Go Dirty with Dirty Girl Mud Runs
Disclaimer: This is post is written in partnership with Go Dirty Girl. All opinions expressed are 100% mine.
I had the privilege of running my first mud run earlier this month.
Who is Dirty Girl?
Dirty Girl is the nation’s largest women’s-only mud run. It’s a non-competitive, un-timed 5K muddy obstacle course that’s open to women of all ages and athletic abilities. Cancer survivors run at all Dirty Girl events for free, and Dirty Girl will give $250,000 in 2013 to breast cancer charity Bright Pink.
I was lucky enough to have some friends run with me (thank you Tami, Coco and Monica!), and I have to tell you…that’s the way to go. It is so much more fun to get down & dirty and breathless with friends. Plus I didn’t feel so silly dressing up to run. I know having the right clothing definitely helped me enjoy running, the options can be a bit overwhelming. This article was a big help when choosing the best running tights for me.
Overall, I thought Dirty Girl did a nice job at putting this event together. We were East of Los Angeles (near Lancaster) at a paintball field, which means lots of dirt and open areas. The volunteers were nice and helpful and everything was nice and organized.
After arrival, we checked in, grabbed our swag (a nice tee shirt & necklace), stored our personal items, and headed toward the starting line. The run has staggered start times as to not cause traffic jams at all of the obstacles. I would have like to have seen less people in our group as we did seem to wait a little too much at some of the obstacles, but it wasn’t too bad.
Prior to starting we had a fun zumba dance-off to get us warmed up & then we were out of the gates running. The first obstacle was a super fun blow up bumpy slide and then it was time for the first of 5 or 6 cold mud obstacles. (Did I mention they were co-co-cold?) The 5K (3.1 miles) course had several obstacles (not all mud ones) spread throughout the hilly backcountry. I enjoyed myself. Thought it was a little too easy, but this was perfect for my first mud run. Now we all have the mud run bugs and can’t wait to go again. However, I’ve jotted down a few things that caught my eye that I’ll share with you if you’re ever planning on doing a run such as this. Hope this helps.
Tips for the mud run runner:
- The more the muddier…err, I mean merrier! Grab a friend, or two, or ten! Invite your co-workers. This is a great icebreaker and team building experience.
- Be prepared to get your hair muddy. To the girls who have extensions or newly styled hair – I suggest you put it up in a tight bun. I saw some women in shower caps, and bandanas. If you’re alright with looking silly to save your hair, a swimming cap would definitely keep the mud out of your hair. Paul Mitchell was one of the sponsors and had booths where you can get your hair done before or after the race. That was a nice touch! Plus we all got pink mustaches which we fun (see picture below).
- Carpool and take cash and your ID – even though we had a group we all drove individually. We should have met up somewhere in the local town and drove in since parking was $10 (cash) per car. You will also need your photo ID to check in and if they serve alcoholic beverages they will need to verify your age. We received a voucher for one free beer, and boy did that taste great after the race (do not drink it before that race!)! Most races have a vendor section where you can purchase race-based merchandise. These are not cheap so if you don’t have enough cash on hand, make sure you bring your credit card. I don’t always buy items from events, but I will for special occasions (I bought a sweatshirt this time since it was my first mud run).
- Bring water for before and after the race. You’ll be happy you have it handy when there’s a long line to get hydrated.
- Bring a backpack which at least 1 large towel, 1 large garbage bag for your muddy/wet clothes and shoes, change of clothes, beauty items (make-up, hair brush, etc.), deodorant, fresh pair of socks and shoes/flip flops. Next time I might bring 2-3 towels for body, hair & car.
- Suggestions for clothing –there are a lot of races that are raising money for one or multiple charitable organizations. Most races encourage you to have fun and dress up. Find out what they are and coordinate with your teammates. We got so many compliments on our hot pink outfits with the neon tutus! Some teams made tee shirts. My favorite was “Tutus for Tatas.”
- With regard to dressing up, I really liked having our tights on. I will definitely wear something next time that covers my knees. When crawling on your hands and knees, the tights saved my knees.
- If the race is staggered, re-evaluate your time slot. We chose 10:30am, but found that there were a lot of groups going at that time which caused a backup at the obstacles. After we finished and saw other times heading out they had very few people and the course was wide open. In hindsight, I would have liked to go later in the day so we could keep up the momentum from one obstacle to the next. However, if your race is during the warm months, take into consideration the weather forecast to see how the heat might affect your outcome.
- Old shoes? Don’t want to clean them or bring them home? No problem! Some races will take your shoes, clean them, and then donate them to the less fortunate. I really liked that aspect of the race.
- I think this is by far the most important…Pat yourself on the back! Reward yourself because you set out to finish the run. That’s a big accomplishment; not everybody can do it or would even try to do it. It doesn’t matter if you ran the entire length or had to walk it. What matters is that you finished. Put a smile on your face, you did it!
Check out when Dirty Girl is coming to a city near you! You won’t regret it!