Things to do, places to go this weekend: Mud, mud, glorious mud

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The Independent Culture
Follow me, follow, down to the hollow on New Year's Day for a glorious hangover cure. It is, naturally, the traditional annual Maldon Mud Race, wherein post-Christmas revellers quite deliberately dash across the deep, boggy brown stuff at the picturesque Blackwater Estuary. It is a gruelling test of spirit, and indeed, perhaps the contestant who has necked the most vodka beforehand will turn out to be the winner, immune as she will be from considerations of warmth, dryness and dignity. Why on earth do people do this? Margaret Rooke-Matthews, promotions officer at Maldon District Council, has a theory: "It seems to appeal to the slightly eccentric side of the normally strait-laced British personality." It is also, of course, all for charidee, and good causes helped include St Clare's Hospice, St John's Ambulance and King George's Fund for Sailors. If you're not already signed up, well too late, because entry closed at Christmas; your yen for flapping around in mud can be well satisfied in your very own garden with the help of a hose. But come along anyway and watch: while the soiled contestants dash to the hot shower block, you can prop up the beer tent. Hair of the dog, you see.

Promenade Park, Maldon, Essex (01621 875842) 1pm New Year's Day

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