Dirty Dash returns to Soldier Hollow with 7,000 participants | ParkRecord.com

Dirty Dash returns to Soldier Hollow with 7,000 participants

Soldier Hollow was transformed into a muddy obstacle course on Saturday as the Dirty Dash returned for its ninth summer event. According to Ryan Creighton, event director, about 7,000 people participated in the Dash, which consisted of 15 obstacles over 5 kilometers of muddy terrain.

Creighton described the event as a "gateway drug."

"It gets those people that have never done much in running before to get out and try other marathon events and 10Ks," he said.

Creighton said the Dash started coming to Soldier Hollow in 2010, and has visited twice a year since. It also travels to Washington, Oregon, New Mexico and Montana.

"We're like a bunch of carnies," he said.

And everywhere they travel, the Dash brings its obstacles, including a giant pig head that blows bubbles and foam, which they call the Pig Pen.

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"But the main attraction is our slip and slide," Creighton said. "We don't want to be associated with barbed wire, or fire – that's been done."

Instead, Creighton said the Dash is geared toward all ages with all levels of fitness, bonded by a common appreciation for mud.

"If you don't like our monkey bars, you can walk around," he said, commenting on the relaxed nature of the race. "We have some people say, 'I'm afraid of heights,' who don't want to do our slip and slide. I tell them, 'Just wait at the bottom and watch your friend go down and their smiles when they get to the bottom. By the time they get down, you're going to want to walk back up and do it.'"

The Dirty Dash will return to Soldier Hollow on Sept. 15. For more information go to http://www.thedirtydash.com.