Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dirty Dash...(or, Mommy, Don't get Mud on My Mud Shirt!)

Over the weekend, I got dirty.  The Dirty Dash came to Colorado Springs in all it's muddy glory.  The Dirty Dash is a 5K "race that puts all other races to shame.  The Dirty Dash is a mud run obstacle course where a military boot camp meets your inner five-year-old’s fantasy and subsequently converts boy to man and then man to swine.  You’ll need endurance to trudge up mountains of sludge, courage to overcome uncompromising obstacles, a complete lack of shame to wallow in pits of mud and a smile to show through at the end!"

Our team, Deadweight, was comprised of mostly mommies from my neighborhood.
Some of us love running, some despise it.  Some of us gave birth within the last year, some have teens.  Some are more earthy types, others not-so-much.  All of us had a great time!

Prep:  Like all good girl scouts, I wanted to be prepared. (Or maybe the motto was "make new friends"...I've forgotten.)  Happily, I ran across Cassie's Mud Run Tips.  Here's how I adapted them for the Dirty Dash:

1. Hydrate/fuel properly: for me that meant lots of water, bananas, and yes, black bean mac-n-cheese the night before

2. Positive attitude: This meant helping each other out, and having a "no teammate left behind" attitude.  My friend/teammate Bridgett said "We will cross the finishline together, holding hands, even if we are the very last ones."  (This meant a lot to me, because my running confidence has been a bit lacking since I did not to ANY running while I was pregnant with Nugster, and had been having a rough time getting my knees up to the challenge in the past few months.)  Doing this race with friends is essential!

3. Costume: "Deranged Rainbow Brite" included tight-fitting clothing, a lined sports bra, brightly colored bandadna, worn on head (this was the only way we could identify our teammates once we were mud-covered!) swimsuit bottom, and tightly tied shoes that I was excited to donate to Girlsontherun.org 

4. For post-race: We packed a huge beach towel that we had no emotional attachment to, my Dirty Dash t-shirt (which came in our packet) flip flops, and some mesh shorts.  Also, we brought our own adult beverages.

The Good:  The Dirty Dash Colorado benefited many charities, including the American Cancer Society.  While giving feels good, in this case it also was FUN!  Probably the most fun I've had doing a race.  I mean, even those folks who like a good 5K, 10K, half- or full marathon can hardly say they had fun the whole time.  It's more about having accomplished something.  If you look at Dash photos, such as those found on outtherecolorado.com you'll see everyone is smiling.  Also, the race t-shirt, while not dri-fit, is supersoft cotton, and a very flattering cut, and we were allowed to try them on for size at packet pick-up! Perfect for post-race, and wearing around town!  Dirty Dash pint glasses were 2/$5, and kids t-shirts were $6. 

Nugster loved his yellow "I like to eat mud" shirt, which, after a few tumbles in the hot dryer, fit him just fine!

The Bad Could Be Better:  The packets were simple "Thank You for Shopping Here" plastic bags, which contained 2 mini bars, our bib, a car decal, and some running shop propaganda.  I would have been happy to forgo the bag altogether.  Also, a reusable shopping tote would have been fitting, since the Dirty Dash encourages car pooling to save the environment.  Apparently not all race packets were the same. Since I snagged a deal on entry, I really can't complain, although I would have liked one of those pig tattoos that some of my teammates got in their bags.   Along the same lines, at the Dirty Dash, spectators usually can buy water balloons to pummel us Dashers, with proceeds going to charity, but the organizers ran out of water balloons before our heat (10:00AM).  Also, the food/fuel station was distributing beer pre-race (which I guess is also a Good, but I craved a powerade) and the bananas were about 3 weeks from being ripe.  (These are relatively minor points, but I thought they might be helpful to know.)  

The Ugly Muddy: The rest is best told in pictures.

 So in closing, I plan to enter more Dirty Dashes, and similar events.  Being a mommy means less time to train for longer more "serious" races, so I think mud runs may be the perfect fit!


Have you ever participated in a mud run?   

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