Forget Ridin’ Dirty, I’m Runnin’ Dirty!

6 Sep

In the last couple of years there has been a surge in mud/obstacle race series. In a few short words…I LOVE IT. I first ventured into mud runs with the 2007 Goodwill Mud Run (then called the St. Francis Upstate Challenge Run). I was hooked! For starters, running in the mud totally breaks up the monotony of serious road races. There is absolutely nothing I do not like about mud/obstacle runs. Wait, that’s a lie. Getting gritty mud in your mouth is pretty gross, but it isn’t a total deal breaker. Just remember to keep your MOUTH CLOSED when going through those sloshy pits. Oh, and keep your eyes closed if you have to go under mud or under water. Think about this, if you get mud in your eyes and there is mud all over your hands, how do you plan on wiping your eyes off?

It's a good look for me, I know. :)

The insane obstacles are really my favorite part of mud runs. They allow you to utilize muscles in your body that regular road races do not normally tap into. Tire flipping, wall scaling, belly crawls, and berm hurdling…love it all! I may not be the leanest and speediest runner, but I tend to do well in mud/obstacle runs because I am good with using my whole body to complete a challenge.

With mud/obstacles runs, you do not run to set a PR…you run for the fun of running. And sometimes, we all need to do that. You know…just cut loose and act like a kid again.

Fall down.
Get dirty.
Get mud in your hair and under your fingernails.
Give big, gross muddy hugs and high fives to your friends.

Have I convinced you to try a mud run yet? Yes? Awesome! Here are a few more tips to make your run go *slightly* smoother:

Tie your shoes tight. Once they get wet and soggy, they’ll get heavy and want to slide off. You will see some people duct taping their shoes on. This isn’t really necessary and will just make it harder than heck to get them off afterwards.

Wear some old or cheap compression shorts under your shorts. Mud will want to creep into all your bodily nooks and crannies and you will want to do all you can to keep it out of there. Trust me on this one.

Don’t wear a shirt that is too loose. Once it is wet, it will sag and stretch out. In turn, it will get heavier. On my first mud run I wore a loose tank top and I swear it was three times bigger by the end of the race than when I started.

Pick up a pair of cheap sunglasses. In the event your course features an obstacle where your head will go through mud or mud will be sprayed at you, you will find these helpful. After that obstacle, you can pull the sunglasses off and toss them to the side without feeling bad about letting them go. The cheap sunglasses will allow you to keep your eyeballs mud-free without trying to figure out how to wipe mud from them with muddy hands.

Bring a volunteer camera person. Trust me, you will want photos and you will be way to gross to operate that camera yourself.

Bring flip-flops. Most mud runs have a post-race rinsing area. In addition, they typically have bins or piles where you can donate your muddy shoes. Once you get rinsed off, those flip-flops will be comfy and you won’t have to worry about hauling those mud caked running shoes all the way home.

Bring tarps and extra towels. Even the post-race rinsing station will not get you all the way clean. You will most likely need a full-on detoxing once your return to your house. You will want to cover your car seats in the tarps or extra towels just to keep them clean and free of your gunk.

Leave the jewelry (yes, wedding rings included) at home. You will be wet. You will be muddy. Rings will slide off and jewelry will just get GROSS or lost. Do yourself a favor and leave all the goods at home on the dresser.

Bring some post-run grub. Most races will have post-race food, but with these events, people tend to linger a while afterwards. You may get hungry while waiting in line for the rinsing station, so at least pack a protein bar or quick snack to refuel after the run.

Now you are ready to sign up for a mud run! Here are some of the more popular races. For more information, be sure and check out Obstacle Racing.

Go Dirty Girl
Spartan Race
Warrior Dash
Tough Mudder
Go Ruck Challenge
Expedition Everest Challenge
Merrell Down & Dirty
Columbia Muddy Buddy
Rebel Race
Run Ruckus
The Mudathlon

Do YOU run dirty? Have you ever done a mud run before? If so, would you do it again? What tips do you have for a mud run newbie?

7 Responses to “Forget Ridin’ Dirty, I’m Runnin’ Dirty!”

  1. Kristyn G at 10:38 AM #

    I am running my first Mud Run this weekend at the Navy CB Base here in Gulfport (, so this post was perfect timing for me! Thanks for the tips.

  2. I did Muddy Buddy with my cousin last summer and it was a riot. He’s a good 8″ taller than me, so sharing a bike was interesting… as was the rest of the race! We were covered in mud at the end and had a total blast! If it weren’t for the really expensive entry fee, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  3. Ann at 11:30 AM #

    I haven’t done a mud run, bur I totally want to!!!! Love it!!!

  4. Eric at 12:07 PM #

    Love mud runs, check out my muddy buddy report 🙂

  5. Brooke at 3:15 PM #

    did the Marine Corp Mud Run last year and going back for another round this weekend. Love this!!

  6. Jenn Yokley at 9:06 PM #

    I’m running the Warrior Dash this weekend and can’t wait! These tips are super helpful and I’ll be sure to keep them all in mind before I hit the course. 🙂

  7. daphne ford at 1:37 AM #

    Obstacle Races requires not only some running experience but also some muscle conditioning to help you get through. Sharpens your mental abilities to plan and expedite in situations that normally would not happen in real life.

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