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Playing in the dirt

Feb 08, 2011 10:21PM ● Published by Anonymous

I look outside and see the snow mostly gone, and in its place the brown and dead grass. That makes me think of one thing: mud … all that deliciously squishy muck that will be making its appearance right around the first of March – and probably stick around (literally) for quite some time. That makes the months of March, April and May the perfect times to run through it, preferably while wearing a Viking helmet. And it’s even better when you can do so while meeting new people and having a crowd to cheer you on.

This year seems to be the year of the mud run. These aptly named events not only feature pits filled with gallons and gallons of mud, but also other obstacles, such as cargo nets, walls, tubes and, in some cases, open flames. They’re the ultimate cure for the ordinary race. Who wants to simply run on a road when you can sink your sneakers into a pond and trudge across it?

As a veteran runner, I can tell you that miles of asphalt broken up only by the occasional water stop, and the even more occasional unsanctioned beer stop, can get a little dull. That’s why I can’t wait to try my hand – well, feet – at the Warrior Dash in May. According to the Baltimore Sun, along with me, over 30,000 other extreme racers are already signed up. Thankfully, the race takes place on two days: the 21st and 22nd, and there are different wave times, so no one is bumping into one another.

If you’re not into Viking helmets, there are tons of other similar races you can try: the Rebel Race, the Muddy Buddy, RunAmuck, the Spartan Race … and the mud run to top all other mud runs: the Tough Mudder. All are coming this spring, and all are within a short driving distance from Annapolis and the Shore. Time to lace up your Gore-Tex running shoes and train.

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