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Mud Run has mudders and mothers in mind

Dance studio sponsors event for member of their extended 'family'

Sept. 21, 2012

Muskego - Inside an 1848 barn, the old-fashioned values of taking care of your own are alive and well.

At Maxine's Studio of Dance, where dancers whirl in the bright and shiny studio under the Muskego barn's sturdy rough-hewn rafters, teachers and dancers are like family.

So when Hanna Gralton - now a college student who has danced at the studio since she was 9 or 10 - lost her 50-year-old mother to breast cancer in March, studio owner Maxine Learned and her students knew that the usual sympathy cards and calls just wouldn't do.

"She's my baby," Learned said. "I love all my kids."

She and her helpers have cooked up an unusual tribute to Hanna's mother, Traci. It's Maxine's Mud Run, set for 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 6 on the "back 40" behind the studio at S8758 Racine Ave. Proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society for breast cancer research.

"We just have to get rid of it," Learned said of the cancer that took the mother of her pupil. "Her mother was much too young to go."

Getting muddy for a cause

Learned is hoping anyone who wants to join the fight will get their mud shoes on to overcome obstacles for a cause.

Even if the cause is somber, mud run obstacle course ideas offers some unclean fun for participants. "Mudders" will likely find themselves crawling through tires, balancing along a low plank and swinging on a rope from one side of a mud hole to the other.

"If they make it, fine. If not, oh well," said Learned, who at 60-something will be the last one to challenge her own course. "You definitely aren't going to come away clean."

She suspects the slip-and-slide part of the course - in which a tarp is stretched out on a hill and a little detergent is poured on it to help the runners to slide down - will be her favorite.

"It's kind of reverting back to childhood," she said. "It's something the average adult doesn't do, you just don't throw your body down a hill."

The course will be designed for women and girls, but gentlemen and boys will be welcome, too, she said.

Touched by gesture

Gralton said she is touched by her studio the family-like effort. Bad things seem to bring people closer, she reflected.

A whole bunch of mud runners would be great, she said, not only because of the money that would be raised for breast cancer research, but because there would be more chance of spotting a mud run T-shirt around town, Hanna said.

"Seeing them wearing the T-shirts would definitely mean a lot," said Gralton, who also is an artist designed the shirts.

At the end of the course, all the mud runners will be treated to a glass of non-alcoholic champagne in Traci's memory. "Traci loved Asi," Learned noted.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Maxine's Mud Run memorial and benefit for breast cancer research

WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 6

WHERE: outside Maxine's Studio of Dance, S8758 Racine Ave.

COST: $25, includes T-shirt

REGISTRATION: call the studio, (262) 679-1143, or register on the day starting at 9:30 a.m.

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