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They came, they saw, they Conquered the Creek

Unique obstacle course provides good dirty fun in Tiffin
An unidentified participant slips upon entering the mud pit near the end of the adult course for the Conquer the Creek obstacle course event, in Tiffin, on Saturday, Aug. 24. Kids ran a course, including crossing Clear Creek, climbing dirt piles and walls and getting soaked by a fire hose, during the morning session. Adults had a longer course which included negotiating a cargo net, a mud pit and a large dirt pile in the afternoon.

TIFFIN– Solon has Beef Days. Swisher has Fun Days. North Liberty has Blues & BBQ. Jason Wilkerson is hoping his Conquer the Creek family obstacle course joins these other events on the map of summertime fun.
“Everybody’s got these certain events that towns are known for,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do for Tiffin. It’s something totally different, a youth obstacle course, just to get kids out of the house,”
It started with a dream that took shape after participating in two similar events: one in Madison, Wis., called The Warrior, and the one in Iowa City, some years back, put on by the ROTC called The Warrior Challenge. The ROTC event died out due to a lack of volunteers, Wilkerson said. It also took a lot of brainstorming with friends as the vision slowly evolved.
It also required approval from the Tiffin City Council for the event to be held at the Tiffin baseball fields, and a lot of help. For his event, the Tiffin Lions Club and members of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Iowa, Canopy Lodge No. 290 of Oxford, pitched in along with many other volunteers. The Tiffin Fire Department provided trucks and manpower to soak participants during the kid’s event in the morning.
The name Conquer the Creek is not only in reference to Clear Creek, which participants had to cross in a steep and muddy area, but also to the Clear Creek Amana Community School District, a significant presence in Tiffin with the high school, middle school, and now two elementary schools.
Speaking of the creek, it and the weather, cooperated with Wilkerson.
“If the water was going to be high, we’d have had to change everything, pushed it back,” he said.
Kids ran in the morning with the adults taking on a longer and more challenging course in the afternoon. Participants found a variety of challenging obstacles from walls to climb, dirt piles, a mud pit, and the Creek itself.
Conquer the Creek was also something of a back-to-school event, Wilkerson said, “something to end their summer with a bang.”
The Iowa Army National Guard loaned some obstacles and provided a Humvee for display, as did the University of Iowa’s (UI) ROTC program.
The UI Veterans Association benefited from the event, as did local youth sports programs.
“I just want to put Tiffin on the map for something other than just ‘The Fastest Growing Town,’” Wilkerson said. “It’s our first year, we’re going to learn from our mistakes, and we just want to make Tiffin known for something.”