Slowly but surely, the South Sound’s dirty little secret is getting out.
The second Titlow Trails Mud Run will be March 18, and event organizers are expecting it to be more popular – and perhaps even dirtier – than last year.
Last year about 150 people turned out for the 3.1-mile run through the muddy trails at Titlow Park. This year, race officials have made some changes they hope will result in a more appealing event, said Janet Bissell, Metro Parks’ community wellness coordinator.
“Last year we didn’t have many obstacles, we just ran through as much mud as possible,” she said. “This year, we are adding some fun obstacles.”
The course will require jumping over logs, navigating a rope station, crawling through puddles and jumping over a small fire.
The course can also be navigated by neat freaks who don’t want to get too dirty. “At no time will participants be required to crawl through mud,” reads the event website.
Still, you probably shouldn’t wear your new shoes to this event.
For the most part, the race is about playing in the mud. To make the race more family friendly, it has been shortened to two miles this year.
Mud runs like this have been growing in popularity in recent years around the world. The largest racing series, Warrior Dash, is bringing races to North Bend on July 21-22 and Bonney Lake on Sept. 22. While race promoters describe these events as “from hell,” Metro Park’s races come from a sweeter, but almost as filthy place.
“It’s more of a mini-Warrior Dash,” Bissell said. “We want to encourage families and get more kids out there.”
Really, what better promotional tool than mud to attract kids.
“It’s a little primal and a little different,” Bissell said of the allure of mud runs. “You shake things up a little bit and it adds an element of fun to your run.”
The March 18 run starts at noon and is open to anybody age 4 and older. The entry fee is $15 and includes a pair of socks, which you will almost certainly need after the race.
“I encourage people to bring something to change into,” Bissell said. A towel and a plastic bag might not be a bad idea either.
While filthy family fun is the focus, the race is chip-timed and the top male and female runners win a pair of shoes from South Sound Running. All participants score a bowl of hot clam chowder from Steamer’s Seafood Café, Bissell said. There will also be a muddy photo contest after the race.
While Bissell was pleased with the turnout last year, she hopes the race will continue to grow as word spreads and it will allow Metro Parks to add more fun runs to its annual series. The park’s department hosts nine runs this year and Bissell said the goal is to stage a run each month in 2013.
There is no day-of-race registration for the Titlow Trails Mud Run. Signup online at metroparks tacoma.org.
YOGA STOPS TRAFFICKING
Ashtanga Yoga Tacoma is hosting a fundraiser this morning at 9 to benefit Odanadi Seva Trust, an anti-trafficking organization in South India. The organization claims to have rescued and rehabilitated 1,850 children, raided 57 brothels and brought 137 traffickers to justice over the past 20 years.
More than 3,000 people worldwide participated in Yoga Stops Trafficking last year.
Today’s event is a series of 108 sun salutations with an intermission allowing people to stay for half or all.
“Come well-rested and hydrated, and listen to your body,” said instructor Holly Menzies, “knowing you are saluting for a wonderful cause and organization.”
The recommended donations for the event is $20.
Courage Classic, one of the Northwest’s best known road rides, changed its fundraising requirements for participants this year.
In years past, riders have been required to raise $500. This year they must raise $750. Funds go to the Rotary Endowment for the Intervention and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
The ride is Aug. 4-6, covers 173 miles and climbs over three mountain passes – Snoqualmie, Blewett and Stevens. The ride is renowned for the food – baked potatoes, banana splits, etc. – dished out to cyclists along the route.
Craig Hill’s fitness column runs on Sundays in The News Tribune and The Olympian. Please submit questions and comments via craig. firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/adventureguys or twitter.com/adventureguys. Also get more fitness coverage at blog.thenewstribune.com/ adventure and thenewstribune.com/fitness.