Good, clean fun as racers get down and dirty in mud madness
IF you're as mad as a March mole, what better way to spend a Sunday than tunnelling through swampy bogland and leaping through blazing haystacks, especially if it's all in aid of a good cause.
More than 650 competitors got their hands dirty for cancer patients yesterday and ended up looking like the very biscuit that sponsored the McVitie's Jaffa Cakes Mud Madness race in Portadown, Co Armagh.
Professional athletes, casual joggers and people who are just a bit bonkers mucked in at the ultimate off-road challenge in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
This year's wacky race, which took place at Foymore Lodge in Portadown, saw mud lovers from as far away as Germany crawl through pitch black tunnels, leap over ditches into mucky pools and jump over a pyramid of flaming haystacks.
Shoes and other items of clothing were lost in the squelchy mess, but veteran mud racers knew to wear as little as possible and to ensure what they did wear was skintight so that they didn't end up considerably heavier at the finish than they were at the start.
This year, the waterlogged four-mile circuit included obstacles such as the Pyramid, the Foxhole and Shark Waters.
Organiser Johnny Davis said the number entering had more than doubled from last year's 250 competitors.
"We've had a fantastic turn-out today with more than twice the competitors as last year taking part and despite the weather everyone has really enjoyed themselves and got in the spirit of the mucky event!"
Jan Boyle, Ireland marketing controller for McVitie's Jaffa Cakes, says the chocolate-covered orange sponge delights are perfect for refuelling athletes as they're high in carbohydrates, have only one gram of fat per biscuit and taste great.