WATERVILLE, Maine — Cheers from the sidelines as sneakers splish splashed through the mud Sunday morning at Thomas College's 5th annual Dirty Dog Mud Run.
By the time each runner crossed the finish line, most were covered head to toe with mud from the 5k race and obstacle course.
Hardy Cummings ran for the fifth year with more than just obstacles out on the course, but in his own life these past five years as well.
He ran the first mud run in 2015 with his daughter, Halee Cummings.
"Her and I started it together and every year I continue to do this with all of my friends and family that join us," said Hardy.
It was Tucker Cummings, Hardy's nephew's fourth race.
"This year there's a lot more mud, it's a lot warmer, and it was beautiful out there," said Tucker.
"When the sun's shining, Halee's shining down," said Hardy. "She's here with us."
Halee died in the Fall of 2015 when she was killed as the passenger in an ATV crash. She was 18-years-old.
Now, her family runs in her honor with "no excuses," just like it says on the back of their matching shirts.
"She always said, 'no excuses,' and halfway through the race I was sort of repeating it in my head because I felt like, I'm halfway through and I don't know if I can go on with this, but I just kept repeating to myself no excuses, no excuses and I just gave her hell," said Tucker.
Hardy admitted that the past five years without Haylee have been difficult for the family.
"Its been a rough time for everyone in the family," said Hardy. "We have a really close, huge family and we all continue to be close and do things in Halee's honor that we think would make her happy. We know she'd want to be here with us so it makes us feel better to do these things knowing that if she was here, she would be here with us as well. We just do [everything we can] like this race in her memory."
This yearly event helps to keep her memory alive.
We "run this race in her honor, in hopes I can do this the rest of my life in honor of Halee," said Hardy.