‘Dirty Girls’ will run through Columbus

Thousands expected for Aug. 3 obstacle race


Paul Rignell
Columbus Reporter

Running Aces Harness Park will welcome an estimated 4,000 “Dirty Girls” to Columbus on Saturday, Aug. 3. It’s not for what you might imagine, unless you were thinking of women climbing rope ladders and crawling through mud pits to finish a 5K obstacle course.

A dozen unique obstacles will be spaced along the course that will follow West Freeway Drive south to Gander Mountain, as well as the southern and eastern edges of the Running Aces race track, and complete a loop north of the parking lots.

The Dirty Girl mud runs have been raising money for breast cancer awareness since 2011, when nine events were held. The schedule grew to twice as many locations in 2012, and the interest is booming nationwide as nearly every major metropolitan area is getting one in 2013, for a total of 60.

Running Aces is the location for the Minneapolis market, according to Aaron Bedessem, Running Aces director of marketing, who visited Columbus City Hall on June 26 as the council considered and then approved a partial road closure for the date of the event.

The city will close Zurich Street from the western edge of the race track, down and over to Gander Mountain, from approximately 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 3. Business access will stay open from West Freeway Drive.

Bedessem said the mud run and its festivities should not interfere with parking needs for the regular Saturday night of live horse racing, as those patrons do not tend to begin arriving until 5:30 p.m.

Columbus Mayor Dave Povolny at the June 26 meeting asked City Administrator Elizabeth Mursko if she would be running.

“I’m not enrolling,” she said. “I think I’ll pass.”

Registration is $85 per person until July 17, when the rate increases to $100. A total of 300 complimentary registrations are offered to cancer survivors who want to run. Visit www.godirtygirl.com for availability and more information.

Participation is open to women and girls age 14 and up. Entrants under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign a waiver and accompany them to the registration table Aug. 3.

Applications are open through 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, for the only Dirty Girl mud run scheduled in Minnesota.

“It will bring a lot of people here,” Bedessem said.

Running Aces will follow up the mud run by hosting its second annual Haunted Hay Run this fall.