Mud Runs– the new fad in 5ks+ Which one is for me?

Its been pretty hard to miss these days, seems to be a Mud Run/Obstacle Course type event every weekend somewhere! There are Tough Mudders, Spartan Races, Dirty Dashes, among them, now there’s even a COLOR Run!

I happened to do a Mud Run in 2010, right before it seemed like they were all the rage. There were only about 3 obstacles, which were kind of lame, and the “mud” was nothing but freezing cold brown water! Needless to  say, I was disappointed! I wanted to take really muddy pictures! (I did at least wear a sweet outfit) After that experience, however, the “mud run” didn’t seem all that exciting…… WELL…

Here’s my “after” pic… not so muddy, eh?!! (just wet… DUMB!)

NOW that the mud run/adventure/obstacle race has become more popular, I think it’s time to give it another shot. These races are definitely right up the alley of “being a sweaty betty” because there is a huge element of FUN!

Now the dilemma: WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??

I did some research and found some of the more popular series. These races range anywhere from 1-12+ miles!  Feel free to add in the comments section any that I may have missed. (all descriptions are directly from the race event websites)

Tough Mudder- Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, half a million inspiring participants, and more than $3 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.

Spartan Race- is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal. Spartan Race now introduces a level for everyone beginning with the entry level Spartan Sprint, intermediate level Super Spartan, the advanced Spartan Beast, and the ‘99.9% need not apply’ extreme level Spartan Death Race.

Warrior Dash- the only info I got from the site was “The World’s Largest Running Series” but it looks like a blast and has some GREAT training ideas- for core, upper and lower body! gotta like that!

Dirty Dash- This race that puts all other races to shame.  The Dirty Dash is a mud run obstacle course where a military boot camp meets your inner five-year-old’s fantasy and subsequently converts boy to man and then man to swine. You’ll need endurance to trudge up mountains of sludge, courage to overcome uncompromising obstacles, a complete lack of shame to wallow in pits of mud and a smile to show through at the end!

Devil Dash-an adventurous 5K running race. Racers will ascend the “Purgatory” course and conquer obstacles themed after the 7 Deadly Sins, before entering the pearly gates and the “Beer Garden of Eden”. Obstacles include climbing over cargo nets, running through the river, crawling through mud pits, darting through fire and trudging up steep terrain and much more….. Devil Dash is an all day running event, complete with mud, blood, beer, cheer and live music! (they had me at Beer)

Dirty Girl- is a 5k mud run for women of all ages and athletic abilities. Don’t worry, it’s not a “race” in the traditional sense.
It is an untimed obstacle course designed to push you slightly out of your comfort zone, but only as far as you are comfortable going. Forming teams is encouraged, and so is helping your fellow Dirty Girls get through to the finish. At a Dirty Girl Mud Run you’ll find excitement, laughter, and camaraderie—as well as lots of music and even some adult beverages. It’s a day you’ll never forget.

Kiss Me Dirty-Everyone from the pretty princesses to the filthiest of female slop jocks is bound to enjoy the downright dirty goodness that Kiss Me Dirty mud runs offer. You will hop, skip, jump, slip and scramble your way through obstacles and mud to become an OFFICIAL “Dirty Girl”, and with filthy fun like this, you just might have to ask someone to “Kiss Me Dirty” once you finish! Kiss Me Dirty events are female-only mud runs designed for women of all athletic abilities, with a portion of proceeds benefiting gynecological cancer research

The Color Run-The Color Run pretty much has 2 SIMPLE rules. 1. White shirts (any mostly white T will work great) mandatory at the start line and 2. Color plastered EVERYTHING at the finish!  Runner/walkers begin the 5k at the start line like a brand new pristine coloring book, they end looking like they fell into a Willy Wonka… tie dyed… vat of colored goodness.

Beach Dash- Beach Dash is a gnarly running event held on sandy shores where Dashers get their feet wet while tackling a series of radical obstacles. As the sun sets, the stoked crowd lets loose with beer and beach tunes! (they also do fundraising for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals)

Great Urban Race- is a wacky urban adventure. Teams of two solve twelve clues, have a wild city adventure and complete fun challenges while discovering the city in a fresh new way!

Run For Your Lives(Zombie Run)-Protect your brain and run for your life. This is one race where your legs giving out are the least of your problems. Run For Your Lives is a first-of-its-kind event, one part 5K, one part obstacle course, one part escaping the clutches of zombies — and all parts awesome.Runners will navigate a series of challenging obstacles throughout a 5K course in an attempt to reach the finish line — all while avoiding zombies. At the end of this adventure race, you get to celebrate survival (or zombie transformation) with live entertainment and music, local celebrities, vendors, food, and of course, beer!

and now please enjoy this video– while you think about “is this race right for me?” LOL

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  1. Branden Loock says:

    Hey ladies, I wanted to drop in my $.02.

    I have done 3 of these races in the past couple years, and absolutely love them. I have done the Warrior Dash in Copper Mountain Colorado ( friggen awesome!) and the Dirty Dash up at Soldier Hollow twice. What I like about the Dirty Dash is the length. They give you an option to shortcut it and only go about 3.25 miles, or the FULL which is about 5.75 miles or so. Its a real eyeopener at about 4.5 miles when you realize how far you really have gone!

    TheWarrior Dash is to me seems to have some great ideas for obstacles, and dont really leave you a choice but to accomplish them in order to finish. The atmosphere and fun is also a little more party-ish at the warrior dash. (There will be a Warrior Dash this year iin Utah for the first time on September 15 in Coalville).

    Anyway, there are a few more I’d lie to try like the Spartan, and Man vs. Mud, but one thing for sure is I will keep doing them as long as they keep making mud!!

  2. A group of five of us (we all play roller derby together) did the Tough Mudder in Tahoe last year. I hated it and loved it. I hate, hate, hate cold water, and one of the obstacles was jumping into a pool of ICE WATER, swimming to a board you had to duck UNDER WATER to get past, then swim through more ice water. I freaked out and a friend of mine had to come back and get me as I started to panic. I couldn’t do more cold water after that. I will say it tests your mental grit more than anything. At least that’s how we all felt. All five of us were faced at some point or another with a fear (heights, cold water, distance swimming) So like I said, definitely mentally challenging. But it was an experience none of will forget!

  3. Awesome!!! Oh some friends from the Moab area and I are putting together a team for the Dirty Girl in CO this summer. You want in??

    I seriously want to try them all too :) Hopefully you can run the Tough Mudder w/ me too this year!

  4. Jessica Long says:

    I got rained out of the Color Run in Austin TX this past year, but will be doing it next time it’s close by. I’m doing the Run Amuck in Corpus Christi TX later this year as well, it looks super fun!!

  5. Jessica long says:

    I live in San Antonio. Austin is just over an hour drive away. Dallas is nice!

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