THUNDER BAY - About 1,500 women will be getting down and dirty on Saturday in Murillo.
The second annual Dirty Girls Mud Run was an almost instant sell-out, said founder Sharla Brown of the race, a 5.6-kilometre obstacle-filled event that has already raised more than $220,000 for cancer research in 2014.
“Adventure runs are becoming more popular in Canada and in the U.S. They tend to be the trend now of what people like to go out and do. If somebody’s a racer or a runner, it’s one more thing they can (knock) off their bucket list,” Brown said on Friday.
“There are 13 different obstacles on the course that people are crawling over and under and mud pits and slides and water slides and all kind of great stuff for the girls.”
Brown said the response to the ideal has been spectacular.
Last year they only made room for 750 participants. They doubled the number this time around, a fact Brown called amazing.
“It’s almost overwhelming to see. We did the registration back in January at Intercity Shopping Centre and I couldn’t believe the lineup of girls that were there right from seven o’clock in the morning when the mall’s doors opened,” Brown said.
“It’s almost kind of funny the amount of girls that want to sign up and play in the mud all day, but it’s the camaraderie that comes about.”
The course itself has been designed with military precision.
Lt.-Col. Geoff Abthorpe, formerly of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, said he and his crew were only too happy to donate their time to such a worthy cause, adding they’ve made modifications to last year’s course, which is situated on farmlands adjacent to Oliver Road’s This Old Barn.
Abthorpe said they learned valuable lessons setting up Fort William Historical Park’s Conquer the Fort mud run.
Essentially it’s a course anyone can tackle, some faster than others.
“The obstacles are built to challenge the individual at their own personal level. Some of the more extreme fit athletes will jump in with both feet with all gusto. But each of the obstacles can be taken in their own time with their own effort,” Abthorpe said.
Trainer Kim Chase is a two-time cancer survivor and will be joined by her teammates on Saturday, the second time she’s tackled the course.
“This is just something that’s a little closer to me. My mother has experienced cancer and a few other people in my family. It’s just important for me to kind of push to always find that solution that hopefully they’re going to find one day,” she said.
While registration for the event is closed, the public is invited to watch. Parking is $10.
A portion of Oliver Road is closed east Murillo for construction and participants and spectators will have to use detour routes to get to the site.
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