Camel Crawl Mud Run will benefit animal sanctuary

Lesley Kerr is an animal care giver at the Forever Safe Farm animal sanctuary and is caught in a brief moment of affection with “Arthur,” a 13-year-old camel, one of four at the farm. Forever Safe Farm is holding its 4th annual “Camel Crawl Mud Run” on July 8. Individuals and teams can enter right up to the start of the event. Kerr has worked at the popular Forever Safe Farm for three years may have just told Arthur he didn’t have to compete. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)

Lesley Kerr is an animal care giver at the Forever Safe Farm animal sanctuary and is caught in a brief moment of affection with “Arthur,” a 13-year-old camel, one of four at the farm. Forever Safe Farm is holding its 4th annual “Camel Crawl Mud Run” on July 8. Individuals and teams can enter right up to the start of the event. Kerr has worked at the popular Forever Safe Farm for three years may have just told Arthur he didn’t have to compete. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)

SALEM — The fourth annual Camel Crawl Mud Run on July 8 will be held at the Forever Safe Farm Animal Education Center.

The non-profit animal sanctuary is located at 3155 McCracken Road, south of Salem. A registration form is available racepenguin.com/events/camelcrawl.

Registration is $55 per person and the team rate is $45 per person. Spectators are not charged. Food and refreshments are available.

The mud run starts at 10 a.m. and registration includes an event “Camel Crawl T-Shirt” and drawstring backpack, post race taco will be available.

Anyone wanting to help sponsor the event can obtain the forms with sponsor levels and details by contacting the sanctuary President and Director Karrin Campf at karrin@foreversafefarm.org. There were 130 participants at last year’s event.

Lesley Kerr, an animal care giver at Forever Safe, said early bird-registration, which closed on June 10, was ahead of last year. Teams are invited to compete over the 5-K (3.1 miles) course that features 18 tough obstacles rolling across the farms 26 acres.

The course, Campf said, “Is comparable to ‘big races’ and it is also a perfect course to do at your own pace and dive into the mud run craze.”

Yes, craze.

Asked what’s new this year, Kerr said, “More mud, we’re going to have more mud.”

She noted the “Hog Heaven” obstacle is one of her favorites.

“It’s the best once because they think it’s running through a puddle and don’t know how deep it is and then: Surprise! The more mud, the better.”

Parking will be at the Kent State University campus, just south of Forever Safe Farm at 2491 state Route 45.

The purpose of Forever Safe is to provide rescued and retired animals a forever home and educate the public about the proper and healthful care of animals.

It’s not a petting zoo and like on any working farm it’s a seven-day-a-week job to tend to four camels, llamas, horses, cows, goats, deer, cats, dogs, birds and six ducks.

The Camel Crawl is a fundraiser that offsets the annual cost of taking care of the animals and the staff. Kerr, who is a former show performer at the Miami Seaquarium, said, “We hope to have our biggest crowd yet We appreciate the support of our community in helping us help the animals.

“Unfortunately there are some people out there who abuse and neglect animals. Fortunately for the animals and us there are wonderful, amazing people here in the community who help us and support us.”

Campf, as she does so often, emphasized education at the facility is a major goal so schools, groups and families can visit and take tours to learn about the animals who live there.

Forever Safe Farm is open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from May through October. Cost is $8 for adults and $6 for children.

For more information on Forever Safe Farm and the Camel Crawl, visit www.facebook.com., or www.foreversafefarm.org.

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