BARSTOW Mayor Joe Gomez is giving Barstow a run for its money as he plans Barstow's very first mud run to raise money for children and veterans.

The inaugural Veterans Home of California, Barstow, Mud Run, held May 12, is accepting registration for teams of three or individuals to race through a 5-kilometer mud course with a few obstacles along the way.

Gomez is working with Kiwanis Club and the veteran's home to raise money for the home's morale fund, which pays for activities at the home. Part of the money will also go toward the Kiwanis/Desert Dispatch Spelling Bee winner to travel to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national spelling bee contest.

Event organizer Darrel Courtney, with High Desert Events, said the theme of this run is "No Man Left Behind." The track, built on the outskirts of the veteran's home, will feature military-style obstacles and will be decorated with tanks and military vehicles borrowed from the Marine Corps Logistics Base and possibly Fort Irwin.

"Sometimes you just want to get dirty and have some fun and I think this is an experience that people will remember," Gomez said.

The mud run is among several races organized by Gomez, who himself is a running enthusiast. A runner in high school, Gomez used his passion in his campaign for council, vowing to run the streets of Barstow to bring awareness to their poor condition. He also completed the Los Angeles marathon in 2010.

"I just feel I have faced challenges in my term. Running is just my way of getting things off my mind," Gomez said.

Gomez said the run will also raise awareness about the quality of care offered at the veteran's home.

"It's a facility we should be proud of," Gomez said.

In addition to the adult race, there will be a one-mile mini-mud run for children 13 and younger.

In each of the runs he's planned, Gomez has planning activities for children to raise awareness of childhood obesity as part of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign.

"I just want to bring awareness as far as the importance of health and exercise," Gomez said.

For more information or to register visit www.hdevents.org or www.barstowmudrun.com. To be a sponsor contact DeeDe Crigler at (760) 256-8789 or John Rader at (760) 957-3340.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or klucia@desertdispatch.com

Barstow Mud Run
Veteran's Home of California, Barstow, 100 East Veterans Parkway
May 12
9 a.m. Mud Run, 10 a.m. Mini-Mud Run
Registration: $25 individual, $60 a team, $15 children
Day of registration: $40 individual, $90 a team