Getting dirty for a cause that's worthy

Dirty Girl attracts females to run and raise money for cancer awareness and research

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The Spectrum

Madison Darling, a junior health and human services major, was covered in mud from head to toe and she loved every second of it.

Approximately 10,000 females covered in pink and brown climbed, crawled and challenged themselves to complete the Dirty Girl Mud Run in support of cancer awareness in Buffalo suburb Lancaster on Saturday and Sunday.

The participants organized in teams to take on various woman-themed obstacles at the non-competitive 5K race. Events such as H2OMG (muddy-water aerobics) and PMS (pretty muddy stuff) had women from all over the Buffalo area getting down and dirty.

Dirty Girl, a for-profit company, believes in educating women about health and finding a cure to breast cancer as well as supporting cancer victims and survivors, according to its website.

Bright Pink, the official charity partner, joined together with Dirty Girl to share their mission by educating women to understand the signs, symptoms and risk factors of breast and ovarian cancers.

Darling chose to participate when her coworker told her she was putting a team together for the event. Their team of 13, "Ka-Boob," all dressed in coordinated purple and pink "Ka-Boob" shirts and enjoyed the mud and water tossed into almost every event. Darling, who had never participated in a Dirty Girl event before, can't wait to return next year.

"I was filthy head to toe," Darling said. "It was fantastic."

The 12 obstacles from start to finish were completely covered in mud. The events and obstacles were relatively easy and were appropriate for all ages, according to Darling.

Jessica Givoino, a junior theatre major, enjoys an active lifestyle and trying new things; Dirty Girl Mud Run was exactly what she was looking for. Givoino, who was joined by her friends and coworkers, recommends every woman tries Dirty Girl at least once.

"It's a lot of fun; you contribute to a great cause," Givoino said. "And when else would you willingly get covered head to toe in mud?"

Givoino climbed over walls and army crawled through mud pits - the free beer was an added bonus, she said.

Between the high-climbing rope events, mazes and mud pits, participants had the opportunity to have a great time while raising money for a cause. If an obstacle was challenging, there was an alternative at every station.

Buffalo was one of the first cities the Dirty Girl Run was held when it began three years ago, according to Tia Mattson, chief marketing officer for Dirty Girl.

The obstacle run was created without the timed portion so everyone could take part and still feel the competitiveness of the event, Mattson said. The event is to promote teamwork and provide participants with a way to raise money for a good cause and still have fun.

Spectators have the opportunity to join in on the fun as well, by cheering on their friends all throughout the course. Paul Mitchell, the renowned hair care product company, is Dirty Girl's national sponsor and provided free samples at the event along with Larabar, a gluten-free energy bar.

Participants can expect safety throughout the route and to leave with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, according to Dirty Girl's website.

Email: features@ubspectrum.com