Couple get down and dirty as they take the plunge
A NEWLY-married couple proved they were no stick-in-the muds, getting down and dirty for a great cause yesterday.
They were among 600 professional athletes, casual joggers and people who are just a bit bonkers who enjoyed a muddy experience at Mud Madness -- the ultimate off-road challenge through the fields, bogs and ponds of Portadown, Co Armagh.
The event was organised to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care, which provides end-of-life care to cancer patients in their homes.
Competitors came from far and wide to take part in this year's wacky race at Foymore Lodge, representing Ireland, Britain, the North, and other European countries.
Karina and Brian McCarthy, from Midleton in Co Cork, who were married last Thursday, enjoyed a mucky start to their honeymoon along with their best man and chief bridesmaid.
"We did the mud race in March of last year and it was such fun that we decided we would do it this year for our hen and stag parties, but it ended up falling after our wedding, so, at the last minute, we decided to go for it anyway and brought along the best man and chief bridesmaid," Karina said.
"I managed to hang on to my bouquet of flowers throughout the whole thing. It was such fun."
Also among the competitors was a group of surgeons who swapped their sterile operating rooms for the dirty course.
Organiser Johnny Davis said: "We had a fantastic turn-out for this year's Mud Madness, with a variety of runners travelling from across Ireland and as far afield as Germany to take part," he said.
"From teams of work colleagues, women's groups, couples, sports clubs and individuals, everyone mucked in to create a fun and competitive event.
"We also succeeded in raising some much-needed funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care which, of course, was the most important aspect of the day for the participants," he added.