Up early to drive to Midway for The Dirty Dash, a 10K trail race with obstacles and lots of mud. This turned out to be the biggest inaugural race in Utah’s history.
Many people dressed in costumes--these folks took it one step further.
They had multiple waves of runners going all day. I was in the first wave of individual competitors starting at 9:00 am.
My mud gear consists of a Park City Marathon technical T, running shorts, technical socks, and my Adidas trail shoes, which are made of mesh to allow the mud to flow back out, as well as having the deepest lugs of my 3 pair.
This is not an accurate map of the course by any means. Obstacles were in a different order and we certainly didn't run in a circle. Still, it gives you an idea.
I lined up at the front. Many runners had on crazy costumes and were running it for fun. Races for me are serious business, so I was going for time and place.
That's me in the "lead" for about 2 seconds.
The race starts up a steep, muddy hill. They had a big sprinkler going. That quickly separated the dudes in full suits from the relative handful of us actually trying to compete.
We continued to climb for about a mile. Pretty exhausting. We passed through a snow making machine that blew freezing cold water on us. We headed down another trail after reaching the top. They had 3 foot high hay bails across the trail in about 6-8 spots.
I didn't pull any 360's myself
My strategy was to leap off with my right foot, land on top with the left, and then land with my right. Most of the trails were mud free, so it was very runnable and therefore very tiring.
Thank goodness for kilt undergarments.
The next obstacles were two sets of pipes that you had to crouch down and scramble through on all fours.
The course had a ton of hills, which was the toughest obstacle of all. I’ve run a lot of trail races, and this was up there in difficulty.
One of the tougher challenges were the walls. They had about 20 yards of deep mud leading up to wooden walls that we had to climb over, after having already run about 3-4 miles.
I used the old plant the hands, throw up a foot, and hurdle the rest of my body over method. It was sploosh on the other side into more mud.
Someone's about to get real muddy.
I think the tires came next—a lot of them. Maybe a hundred feet of tires you had to step through football training style. Raising the knees that high to get in and out of those tires was tiring.
I hung the entire race with a 7th and 9th grader. One runs cross country and the other goes to a private school and runs marathons. We took a wrong turn at a fence, not realizing we had to go through it, losing a little time. That led to a mud bog out by Deer Creek Reservoir. The course went an entire mile through deep mud and water. It was a mess.
My trail shoes really came in handy there. I know most of the racers today were wearing regular running shoes without any traction. Plus, there’s no way for these to come off, no matter how sticky and deep the mud.
We were breathing really heavy by the time we left the mud fields behind us. We followed a parallel trail to the one we came out on, passing all the other runners, most of them walking. I don’t think they realized how tough it was going to be today. The last half mile featured the steepest climb of the race. I had to dig deep to make it to the top without walking.
However, at the top, they had waiting a custom built, massive slip ‘n slide going downhill 150 yards.
They said it was the largest in the world, but who knows. There were 4-5 lanes. I chose the middle one where the water from a fire hose was strongest. The cross country kid had launched himself down the first lane just before I got there.
I took a running start and threw myself onto the slide, flying down until the last 50 yards where I had to use my arms to keep moving. I exited before the kid and flew downhill towards the finish. The last 100 yards was an army boot camp style mud crawl under ropes.
A 5 member team of Greek gods heads for the final plunge.
It was deep, dirty, and cold. Deep enough that I went under once and had to struggle to keep moving forward.
Pool of mud
I had muddy water drooling from my mouth at this point
Crawling to the finish
One more steep dirt mound to climb over after exiting the mud and then across the finish line.
Got my photo taken and then I found my way to the showers. I had mud everywhere.
Awesome race!!! If there were any negatives, it's that they didn't have any drinking water at the end and the result tracking was sketchy at best. Finishing times are posted here, but they are organized by bib number and start times on a PDF form.
I tried to figure out the top 10 overall finishers for the day, but my guess is that some of the people who were supposed to start in the second wave actually started in the first, so their times were 14 minutes fast. We had about 550 runners in wave 1, and I came in 10th overall in that group, with a time of 54:20. Drew Linton came in first with 50:06.
I came across this guy on a blog. He got mud in his eye and scratched his cornea, earning him a trip to the insta-care.