The Dirty Dash and Five Naughty Piglets

Everyone remembers the Three Little Pigs from childhood, right? Maybe this is the reason we like to pretend we’re kids again! A few weeks ago, I wrote about 15 ways to get out of a running rut. I left one important idea off the list – participate in an event that’s all for fun! After all those triathlons this summer, I was accustomed to standing at the start (or wading, more appropriately), shivering from cold and nerves, wondering if I was going to hyperventilate and drown. Then having to survive a bike ride and run if I managed to stay afloat for nearly a mile. It was such a refreshing change to stand at the start and relax, bask in the sunshine sunshine and laugh with others at Boise’s local ski hill – Bogus Basin.

I participated in the Dirty Dash with four other friends –collectively named The Naughty Piglets. We were decked out in negligees, pig noses, pig ears (thanks to Aileen’s creativity), and of course, running shoes. We were surrounded by a sea of folks in creative costumes. Aren’t we all kids at heart, looking for a good excuse to play dress up and wallow in the mud? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Before we got to the mud pit, we had to run 5 miles, climb some serious elevation, and hurdle a few obstacles along the way. First, we jumped over bales of hay. Then we crawled through tunnels. Then we stepped through tires (going uphill!). Then after our big elevation climb, we had to “hurdle” a series of walls, the last of which (we liked to say) was 8-9’ high. That wasn’t easy! Then came the fun part – the run downhill, the trip down a long slop ‘n slide (which was actually quite hazardous for some of us lighter weight gals), then last but not least, the pig sty. And believe me, if you didn’t get down and crawl through the mud on hands and knees, you’d hear it from the crowd in the way of boisterous boos! Our performance wasn’t measured by average mile pace or final finishing time; instead, we gauged our success by laughter and dirtiness! And based on those criteria, I’d say we did quite well!

If there’s a good excuse to get dirty in your area, I highly recommend it! Now it’s time for my last 21-mile training run before the Nike Women’s Marathon! Fun is over!

Melinda Hinson