There comes a point in every adult’s life when she will find herself stuck in the mud. This could be (a) the slippery, muddy landscape that is life in general, (b) the debilitating, squelchy, shoe-eating mud of the ending of a relationship, (c) the far too wet and terribly smelly mud of a series of unfortunate events*, (d) the inexplicably and suspiciously warm mud of a new opportunity or even (e) the mud pit that smells so convincingly of horse shit one cannot help but wonder if it actually is mud.
Today I found myself chest-deep in option (e). And while that just sounds like the absolute worst thing to happen to a person don’t you worry about me! I am perfectly fine. In fact, I’m more than fine. I am damn happy to have acquainted myself with option (e). Because, you see, today I conquered the Dirty Dash.
In case you are not familiar with the Dirty Dash and stubbornly refused to click on my linky-link I will tell you that the Dirty Dash is a 10K obstacle course extravaganza that also happens to incorporate A LOT of mud.
I know that 10K and obstacle course doesn’t sell it very well but all you need to know is that it is the most fun you will have in your entire life. Like, I didn’t even have to remind myself to pack my smile! It came along for the ride on its own. I never once stopped smiling.
Now that I have you all convinced I bet you are dying to create your own mudslingin’ good time of an experience. That is why I have decided to put together this amazing guide. So without further ado I present to you – How To Dirty Dash:
01// Come up with an amazing team name (Mudbloods!!)** and then frantically search for Harry Potter-esque costumes the night before. After hours of searching give up and buy tutus instead.
02// BUY THE WRIST BAND FOR THE HOT SHOWERS. The money goes towards a great cause and the warm showers are a little slice of heaven.
03// The race will start with a VERY steep hill. Do not try to show off your “hey guys look at me I’m training for a half-marathon” skills. This will become a very bad idea halfway up said hill. Also, realize that the “higher elevation” story is true. WHERE DID ALL THE OXYGEN GO?!
04// Turns out mud is slippery. When your mom suggests that everyone hold hands and jump in to the first mud pit together you will have no idea how deep that mud pit is and you will slip and fall flat on your ass and find yourself with a mouth full of mud. This is inevitable. Realize that the mud makes a nice blanket from how effing cold it is outside. I guess September in the Utah mountains is about 50-60 degrees. Who knew?
05// Don’t treat the hay bales as hurdles. Save your thighs for the rest of the race. Learn to sort of pathetically role over each of them. Pretend you are James Bond on a secret mission.
06// Arrive at the barrel crawl. Realize that how they make the barrel area good and muddy is with a FUCKING SNOW MACHINE (see video). Yes it is somehow blowing water instead of snow. Yes this water will be just as cold. And yes you will lose feeling in your fingers for the remainder of the race.
07// Get to the wall climbs and remember you have zero upper body strength. Make it over the first wall and nearly die. See several more walls and another snow maker. Panic. Remind yourself you can do this. Do it. Sort of.
08// Run right past the 5K shortcut without even considering it. You’re here for the 10K, baby!
09// JELLO SHOTS! Remember you are in Utah and that they contain zero alcohol. Consume anyway. Need sugar!
10// Get to the marsh. Wade through it until all of eternity and your leg muscles refuse to work anymore. Try to ignore the horrible stench. Find intense ecstasy in the mysterious warmth of the water. Appreciate the pioneers for everything they went through. It’s not as easy as it looks on the Oregon Trail!
11// Wonder how your legs are still functional after doing a hundred million tire jumps, running up incredibly steep hills, surviving that marsh and so many other obstacles I have forgotten to mention. Celebrate your superhuman legs.
12// Finally make it to the giant water slide you have been looking forward to. It’s totally as fun as it looks.
13// Wait for the rest of your group to catch up so that you can run the last 100 yards together.
14// Find yourself at the final obstacle before the finish line. THE MUD PITS OF ALL MUD PITS. Forget any lessons learned during the race and jump in to the pit cannon ball style with your entire team. Get mud on many of the spectators. Suckers.
15// Spend the next several hours talking about how much you loved it and how excited you are to do it again next year.
16// Watch the YouTube video a hundred times. Try to be sad that it is 364 days until the next one. Fail at sad because you haven’t been able to stop smiling all day.
You guys. Seriously. Mud Run. They have them all over the country. You don’t even have to be a runner! Three people in our group walked the entire race and still had a blast. So…I’ll see you the mud pits, yes?
*Whatever happened to those books? I’m sad I never finished them!
** It’s kind of embarrassing how long it took me to come up with that name.