Preamble: Last year, on 8 September 12, my team “Filthy Lasses” ran Dirty Girl Buffalo. I brought along an old digital camera that was held together by duct tape in order to get on-course shots. By the end, it was covered in mud, of course. We don’t shy away from getting dirty, as the photos attest. At the end of it, we vowed we’d do it again. So we did. It is so much fun.
The Dirty Girl Mud Run is “a 5 k mud run for women of all ages and abilities.” I often describe Dirty Girl as the baby sibling of the mud run family. Warrior Dash, which Samantha blogged about here, is akin to Dirty Girl, although open to both men and women. The obstacles are more challenging at the Warrior Dash; Dirty Girl has no obstacles that require only your own strength to get over them. Tough Mudder or Spartan are more intense, both in physical demands and in the attitude that surrounds the event. There’s an attitude that surrounds Dirty Girl, for sure, but it’s more like “hen night meets inner six year old.” Want to feel better about what your body can do? Had rough first week of September? Run around a track with your girlfriends cheering you on then careen down a slide into some mud.
This year, for reasons that remain obscure, our team name was not allowed, too close to obscenity or some such. Many of the names of the teams referenced breast cancer awareness, the usual charity of choice for the run. (So, “lasses” was somehow frowned upon, but “titties” and “tatas” and “boobies” etc, were all acceptable.) Instead of our stencilled and spray painted tank tops, we opted for fringed fuschia t-shirts, assorted tights and shorts combos (to protect the legs), and bandanas. In the realm of Dirty Girl costumes, these are tame. We saw tiaras, tutus, lots of day-glo combos, and Wonder Women. Last year, I wore a tutu, but it gets really heavy, really fast. And then it falls down.
There is more makeup at this run than at any of the other races I have ever done combined: lots of glitter, press on rhinestones, bright pink lipstick. At least, that’s what it looks like at the race start.
By the end of the race, you look like this:
Unlike last year’s run that took place on a ski hill, which provides its own set of challenges in terms of making the event fun for all abilities, this year the run took place at a speedway, so it was flat. At the start, loud music and a Zumba instructor kept us moving. (We were grateful for this distraction: it began to rain and the temperatures began to drop just as our wave was starting). The first obstacle was about 750 m from the start, then obstacles followed every 400m to 750 m. My favourite of the obstacles involve climbing; the net wall is arguably the most challenging of the obstacles at Dirty Girl, because it involves both height, movement, and having to change directions at the top.
We got the dirtiest on the big slide (no surprises there — you slide into a pit of mud feet first). I also got my one and only bruise from the event on the slide too, because I hit the bottom of the pit with my left hip. Overall, for this event, I preferred the flat race with more obstacles to the ski hill race of last year.
Here’s the thing about a MUD run: you are meant to get dirty. I’m a fan for lots of reasons, including that it is really hard to be pretentious about, well, anything – including diet choices, exercise regimes, how one looks in spandex – when you are covered in mud. Mud is a great equalizer, as it turns out.