GET DIRTY: Family Mud Run Swinging Through Sussex

Forget the Dirty Girl mud run. Hamilton is calling for the whole family, not just girls, to get dirty for a good cause.

Finally, there’s a muddy obstacle course for the whole family, and for a good cause.

In lieu of the latest craze to get filthy while climbing over huge obstacles, the Hamilton Education Foundation is hosting its first annual Charger Challenge, a mud run for the whole family in Sussex’s backyard.

Between the women-only and the impossibly intense Spartan Race, finding a similarly styled obstacle course in southeast Wisconsin for everyone is fairly difficult. However, Jane Hessler, co-chair of the Charger Challenge, says this event is geared toward anyone at any age.

“This is a family fun mud run event,” Hessler said. “We see so many mud runs like Dirty Girl or intense ones only for adults, so this one is geared toward families. The others are sometimes women-oriented or so difficult that people are afraid to try… people can get a taste of it without the electric fences and the fire." 

While some of the more intense mud runs are more like half-marathons while crawling military-style beneath electric wire, the Charger Challenge wants families surrounding the to have fun without the intensity.

Scheduled for September 16 at the Lisbon Community Park, residents looking to get dirty can run the 4K course featuring 14 different obstacles. There’s even a shorter Charger Kids Challenge geared towards children ages 6-10 with plenty of mud and obstacles.

"The others are sometimes women-oriented or so difficult that people are afraid to try… people can get a taste of it without the electric fences and the fire." 

And because all the profits go to the Hamilton Education Foundation, the event is not only fun, but for an excellent cause. The non-profit organization benefits area schools in need of extra supplies or funds that sometimes don’t make it into the district's budget.

“We’ve purchased smart boards for classrooms that didn’t have them because the district couldn’t fund all of them,” Hessler said. “In addition to that, is starting an outdoor classroom, and we provided some funding for supplies. We helped them buy things like thermometers and equipment to measure rainfall.”

This is the first annual Charge Challenge, a replacement event after the group’s extremely popular Dozer Days event was shut down in 2010 to comply with government safety regulations, according to the Sussex Sun. Each year that event, , raised roughly $100,000. Now that funding for the Hamilton School District is out the window.

“The only other fundraiser we have is the in March, and this coming year will actually be our 20th anniversary,” Hessler said. “Dozer Days came by and provided extraordinary funding. It’s been a couple of years since we did that… We don’t think the Charger Challenge will come close to replacing Dozer Days this year… We’re definitely going to have to work up to it.”

Hessler said they chose the name Charger Challenge so they can apply the same name and family-friendly concept to other events as the event evolves. This year it’s a mud run, but next year, who knows?

Anyone interested in signing up for the Charger Challenge mud run to help support the Hamilton School District can do so here online. There’s currently lower back-to-school pricing, so sign up quick to save some cash. 

Fee Schedule:

August 8 to July 31

September 1 to September 7

Kid Challenge**

Age 6-10*



Charger Challenge**

Age 11-18*



Age 19+



Mike B August 23, 2012 at 01:05 PM
I think you have the dates wrong in the chart. Assuming the cheap price goes through August and the more expensive one starts in September...
Cheryl M Levy-Meunier August 23, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to do it, but I just don't have that kind of $$ to play in the mud :(
joyce donner August 24, 2012 at 03:32 AM
It's thirty dollar's. I don't think that's too much. Great cause I hope they have a great turn out.


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