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The Mud Runs That Have Us Dying to Get Dirty

Mud's an exfoliant, right? (Photo courtesy of Dirty Girl Mud Run)

Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

Let’s be honest: in a world of cleansing, scrubbing, waxing and buffing, it can be completely satisfying to just get dirty sometimes. What makes it extra fantastic? Friends, fitness and a lot of laughter, of course. Oh, and mud, too.

While the mud run has a storied history in team sports, female-only mud runs are beginning to make their mark in the fitness world. Women across the country are getting dirty and challenging their physical limits for a good cause –many nationwide women’s mud runs are tied to a charitable cause, like benefiting children’s hospitals or leukemia and lymphoma research.  All races encourage teamwork to get to the finish (if your girl goes down, help her up!) and the obstacle courses included are designed to be fun, but also safe if you're a newbie. Women-only races are becoming more about the social aspect of getting together with your friends and creating a team—often times in costume. It’s not only a race but one "healthy" step better than happy hour with the ladies. Of course, if you want to push your limits, you may be up for the challenge of the mental and physical anguish endured by participants in races like the Tough Mudder and Spartan Race (where women fully represent!).

In our October issue (check out page 36, on newsstands now!), we featured the Go Dirty Girl mud run, a 5K (3.1 miles) un-timed course full of water pits, hay bales and mud hills. But they’re not the only mud run out there: We tracked down three more 5K courses that have us looking at our calendars so we can get down and dirty, too. Check ‘em out below and maybe we’ll see you in the next mud pit!

Pretty Muddy, locations nationwide

  • Inaugural race takes place in Chicago on September 15
  • Inflatable obstacles made of recycled rubber (less dangerous than the live wires and fire found at most adventure races)
  • Finish line food, drinks and live music
  • Prizes awarded for best costume!
  • In each city, Pretty Muddy partners with a charitable organization and donates a portion of the registration fee. Registrants can also set up their own individual partnership. In Chicago, the Pretty Preferred Partner is the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Circle of Friends.

LoziLu Women’s Mud Run, locations nationwide

  • Each obstacle is meant to challenge you, regardless of fitness level
  • 10-20 obstacles like mud pits, climbing walls, tire courses and wire mazes
  • Music stations throughout the course to keep you slogging, or dancing, through
  • Red carpet finish line for a proper congratulations
  • Celebratory food and goodie bags (full of salon faves!) for cleanup
  • DJ-ed dance party
  • Want help with training? Check out LoziLu’s FREE pre-race training plan
  • At least 5% of your registration fee goes to L.I.F.E (Leukemia Ironman Fundraiser for Eric), a non-profit that supports blood cancer patients and research; you can also donate more at registration.

Kiss Me Dirty, locations nationwide

  • Prepare for mud pits, hurdles and foam runs, depending on location
  • Team costumes strongly encouraged
  • Awards given for best team name, best costumes, oldest participant and fundraising
  •  Kiss Me Dirty races benefit gynecological cancer research facilities in the communities where each race is located. Five percent of your entry fee goes to the facility, and further opportunities for donation are available.

Now you tell us: Have you done any mud runs? Would you?

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