Participants will get down and dirty in Muddy Grape Endurance Run

May 7 will mark the first ever Muddy Grape Endurance Run, with proceeds going directly to the Special Olympics Ontario games to be held in Guelph this spring.

“We’re hoping to raise lots of money for the games as well as awareness for the games, but also we do fundraisers throughout the year for the Law Enforcement Torch Run and given endurance runs are pretty popular right now and they raise a lot of money for different causes, we thought we would attempt it,” Law Enforcement Torch Run coordinator Carrie Gouthro told the Advertiser in a phone interview.

The torch run is a charity that hosts various fundraisers throughout the year to raise money exclusively for Special Olympics Ontario.

It will also be holding a polar bear dip at the University of Guelph on Feb. 6.

Special Olympics Ontario provides Sports training and athletic competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities, giving them the opportunity to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and develop skills and friendships, officials say.

“Law enforcement has identified Special Olympics as their charity of choice so … law enforcement’s support and dedication is absolutely instrumental if not pivotal to our ability to deliver such quality events – and not just events but our day-to-day programming in communities all across the province,” said Sheryl Huestis, southwestern Ontario district developer for Special Olympics Ontario.

“Law enforcement raises on average around $2 million a year for Special Olympics here in Ontario, so they are a significant sponsor.”

The inaugural Muddy Grape Endurance Run will take place at Cox Creek Cellars on May 7.

The course is approximately 4.5km long with obstacles for all fitness levels.     

“You can do it faster and harder if you are in better shape and if you’re not quite in great shape then you can certainly take your time,” Gouthro explained.

“All the obstacles … are supposed to be fun and in the end if you can’t do an obstacle you simply go around it.”

She said the course will include rope obstacles, climbing obstacles, balance beams going under obstacles, walking through muddy water, running through a bush and more.

“They’re trying to make it so it can be for all fitness levels where there’s some maybe that are really challenging and then others that are going to be a lot less challenging, so that way you’re not approaching this as a race where you’re not going to be able to do it all,” she said.

“There’s definitely going to be ones that are easier than others.”

Though the race isn’t competitive and more for fun, there will a competitive category “if you want to see how you do stack up to other people,” Gouthro explained.

There will also be a teenager option for the run and a separate smaller version of the mud run for kids to participate too.

Parking will be available off site on the day of the race and shuttles will bring participants and spectators into the winery.

Registration costs $60 a person and individuals can register on their own or as part of a team. For more information and to register visit

The Special Olympics Ontario spring games will take place in Guelph from May 26 to 28. For more information visit