Did you think that because the Vermont ski season is over, there are no more chances to challenge yourself and have a good time in the mountains? Guess again.
The Dirty Girl Mud Run is coming to Killington, Vermont on July 8, 2017 offering women a chance to enjoy not just the mountain scenery but to get filthy, have fun, and maybe even find empowerment at the same time.
How do I know? I was lucky enough to enjoy the May 2015 Dirty Girl Mud Run in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was the best time I’ve ever had on a mountain that didn’t involve skis.
Challenge Yourself and Have a Great Time
For the past year when I haven’t been skiing I have been training to run a 5K – and by “training” I mean about 3 miles around my neighborhood a few times a week. I was excited to have Dirty Girl be my first official 3.1-mile run.
The course in Scranton circled the base of a mountain. While it did have some changes in elevation, it was not too challenging for me to run almost the entire way.
Of course, what makes the run special isn’t really the course, but the obstacles. Although I personally think these should be renamed the “can-dostacles” because the emphasis is on seeing what you’re capable of. I surprised myself by climbing up and sliding down the giant inflatable Barn Burner; leaping over the Hot Mess, as the fire pit is called; and most of all by climbing across a horizontal rope net and then grabbing hold and shimmying down a fire pole at the Slidin’ Dirty obstacle.
Dirty Girl Mud Runs are truly for every woman who can walk or run in any capacity. Lots of people walk the course. There are no timers and everyone gets a medal at the end. Participants don’t have to complete every obstacle – although you’ll find the volunteers working each to be both persuasive and encouraging. Everyone can make it to the finish line.
And even though the races are for women only (girls have to be at least 14 to participate), what I really loved in Scranton was seeing all the men and boys standing on the sidelines cheering on their wives, moms, sisters, and friends. The event is very family friendly and makes for a fun weekend. Or put together a team of your besties and make it a girls’ getaway.
They Aren’t Kidding About the Dirty Part…
It would be possible to complete this run and stay somewhat clean – but why would you want to? I did a commando crawl through the mud and went also waist deep while throwing a beach ball to my fellow runners. I’m not sure I’ve ever been quite that dirty – but I do know I had a grin on my face the entire time.
Most of the mud happens in the obstacles, but there are also portions of the course that are just plain muddy as a matter of nature; and if it’s been rainy recently that will be even more true.
…Or About Doing Good
Bright Pink is the charity partner for Dirty Girl Mud Runs. This organization is dedicated to helping younger women prevent and detect breast and ovarian cancer through education and empowerment. Dirty Girl’s parent organization donated $50,000 to Bright Pink earlier this year and run participants can add $5 to their registration fee to help the effort as well.
Many women complete the race in honor of someone they know who has cancer or are survivors themselves. It’s truly inspiring to see all the good will and love.
A Few Day-Of Dirty Girl Mud Run Tips
There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind at the Dirty Girl event. Occasionally you do run the risk of losing a shoe in all that ooey gooey mud, so you may want to duct tape them to your body before you start.
You’ll definitely see tutus and tiaras worn at this event. As long as you don’t mind getting them dirty, I say go for it (but don’t wear any valuable jewelry).
Don’t expect to continuously run the course if you’re going to do the obstacles – since each can hold only a limited number of people at a time, you will end up stopping to wait in line.
There are hoses at the end of the course for washing up, but you also will want to have plenty of towels for your vehicle as you won’t be all that clean when you drive away.
I was surprised to find that I was a little sore the day after the run, so you might want to have a little ibuprofen or some ice packs in your bag.
If you can’t think snow, why not think mud?
Mara Gorman may live at sea level now, but she’s a native New Englander and mountain aficionado who grew up skiing in Vermont. She spends as many days each winter as she can chasing her two teen boys through glades and across mogul fields and regularly journeys far and wide to get on the slopes. Mara blogs about her family’s many travel adventures at The Mother of all Trips. She is also the author of The Family Traveler’s Handbook and an award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in various USA Today print publications as well as on websites such as BBC Travel. When there’s no snow, Mara and her family can be found hiking, biking and eating around the United States and Europe.