EAGLE, Idaho — Participation in the Tater Dash Mud Run, which combines athletics with agri-tourism, has increased substantially in the four years since Twin Oaks Farms owner Jeff Smith first began hosting the 5.2-mile race over hills, valleys and obstacles.
Smith said he expects some 2,500 runners of all ages to turn out for this year’s edition, slated for early July 14 on the mid-sized farm north of Eagle, Idaho. That will be up from 1,520 last year and about 900 two years ago, he said. The 2014 and 2015 events drew about 250 and 600, respectively.
“It’s just really positive because the goal is to get kids and parents — especially kids — out on the farm of their own decision,” he said. “As they run around the farm, crops and animals, all of a sudden they start to appreciate the farm — and see around and through it.”
Last year’s race drew competitors from all skill and experience levels, and from ages 7 to 86, Smith said. Participation hasgrown largely because young competitors in one year’s race encouraged friends to turn out the following year, he said.
Racers traverse the 180-acre farm that this year grows six crops and is home to as many types of farm animals. The site also offers a good opportunity to see birds and wildlife, he said.
Events such as the Tater Dash Mud Run in the summer and fall visits to see harvest and various on-farm attractions help Twin Oaks Farms remain financially viable while raising awareness of agriculture in growing southwest Idaho, Smith said.
The first of seven Tater Dash heats begins at 8 a.m. Mountain time on July 14.
Information and registration detail go to http://taterdash.com
— Brad Carlson