By Chelsea Chambers, Photography by Cy Gilbert
As tried and true Idahoans, we know that summer is about all about fun in the sun. Idaho summers are perfect for just being outside, enjoying the weather, and exercising. We’re famous for our endless hiking trails and bike runs, our expansive rivers and swimming holes, and hidden camping spots that are more than perfect for a weekend in the woods. Idaho has also begun to grow its name for our many benefit runs and walks that promote health and wellness while raising money to support causes important to the growth of the community.
As the days of summer grow thinner, it becomes ever more imperative that we find ways to get outside and stretch our legs before the weather drops again. The last day of summer is September 22nd, and luckily there are plenty of things to keep busy with until then, including the second annual Tater Dash. Those who enjoy the Idaho tradition of getting down and dirty will be right at home in this year’s mud run.
While Idaho may be famous for potatoes, we previously lacked the world records to show it. Jeff Smith, owner and steward of the Twin Oaks Farms and director of the Tater Dash, has plans to reclaim these records for Idaho and our beloved potatoes. Last year’s Tater Dash Mud Run, held at Twin Oaks Farms, helped break history as Idaho claimed its first potato world record. The dash boasted the largest serving of fries, weighing in at over 1,003 pounds! Now, Smith and his colleagues encourage all of Idaho to help break the second world record: mashed potatoes. The record is currently held by France and sets the bar high at 2,297 pounds of mashed potatoes. While the numbers may seem vast, they are not unattainable. This year’s dash is going to produce over two tons of mashed potatoes, served in a variety of creative and delicious ways. From the potato on a stick to the giant vats of mashed glory, Idaho will claim another potato world record, as we rightly deserve.
The Tater Dash isn’t just about record breaking; what makes this run so essential for every Idahoan to participate in is what it stands for in our community. The run benefits the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Coalition, a group that is dedicated to keeping the online world safe for our youth. Furthermore, the 5.2 mile mud run is a physically fun and challenging way to promote fitness and an active lifestyle, as participants must run, walk, crawl, and climb over and through the many mud-laden obstacles that Twin Oaks Farms provides.
The objectives of the mud run extend far beyond the miles that it takes to complete it. The event hopes to inspire the youth of Idaho by providing them the opportunity to work hard and learn how to be a part of the farming adventure by engaging in the boots on the ground experience that Smith and his colleagues continually promote. The Tater Dash Mud Run is guaranteed to reverse the idea of “couch potatoes”, by instead encouraging potato fitness as well as the inclusion of the Idaho community farmland experience. The dash hopes to host over 4,000 participants this year, with each of them getting out and enjoying the final days of summer in the biggest way possible, as well as being a part of world history as we band together to break yet another world record!