We are often asked why we do not provide services to Southern California mud runs or obstacle course runs and our answer is always the same. Mud Runs are a lawsuit waiting to happen for anyone who participates in them or any vendors that provide emergency medical services or water safety services.
WE DON’T DO THEM AND DON’T BOTHER ASKING US TO!
The business of mud runs & obstacle course runs is unregulated which means that injuries and death is a possibility and in fact there have been some well documented deaths/injuries at these types of events. You can read about them here:
In our early days as a company, we were given the opportunity to provide water safety services to a mud run event put on by Red Frog Events. We were very excited at this opportunity however as soon as we arrived at the venue, we soon discovered that one of their obstacles was a mud pit however instead of using mud, they used manure and water mixed together. Contestants had to crawl through this muck to get to the finish line. Many contestants were complaining of burning eyes and some had gone through with cuts and scratches. The potential for blindness and infections was a very real possibility.
At the conclusion of this event, we saw the writing on the wall and decided that this type of event was a lawsuit waiting to happen. We also created policy that excluded the possibility of providing any services to mud runs or obstacle course runs.
Over the years we have heard of deaths at some of the mud runs involving well known private emergency medical standby companies on scene and in fact one of them is still in legal hell over it. There was a drowning at one event in particular and the evidence clearly shows that water safety personnel failed to act quickly and were unprepared. Adding to that is conditions are not favorable for emergency medical standby personnel and we feel that the organizers are setting them up for failure.
It is our opinion that any company that provides water safety to these events is taking a risk on losing it all. It is not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when” in this case. Many insurance companies are making it more difficult to get coverage for these events because they know how dangerous these mud runs are.
In conclusion, if you are a contestant, thinking of competing or are a vendor thinking of providing lifeguard/EMS services, you better think hard on that decision!