It seems that everywhere you turn these days, there’s a new road race. It’s hard to find a weekend when there aren’t multiple 5K/10K/Half Marathon runs taking place. It’s likely that the race also has a theme: mud run, color run, zombie dash, night races, relays… just add a crazy twist on any distance, and viola, you have a race. In recent years, we’ve seen a multitude of these themed races crop up, and it’s turned into big business. The Color Run, Warrior Dash, Color Me Rad and other corporations have taken the themed race across the nation.
It all seems a bit… much. Prom dresses, ugly sweaters- what’s next? It seems that each one tries to outdo the other, and I just don’t want to get to the point where I’m leaping over Jello ponds, navigating herds of goats, or cartwheeling to the finish of a 5K. I’m not here to knock these events; I’m just saying things seem to be getting a little out of control. As prices increase and the calendar becomes more crowded, companies are working to stay in the race business.
So, it may seem a bit hypocritical that I am currently working to promote a little race Beyond Running started back in 2007 – the Filthy 5K.
When Beyond Running was just starting out, we thought it would be kind of cool to host a trail run. So we marked out a course in MB Johnson Park in Moorhead, MN and called it “The Filthy 5K”. 40 People showed up, and we were thrilled. The following year sparked the beginning of the Filthy 5K as most people know it now. That year, we had record rainfall in the weeks before the race. This left the park a muddy, dirty, wonderful mess.
We thought people might shy away from a muddy trail run. But, happily, people arrived to run the race, some dressed in costume, some starting their own teams… and everyone got dirty. On purpose. Mud baths. Mud fights. Mud -slinging. And so for the past seven years, we’ve been hosting The Filthy 5K, one of our favorite events of the year… all because the runners made it the way they wanted it.
We didn’t set out with a gimmick. We have no major corporate sponsor. You’re not going to be charged an arm and a leg. You won’t even get official results. Our goal was to promote people having fun while running. It’s an event about family, friends, and good, clean, filth.
It is, beyond a doubt, my favorite event of the year. I love to see the people that come to the park, dressed in costume, with teams, friends, family members – just to run our little race in the mud.
Because, there’s something magical that happens that really makes this my favorite event (no unicorns are involved, I promise). Running with a sort of freedom that mimics that of a child- splashing in the mud, pushing your friend in a puddle – well, it is probably the pure joy I see on many people’s faces that makes me love this event so much.
So, with the competition of big corporate race management companies stacked against us, it is becoming more difficult to promote the event – and recruit runners that are already inundated with events galore.
But, I assure you, running the Filthy 5K is more than another race.
So, get your friends and family together and join in on October 4th, 2014. The race starts at noon. For $25, you’ll receive a comfy t-shirt of good quality, along with a stainless steel pint cup. You can take the cup to the Old Broadway after the run and receive one free beer or soda during the OB’s Oktoberfest celebration – featuring all sorts of fun events – including wiener dog races.
Take the time out to participate in the area’s original mud run, you won’t be disappointed.
More info at: www.gobeyondrunning.com