ISHPEMING - The third annual Suicide Hill Mud Plunge 5K Adventure, sponsored and hosted by the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce, begins tonight and continues Saturday at Suicide Hill in Negaunee.
Attendance is free for spectators, although there is a $3 parking fee. Due to such a high turnout last year - with an attendance of more than 1,000 people - this is the first year the plunge will be a two-day event.
"We moved it to the two days ... just because of the interest in the new option for a night run, as well as to make the first night kind of a kick-off festival," said Kori Tossava, executive director of the GINCC.
Jill Heide of Lake Linden competes in the mud crawl section of the 2012. Suicide Hill Mud Plunge course in Negaunee. (Journal file photo)
Beginning tonight at 7 p.m. is the CrossFit 906 Kids' 1K race. Upon finishing the race, all kids will receive a ribbon, and the top three contenders of all age divisions will be awarded prizes at the awards ceremony at Jasper Ridge Brewery Saturday afternoon. The Ishpeming Ski Club will be on hand at the ski hill selling rootbeer floats.
The first-ever Fox Negaunee Twilight Run 5K will follow the kids' race, with a start time of 10 p.m. A competitive run limited to 100 individuals and 50 teams, runners are required to don headlamps and tackle the Mud Plunge course in the dark. Major obstacles will be lit.
For spectators and those uninterested in getting down and dirty, there will be live music by The Crane Wives, sponsored by the Marquette County Convention and Visitors Bureau, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets are also available for a Croatian chicken dinner - to be spit-cooked on site and which will include coleslaw and a roll.
Saturday kicks off with the A. Lindberg & Sons Competitive Run at 9 a.m. New this year is the CrossFit 906 Suicide Hill Climb. Sponsored by the Ishpeming Ski Club, the 200-meter climb to the top of Suicide Hill begins at 10:30 a.m. and will be limited to 150 runners.
Beginning at 11 a.m. is the Bell Hospital Fun Run, for those who want to have filthy fun in the mud but don't necessary want to do it in a competitive atmosphere.
"If you're not an avid runner, you're not sure you want to do an entire 5K or you're afraid you're going to be in there with a lot of pretty elite athletes, the Fun Run has people all the way who kind of just walk it, who dress up in costumes, who just do it to say that they did it and that they conquered the wall and the quarter-pipe," Tossava said.
Tossava said that over the two days between 650 and 700 people have registered, and with late and day-of registration they expect about 800 people to attend.
Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.