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The Hodag to be known worldwideSubmitted: 06/15/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - The Hodag will soon be more famous thanks to a Canadian production crew.

C-M-J Productions is creating a documentary called Boogymen that features small towns with monster mascots.

Rhinelander legend has it that Gene Shepard caught the Hodag and displayed it at the 1896 Oneida County Fair.

Today more than 20 people participated in the reenactment of Shepard and his Hodag.

"Every time you hear about Gene Shepard, one of the first thing that comes out of people's mouths is that he reenacted this thing, the showing of the Hodag way back at the first Oneida County Fairs," said Jerry Shidell.

"And I thought it had to be fun then, let's do it now."

About a dozen people came to watch the fun.

Even one of Shepard's relatives came to see his family legend come to life.

"It's just been fun within my family. Growing up it was more of a family big deal," Gene Shepard's relative, Paula Barbian said.

"It wasn't real big in the area for years, but then it's really grown and grown. I just take a lot of pride in it."

The documentary won't be shown in the U.S., only in Canada.

But if it's picked up by a network in the united states, Rhinelander's legacy could be known nation wide.

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CRANDON - The first annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge made its way to Crandon Saturday.

The International Off-Road Raceway welcomed nearly 200 participants ready to get down and dirty.

Men and women of all ages were brought together by the desire to work up a sweat.

"There's not a lot of opportunities like this in the northwoods, so it's always great to see one pop up," said Justin Lund.

He's an experienced obstacle course athlete and came in first in the men's 10k.

And for the women, Sheila Reynolds also took first place.
 
"It's fun and then you get other people running and you're encouraging them along in a way. It's just a great atmosphere," said Reynolds.

Athletes participating in the mud challenge had the option of running as an individual or on a team. When registering, they chose between the 5k or 10k.

Not only are these athletes getting all muddy as they're going through the race, they also have to climb over obstacles like these barrels of hay.

Some of the obstacles included a tire wall, slip n' slide, and muddy wet puddles to get through.

"I talked to a lot of the runners before we went and they said that the obstacles were tough and they really liked the course," said Beaver, one of four runners on a team.

Beaver and The Boys completed the course with only a few setbacks along the way.

"I lost my shoe in the middle of it and had to go back and find it," he said.

Athletes had to get up and over more than 15 obstacles throughout the race.

All the money raised will go to the Northwoods United Way and American Cancer Society.

The second annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge will take place next year.

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