LEWISTON — Some kids wallowed. Some sank to the bottom of the pit and flopped onto their backs until their faces and clothes turned the color of coffee. And some made mud angels.

Because of the weight of the mud that quickly began to dry in the 80-degree heat, Shane Bergeron, 8, waddled Saturday when he finished the Geiger Elementary School obstacle course, called the Tough Gator Challenge.

But he walked toward the start.

“I want to do it five times,” he said of the 1½-mile course.

And he wasn’t alone.

Two hours after the challenge began — raising as much as $5,000 for the school’s parent-teacher association — some of children had completed eight laps, said parent Chip Groover, who came up with the idea with another father.

They ran a course called “The Tough Mudder” in Vermont and wondered if they might create something similar. It would be fun, Groover figured. It could encourage fitness and teamwork, and it could raise money for the organization that helps fund field trips and visits to the school by authors and other speakers.

The planning began in September, lining up sponsors and materials and in-kind donations. Construction on the course began in April.

Parents mowed grass and cleared trees around the College Road school. They built bridges and balance beams, tunnels and walls.

A contractor donated time and equipment to build the pit. Then, city firefighters came and gave it some water for the mud.

On Friday, about 15 teachers ran the course while the school’s student body cheered. Saturday was everyone else’s chance.

About 220 people preregistered, promising $5 each to run the course. At least 250 more signed up at the school, paying $7 each, Groover said.

About 100 volunteers watched over each piece of the track, from the brook jumps and tunnel squeezes to the mud pit and the last stop, a rinsing Slip-and-Slide run.

“It’s a good workout,’ said Shane’s dad, Lewiston firefighter Kevin Bergeron, covered in mud after a second and final run. Shane’s brother, 11-year-old Spencer, also ran it twice, doing his best to walk through the mud pit.

One unforeseen hazard was a growing collection of shoes that had been mired and abandoned at the bottom of the pit.

They tripped up a few challenge runners.

But no one was hurt, said Groover, who started each run by addressing children and adults on a bullhorn.

“I don’t care how fast you are!” his voice boomed. “It’s not a race. It’s a challenge!”

The starters repeated each cheer: “I’m going to help my fellow gators! Tough Gators! Tough Gators!”

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