Nobody likes a stick in the mud. But a runner in the mud is a totally different story. You’ll have a chance to get your hands — and the rest of your body — dirty at these upcoming races, where the goal is to be both fast and filthy. Better buy some extra soap.
April 28, Rockville, Runamuckfestival.com
You don’t have to wear a costume, but you’ll feel underdressed if you don’t at this 5K festival, which encourages participants to hang out all day long listening to live music and partaking in food and beverages. Don’t like the idea of traversing obstacles and loads of mud alone? You have the option of competing in pairs or teams of four.
April 28, Clarksburg, Md., Herorush.com
Firefighters designed this 5K course, which is scattered with obstacles inspired by their day job, so participants will be sliding down poles, running up stairs and carrying stretchers. And, of course, when the hoses come out, there’s bound to be mud. The day’s activities also include a free race for kids.
May 5, Petersburg, Va., Ruggedmaniac.com
Harpoon sponsors this 3.2 miler, which means runners have a cold one waiting for them at the finish line. (The first beer’s on the house.) But just before they get there, they need to pull themselves out of a muddy water pit — the last of 18 obstacles in their way.
May 19 and 20, Mechanicsville, Md., Warriordash.com
There’s beer for competitors here too, but the even better reward is a fuzzy warrior helmet. Runners will earn both on the 3-mile course, featuring a mess of obstacles. If you want to get special treatment, raise $250 or more for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. That earns free food and private showers.