudder Nature Challenge was a success, we hope to invite racers back so they can see the new wildland grow and develop year after year,” says John Carlon, River Partners’ president.

Largest Teams:

  • NorCal Strength & Conditioning: 65 (also the fastest)
  • Colusa HS Mud Hawks: 15
  • Bean Counters (Matson & Isom ): 14
  • Smile and Take It (City of Chico): 13
  • Team CCD: 13
  • Beer Drinkers & Mud Racers (Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.): 10
  • Muddley Crue (Wil-Ker-Son Ranch): 10 (best team costume)
  • The Untrainables: 10

In addition to our sponsors, thank you to the following groups that helped make this event a success:

  • Prizes donated by: Rumiano Cheese, Llano Seco Pork, Bird-in-Hand, and Teva Shoes
  • The Mudder Nature Challenge Volunteer Corps, sponsored by Golden Valley Bank
  • Colusa Casino & Colusa Indian Community Council
  • Colusa County Fairgrounds, Terry & D’Ann Bressler
  • Colusa High School Athletic Foundation
  • B&J’s Concrete
  • Amback and Boggs Engineering
  • Colusa High School Cross Country team & parents
  • Chico Boy Scouts Troop 2
  • Colusa County Sheriff
  • Enloe Emergency Services
  • Lundberg Family Farm
  • Wil-ker-son Ranch
  • CalJava Coffee
  • River Partners’ Staff
  • Mudder Nature Challenge Event Committee: Kathy Barrett, Chair, Nancy Ackerman, Keitha Corbit, Rene Johnson, Todd Swagerty, and Yvonne Zipf

The above article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of the River Partners Journal.