Maldon mud race

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The Maldon Mud Race is an annual fun race held in spring (originally in December or January) at Promenade Park in Maldon, Essex, England, in which entrants compete to complete a 500 metres (550 yd) dash, in thick mud, over the bed of the River Blackwater.[1] The race is organised by the Lions & Rotary clubs of Maldon and Maldon District Council which raises money for charity.[2]

The race began in 1973 when a regular at a local pub was challenged to serve a meal on the riverbank dressed in a dinner jacket. The challenge evolved into a race across the river to a waiting barrel of beer, drinking a pint of beer there and racing back. The barrel of beer has long disappeared and the race has become a charity event,[3][4] with many participants wearing fancy dress.[5] The event is watched by thousands of spectators and raises tens of thousand of pounds for charity.[5][6]

The race can only take place when the tide is low enough to allow participants to run across safely. Participants start from one bank and make their way through water to the other side, negotiate 200 metres of mud along the river and then return to the original riverbank.[4][7] In 2009, the race was run twice, on 4 January and 27 December, after the 2008 event was postponed due to high tides.[8][9] About 250 competitors took part in the December 2009 event[9] and it has increased in size every year since.

In 2014 the race was held on 26 May and once again attracted hundreds of competitors.[10]


  1. ^ "The Maldon Mud Race". Essex Life (Archant Life). January 2009. p. 21. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  2. ^ "The Maldon Mud Race". Essex Life (Archant Life). January 2009. p. 19. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  3. ^ "River race gets down and dirty". BBC News. 29 December 2002. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  4. ^ a b Godwin, Hugh (2 January 2005). "Alternative sports: If mud-racing looks too soft for you, how about a spot of shin-kicking?". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  5. ^ a b "Maldon's magical mud race". East Anglian Daily Times. 30 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  6. ^ "Thousands watch dirty river race". BBC News. 30 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  7. ^ "The Maldon Mud Race". The Birmingham Post. 30 December 2002. Retrieved 2008-12-20. Competitors set off at low tide from one bank and wade or swim through the waist high water to the other side. They then have to negotiate 200 metres of deep, sticky, mud along one side of the bank, some attempting to run, others propelling themselves along on their stomachs. Caked in mud, they then make their way back across the water to the other bank.  (Registration required.)
  8. ^ "Hundreds in charity mud-flat race". BBC News. 4 January 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Hundreds get dirty for Maldon Mud Race". BBC News. 27 December 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  10. ^ [1]

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