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Paras Turakhia, a real estate professional, having spent several years in the US, moved back to Mumbai in 2007. Upon his return, he felt a lack in the options for interesting outdoor activities. "Social life here is limited to visiting malls and pubs. I was looking for something more stimulating," says the 29-year-old.
In 2009, when he agreed to accompany his friends to participate in a mud run in Delaware, US, nothing had prepared him for the "awesomeness" that lay in store. "I took on several challenges — crossing mud pits, swinging from monkey bars and crawling through pipes — for the first time ever. The latter was particularly challenging as I had to travel 20 feet in a dark drum. It was one filthy but high-energy day," says Turakhia. The experience prompted him to put together a desi version of mud run, The Mud Rush (TMR).
Together with his friends Jay Goradia and Saurabh Shah, Turakhia has floated a company called Happy Feet Entertainment, which has joined hands with Sheer Management to come up with TMR. Essentially an all-terrain marathon-style run, it is scheduled to take place on Saturday along the banks of the Kundalika river in Kolad, Maharashtra — a few kilometres from Mumbai.
TMR will stretch across a seven-kilometre circuit with obstacles designed by the adventure company Z–Bac. These include countering barb wire, coloured smoke, foam party, 30-feet-high stacks of hay, water bodies, high-pressured showers, barrier walls, slope climbing, fire obstacles, ice plunge bar, and, of course, a whole lot of mud. "We have designed most of the obstacles based on a commando drill but scaled it down for civilians. So these are neither tough nor easy, but interesting and doable. Also, this way, people get to spend a day in a soldier's shoes," says Retired Captain Satish Swaminathan, director of Z–Bac.
Safety, however, is of prime importance. "We have arranged for multiple layers of safety at the mud run. There are also ambulances and paramedics, in case of an emergency," says Turakhia, adding that the event's cornerstones are adventure and fun. Also, the proceeds from the event will go to the NGO Habitat for Humanity and the Sainik Welfare Association. "The three-hour marathon will be followed by a sundowner, where a posse of international and local DJs such as Dinka (Switzerland), Martin Roth (Germany), Weekend Heroes (Israel) and Clement (India) will play electronic dance music," he says.
A lavish spread of food and beverages, he adds, will ensure that the fun lasts through the day.
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