Getting Down And Muddy At Kualoa

Harrison Dull is a mudder. “I’ll take that. I like being called a mudder. It works,” Harrison says with a smile.

His smile is bright and clean these days, but come Saturday, March 9, out at Kualoa Ranch, Dull and hundreds of his friends will be muddy from head to toe in the 2013 version of the Makahiki Challenge.


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'Mudders' tackle the Kualoa Ranch course in a previous Makahiki Challenge. This year it's slated for March 9 | Photos from Kapu Gaison

“There was a huge storm all week last year leading up to it, and I helped set up the course,” he recalls of the inaugural games in 2012. “Afterward, I felt 10 to 15 pounds heavier with all that mud. It was a blast!”

The 28-year-old Dull is actually a pilot by profession. He works as a flight instructor in Arizona. He’s also a former college roommate of Kapu Gaison, a former Kamehameha football and track and field star, and the local organizer of the games.

“When he called and told me about it, there was no way I was going to miss it,” he recalls. “I had friends who missed out the first time, but then they saw the video, and saw all the fun and all kinds of muddy, they want to do it this year, for sure!”

The Makahiki Challenge is a mix of Hawaiian culture and history and a muddy 5-K obstacle course with the advertising tag line “Mud Over Matter.”

“You don’t have to be super athletic to do it,” Dull says. “It’s like going back to being a child. If you want to be competitive, you can be competitive. But if you want to be silly, then be silly!”

The obstacle course includes ropes and chutes and at least one very big, very muddy mud pit. “At the mud pit, you had to dive in,” he says. “Even if you wanted to be dainty, there was no way that was going to happen. The site was amazing. The atmosphere was awesome.”

Dull encourages local people and visitors to sign up for this year’s games. The website to sign up can be found on the web at m.

And if you’re worried about what to do with all that mud, Dull smiles and says it all goes away, eventually. “They’ve got showers set up at the end,” he says. “I got most of it off, most of it. For about a week afterwards, though, I would feel something, and realize, oh, there’s a little more mud.” He laughs.

Here’s an example of some of the muddy obstacles this year’s mudders will encounter, according to the Makahiki Challenge web-site:

Suicide Slide: “Why run when you can slide. The best way down the mountain = 100-foot slip-n-slide!”

Monkey Business: “Relive your elementary school days as you traverse through these monkey bars.”

Mud Crawl: “Army-crawl your way through these mud flats – keeping your head low enough to clear the wooden planks.”

The “Hawaiian Ice” Bath: “Nothing says cool off like a pool full of ice cold water. Mahalo HAWAIIAN ICE!”

Da Pig Pen: “Get down and dirty as you wallow through this pool of mud.”

And there’s much, much more, plus a concert at the end.

Why not get muddy this March? Beginning mudders welcome.