Adventure Race Becomes Tradition for Runners and Stuhr Museum


Friday night’s heavy rains forced a slight course change at a fundraiser 5K and 10K in Grand Island, but organizers of Stuhr Museum’s annual Prairie Sludge Trudge say it didn’t spoil the fun.

With face paint, kilts, and a good attitude Mark, Dylan, and Brady Hartford say they’re returning to Sludge Trudge mostly for the sludge.

“Just something we can do together and it keeps us outside and dirty,” says Mark.

“Because it’s fun to get dirty and we also wanted to run a 5K,” says Brady.

Stuhr Museum officials say the Hartfords and more than 500 other runners are in luck, as the muddy fundraiser has become one of their most talked about events, a big change from the living history they specialize in.

“Basically it’s an adventure run, so we traverse Stuhr Museum, we bop over to Hall County Park a little bit, it’s a 5K or a 10K, and it’s got natural obstacles, it’s got mud, it’s got a lot of stuff going on,” says Stuhr Museum Marketing Director Mike Bockoven.

Runners jump hay bales, traverse the prairie, and see parts of the grounds most visitors don’t.

“You don’t usually get to run by the buffalo pen, you don’t normally need to get all the way on that southwestern part of the museum, so people who come run this, they get a completely different view of the museum than maybe your average visitors,” says Bockoven.

The money Stuhr makes goes toward education programs and operating expenses, and while it has become a tradition for families and friends, it’s now one for the museum too.

“It’s nice that way and it’s nice that it’s something that people respond to, so it’s kind of a win-win all the way around,” says Bockoven.