The Dirty Dash isn't the kind of race where runners try to set a new record. There are no ribbons or trophies for the first runner across the finish line either. That's because the real fun of this race isn't in winning, it's in the actual running itself. And watching groups of costumed adults play in the mud, of course.
Part light-hearted race, part military-style obstacle course, The Dirty Dash challenges runners with a course strewn with muddy obstacles with a focus on fun. In order to reach the finish, runners will have to hop over hay bales in mud pits, navigate rows and rows of tires set in wet soil, and even launch themselves down a foamy, 175-foot slip-n-slide. Besides the ultimate reward?the opportunity to spend a day in the mud?each participant also gets a t-shirt, pig tattoo, bandana, and pig decal, as well as a perfect excuse to visit their favorite dry cleaner.
David Goodwin’s back pain was so severe that he couldn’t bend over to sit on the floor and play with his kids. In his search for relief, he stumbled upon a CrossFit class. As he returned again and again for four months, he found that each week his pain was less than it had been the previous week. The results saved playtime with his kids and compelled him to complete his training certifications for CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Endurance.
Today, David works at Hermes CrossFit, where he and several other CrossFit Level 1–certified trainers guide exercisers of all fitness levels through CrossFit’s workout of the day. The routines incorporate a changing hodgepodge of bodyweight, gymnastic, Olympic lifting, plyometric, and dragon-tickling exercises that classes of students complete quickly and intensely.
Here are the sounds you'll hear at a typical marathon: huff, puff, wheeze, snort, repeat. Here are the sounds you'll hear at the Hit and Run 5K: sploosh, boing, splat, whoopee, and other onomatopoeias that haven't yet been invented. Less like a race and more like running through a living cartoon, the Hit and Run 5K's obstacle course of inflatable onslaughts has been known to "make ninjas cry."
Dodging, ducking, leaping, and balancing across a wet-and-rubbery battlefield, contestants face formidable foes such as the giant spinning balls of the Duck or Dive, the unreliable puffy poles of the Wobble Walk, the flying wet menaces at the Whacking Wall, and the Bouncy Bridge, which is kind of like London's Tower Bridge if it were any fun. All contestants receive their own spiffy T-shirts and matching headbands?a fetching ensemble that instantly deflates roving dodge balls?along with a hearty packet of deals from the race's sponsors.
For runners at the starting line of Run13, LLC's signature half-marathons, 10Ks, and 5Ks, it's all downhill from there. The organization plots many of its events on a breezy downhill route, giving beginning runners a leg up on their first race and experienced runners a better shot at a personal record. But runners aren't the only ones that benefit. The Racing Cane 10K, 5K, and 1K benefits children in the Dominican Republic's impoverished cane-shack communities, using shoe collections and race registrations to help them break out of the cycle of poverty. And for every race, the organization designates a charity to donate its proceeds to, often taking suggestions from its fans or the magic 8 ball that presides over all affairs.
Like living in a science-fiction movie, or a real-life X-Files that leaves "We Are Not Alone" T-shirts soaked in sweat, The Invasion Run 5K combines the thrills of a race with the chills of a "little green men" onslaught for a unique racing experience. Armed with glow sticks, contestants consisting of humans, monsters, robots, spacemen, and other characters of sci-fi lore race under the starry sky for the prize across five cleverly crafted battlegrounds. Race trails carved in fields of corn give way to creepy crop circles, an alien mothership, the mysterious Area 51, and a slimy slime dump and slime pit that covers racers in slime.