By Alicia Dziak

It’s Mudslide Weekend in Ellicottville, and you know what that means…runners, obstacles, plenty of mud and loads of crazy fun! On Saturday, June 16, the annual Mudslide returns to the slopes of Holiday Valley, bringing competitors of all ages and abilities. Heck, you might also see Superman or Big Foot out on the course!

Racers get a chairlift ride up to the starting line at Spruce Lake. From there, competitors can choose from two distances—a 3.5 mile or a 5.4 mile course. Each course boasts numerous obstacles designed to get you down and dirty. This year, the Mudslide will feature three new obstacles, the first of which is located on the top of Tannenbaum and features a series of two giant rollers.

Another new obstacle is a balance beam in the ‘big ditch’ area between Tannenbaum and Morning Star, and the third is a wall rope climb on Foxfire for the long course. 

Both courses end at the giant mudslide down the bottom of the Yodeler slope, and competitors slip and slide their way down the mountain into a giant mud puddle. Make a splash, cross the finish line and celebrate!

Want to make it even more fun? Costumes are encouraged, and prizes will be awarded to the most creative.

Also new this year are competitive waves. Anyone who is serious about trying to win the overall prizes (1st, 2nd, 3rd male/female/short/long course) should sign up for the first wave of the long course at 10 a.m. or the first wave of the short course at 11:15 a.m. Runners in all waves will still be timed.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Jim Kelly’s Hunter’s Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to giving hope through education and awareness, research, and family care for Krabbe, Leukodystrophies, and Newborn Screening.

The Kids’ Mini-Mudslide course is 1/2 mile long and will include several obstacles plus the mudslide, with start and finish lines at the Training Center. The Kids’ Race is $10 (ages 3 to 12) includes a t-shirt, register for kids online or at the Yodeler Deck on race day.

After all your hard work completing the course, join the fun at the post-race party. Tunes, games and plenty of liquid refreshments await on the Champagne Sundeck, just outside the Yodeler Lodge. The Vendor Village will have several local shops and related booths. Friends and family are welcome to purchase food and beverages (featuring sausage, veggie burgers, beef on weck and more) and join in the fun, and a DJ will be spinning the tunes.

Didn’t get a chance to sign up yet? No problem! Register through June 15 for $65, and even register last minute for $70 through 10 a.m. on race day at Yodeler. There is a max of 1,200 competitors. All competitors will receive a goody bag and a super cool finisher’s medal plus a hot dog or pulled pork sandwich and two beers (or beverages). Children as young as 7 years old can run on the 3.5 mile course, but they must be accompanied by an adult.

Packet pickup: The Friday night packet pickup is from 4 to 7 p.m. at Yodeler Lodge; Saturday packet pickup is from 8 to 11 a.m. at Yodeler Lodge.


Immediately following the Mudslide, head back up to Spruce Lake for Adventure Bound Onthefly’s Paddlefest, the kickoff to the summer water activities at Spruce Lake. On Saturday afternoon, enjoy SUP and kayak paddling, music, food and fun. On Sunday morning, there will be SUPs and kayaks on hand at Spruce Lake for demo along with paddle clinics, seminars, SUP yoga and kids events. Paddlefest runs from 12 to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The following day, June 17, is Father’s Day. If you’re up for an adventure, take dad to Sky High, where dads get in free on Father’s Day with a paid admission. Call (716) 699-HIGH to make reservations.

Enjoy the sights, sounds and mud as you make memories this weekend at Holiday Valley! For more info, visit holidayvalley.com.