Dirty Dash: Mudslides and Dark Beer

The most outrageous outdoor race hit Seattle this month — and will return next year!

If scaling wood planks, diving into a mud bath and chugging warm dark beer sounds like your kind of morning, the 2011 Seattle Dirty Dash probably exceeded all your expectations. 

5,000+ Seattleites headed to the Kent PGP Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 9, where they took part in the dirtiest 10k the Northwest has ever experienced. Think Army boot camp meets fifth grade field day — with beer.

Four cubicle-haters from Salt Lake City Utah founded the Dirty Dash in 2010, with the intention of taking the seriousness out of running, and creating a fun-filled event to get people of all ages active outdoors. Matt Ward, John Malsato, Jeff Harps and Scott Crandall have “unleashed the Dirty” in several cities around the country — and the race has been growing in popularity, thanks to both word of mouth and companies like LivingSocial.

Shameless, ruthless teams dressed in their finest tutus, Viking crowns, and chicken suits lined up at the starting line, corals dashing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Choosing between a 5k or 10k dash, contestants ran in and around the park up steep rocky paths, jumped over tire stacks, challenged balance beams, navigated a giant “slop ‘n’ slide” and crawled under and over an obstacle course full of mud.

Participants from Lynnwood to Portland traveled to Kent for race day — and dashers will have another chance to do the Dirty on Saturday, August 20, in Spokane.

“We checked out 25 different locations around Washington, and chose the PGP Motorsports for obvious reasons,” said Dirty Dash co-founder Matt Ward. “We need parking, space for the water slides, hills, and land where people don’t mind us digging pits and water resources.”

What separates the Dirty Dash from other Survivor-style events is the encouragement — and the idea that anyone can compete on race day. “We want everyone to come out, not just hardcore athletes, we want moms and kids, wimps and non-runners,” Ward said.

Each participant received a complimentary race tee and chug of Ninkasi beer, as well as all the mud one could eat. Likewise, contestants in the Kiddy Race were rewarded with a refreshing swig of root beer.

This Seattle Dirty Dash 2011 was sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing, Clif Bar, RoadRunner Sports, ZipFizz, and Mrs. Fields. Proceeds from the event benefited Hopelink, a charity sponsoring the homeless, low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities in the community.

As far as summer contests go, they don’t get wilder than this one. If you’d like to take part, please visit the official Dirty Dash website for information on upcoming races.