AURORA – More than 1,000 people are expected to participate in the second annual Heroes Mud Run set for May 24 at Marmion Academy and Abbey Farms in Aurora.
The event takes place to raise money for the Heart of a Marine Foundation and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Last year’s inaugural Mud Run attracted 900 runners, said Patrick Kackert, event director and a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
He said he expects 1,500 to participate in this year’s event.
“For a first-year race, we had a great turnout last year,” Kackert said. “Even though the event is new to the area, it continues to grow in popularity.”
The event is held on Memorial Day weekend. Kackert said “we thought it would be fitting to have something on Memorial Day weekend to honor heroes past, present and future.”
Last year’s event raised close to $10,000 for the Heart of a Marine Foundation and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
Kackert said he hopes this year’s event will raise even more money.
“The more runners we get, the more money we can raise for our heroes,” he said.
The Heroes Mud Run is a 5K event for ages 14 and older. It will be run over cross-country terrain.
Participants will have to maneuver through more than 17 military-like obstacles, along with having to deal with mud.
There also will be a Little Heroes Mud Run for ages 4 to 13 that will feature a series of muddy obstacles designed for that age group.
The Mud Run is set to begin at 9 a.m.
To provide inspiration to participants, Jim Cornelison, who sings the national anthem at the beginning of Chicago Blackhawks home games, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at 8:30 a.m., followed by a military flyover by a World War II-era F4F Wildcat fighter plane.
“We’re trying to time it so the flyover happens as soon as he is finished singing the verse ‘Home of the Brave,’ ” Kackert said.
Information about the Heroes Mud Run is available at www.theheroesmudrun.com.
OUTBOX: If you goInformation about the second annual Heroes Mud Run on May 24 at Marmion Academy and Abbey Farms, 1000 Butterfield Road, Aurora, is available by going to www.theheroesmudrun.com.