Mud bath

The Dirty 30 is almost upon us. Organizers of the inaugural mud-running event will take over five kilometers of ranch land in Mulhall to set up an obstacle course. With seven tons of mud and 15 obstacles, competitors will need more than grit and determination — they’ll need a change of clothes.

Organizer Vince Parker conceived The Dirty 30 after discovering his first mud-running event last year. He was instantly hooked and has attended other races since, but none any closer to home than Dallas.

“You can go anywhere and run 5K, but mud running is different because there are obstacles included. They are military-style obstacles, like cargo nets, mud pits to crawl through, a fire jump, a giant tangled spider web to go through, hay bales to climb over,” he said, nothing the course takes a month to set up and test. “You can’t exactly do this on a city street.”

Since mud pits are involved, this is also not the kind of event where high-dollar running shoes are the preferred footwear. Stephen Pyle with OK Runner, 3720 W. Robinson in Norman, suggested a trail shoe might be the way to go.

“They are dark-colored and meant to get dirty, meant to get muddy,” Pyle said. “Most running shoes will be a white or light gray, but trail-running shoes will always be a darker color. They look fine when dirty and will wash out a little quicker.”

A trail shoe also will help reduce the chance of injuries, since they are designed for uneven surfaces.

“Any time you are on a slicker surface or when you will need traction, something with a more aggressive outsole will be preferred,” he said. “A lot of trail shoes are a bit more inclined to handle off-terrain surfaces and they also have denser foams, so any natural lateral movement will be better supported.”

The Dirty 30 measures about 3 miles, but Parker said not everyone will be running. Some will walk the course at their own pace, just interested in completing. To avoid congestion at the biggest obstacles, participants will be sectioned out into heats running every 30 minutes.

He said mud runs are fun because they appeal to a sense of adventure.

“It’s
a giant playground for adults,” he said. “The biggest key is to just
have a great time. More than anything, you need to have a good attitude
and to know you are here to have fun. It’s a thrill to do something like
this with your friends, take pictures of what you looked like before
and what you looked life after. You see these giant smiles on everyone’s
faces.”

The Dirty 30
will benefit two charities: Water Is Life and the local nonprofit The
Spero Project. Registration is open until Friday.

Charles Martin

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