Maldon Mud Race, 10 June 2018

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Eccentric events give a region flavour, character if you like. Take Spain’s La Tomatina, where up to 20,000 people gather in the tiny town of Buñol for what is effectively a massive food fight throwing over-ripe tomatoes. Essex is no stranger to such shenanigans. The Maldon Mud Race dates back to the early 70s when a regular at a local pub was challenged by the landlord to serve a meal on the saltings of the River Blackwater dressed in a dinner jacket. The challenge was taken up and job done, the next year a bar opened on the saltings, a sign for 20 locals to push through the muddy River Blackwater to down pints before ‘rushing’ back again. So, the Maldon Mud Race was born.

Nowadays it’s an annual event where competitors race to complete a 400-metre course across the riverbed at low tide. I say race, but with trainers gaffer-taped to your feet as you try to cross steep deep mud, it’s hard to see how fast you can go - although it has been completed in under four minutes. 

*Entry £50 (includes T-shirt, bag and USB stick),

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