I’m usually not all that into getting dirty when I run. I sidestep mud puddles and steer clear of mushy surfaces like wet grass and slush.

That’s not to say that I am a complete stranger to muddy mischief. I have many fond memories of the early years of my running career, when a spring puddle-stomping run came as a welcome break from an otherwise serious training schedule. Of course, back then my mom was still doing my laundry, and mud-speckled T-shirts didn’t seem like such a big deal.

Sometime between then and now, I became boring. Big, sloppy mud puddles translated into tedious Spray and Wash stain-removal sessions. Consequently, I do everything in my power to stay clean and dry.

But what if, for one day, I could throw caution to the wind and give in to my secret desire to run around in the mud like a crazy little kid (or pig)? Well, thanks to the upcoming Missoula Dirty Dash, that dream might just come true.

The national racing series — which hosts Dirty Dashes in Utah, Washington and Idaho, to name a few — is coming to Zoo Town on Sept. 15.

The roughly three-mile race will be held at the Missoula Equestrian Park. The course will feature a wide array of challenges, including wall barriers, mud hills, tunnels, giant slip ‘n’ slides, beers to chug, balance beams and mud pits.

The event is described on the race website as, “…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.”

If that’s not enough to convince you to go for it, then how about this: a portion of race proceeds will benefit Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Missoula and other local charities.

Sound like fun? Registration for the race — which will begin at 9 a.m. with waves of runners taking off every 20 minutes — is now open. Sign up now to reserve your spot. Once the word gets out, my guess is slots will fill up pretty darn quick.

I will leave you with a video to get your competitive juices flowing.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.

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