By Alicia Dziak

Competition? Obstacles? Mud? Bring it on! The annual Mudslide makes its way back to Holiday Valley this weekend, June 17. Get ready for some fun!

Competitors can choose from two distances—a 3.5 mile or a 5.4 mile course. Both courses start by Spruce Lake and racers even get a ride up the Spruce chairlift to the starting line. From there, runners must navigate 11 obstacles, ending with the famous mudslide down the bottom of the Yodeler slope.

As always, HV has some new things on the docket for this year’s race. “Some new obstacles include the double barrel just before the mudslide and a bubble bath after the slide,” said Jane Eshbaugh, Holiday Valley’s Marketing Director. She also added that, “The long course is changed with runners going down the ropes, with a teeter totter and tube obstacle. There’s still plenty of MUD!”

According to Eshbaugh, the Mudslide is different than other area obstacles races in that it offers “fun obstacles that are not like torture (barbed wire, fire or carrying bags of cement), and the number of runners is just right – not too many so it is too crowded and hard to park and not too few so there are lots of other people to laugh with.”

The event will start in waves of 100 people per wave at 10 a.m. from Spruce Lake, beginning with the long course runners. A ride to the start on the Spruce Lake chairlift is included in the entry fee.

Spectators may purchase a lift ticket for $7 at Sky High so they can watch the start. Please allow 45 minutes to get from the base to the starting line at Spruce Lake. The 3.5 mile course goes from Spruce Lake, across the cross country trails to the top of Eagle, down Woodstock, across Explorer to Morning Star then through the woods and across Mardi Gras, down Holiday Run to Edelweiss and finish at the Training Center. The short course elevation has a drop of 600 feet – downhill! Your medal will be awarded at the finish line. Prizes will also be awarded to the overall three fastest males and females. Chip Timing and mat starts and finishes will be in place.

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

Didn’t get a chance to sign up yet? No problem! “You can register though Friday night for $60,” explained Eshbaugh. “We take registrations at the packet pickup at the pool on Friday night from 5-8 p.m. You can register last minute for $70 on race day from 8-10 a.m. at Yodeler.”

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’ MiniMudslide course is 1/2 mile long and will include several obstacles plus the mudslide, with start and finish lines at the Training Center. The MiniMudslide takes place at approximately 1:30 p.m. Register your child under the Yodeler Deck for $5.

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. Starting at 11 a.m., competitors will receive a free hot dog and two beverages. Friends and family are welcome to purchase food and beverages and join in the fun. A DJ will keep the party going. Bring your (friendly) dogs, frisbees, hula hoops and smiles.


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. From 2 to 7 p.m., there will be kayak and SUP demos, kids’ races, SUP yoga demos, fly fishing demos, live music and a BBQ…with free admission. Chairlift rides on Spruce Lake chair are free to Mudslide participants and spectators who paid for a chair ride to the Mudslide start. Others may purchase a lift ride at Sky High for $7.

“Paddlefest is geared toward everyone!” said Eshbaugh.

Come spend a beautiful weekend on the slopes and enjoy some unique Ellicottville events! For more info, visit www.holidayvalley.com.