Dirty races through mud pits and obstacle courses are all the rage among competition runners and marathoners in Orange County. Clocking record speeds and medaling are secondary to belly-flopping into a pool of mud and making sure your running shoes stay on. Year round, you’ll find fun and challenging mud runs all throughout Southern California. Here are the five best running competitions in the area for getting down and dirty.
Irvine Lake Mud Run
Silverado, CA 92676
Date: April 6
The Irvine Lake Mud Run is considered to be one of southern California’s most scenic and challenging mud runs. Rolling hills, green trees and a beautiful lake provide the backdrop for an annual event that draws mud lovers from far and wide. Join the spectacle of runners in tutus, bridal gowns and other outrageous outfits as they jump over wooden hurdles, crawl through cargo nets and dive into pools of mud. You can compete as an individual or as a team made up of your craziest family members and friends. This year’s “Spring Break at the Lake” will be held April 6 and is open to all ages.
The Color Run
Orange County, CA 92618
Date: May 11
Forget the mud! Racers looking for a brighter run can participate in The Color Run in Orange County on May 11. This 5k will leave you seeing rainbows. Whether you’re fast or slow, young or old, the only requirement to this race is to dash from the starting line in white running attire and finish doused in a rainbow of colors. Sign up today and you’ll soon find yourself sprinting through clouds of color dust with wild packs of screaming runners.
Camp Pendleton’s World Famous Mud Run
Camp Pendleton, CA 92057
Date: June 1
If you’ve never been through boot camp, the World Famous Mud Run at Camp Pendleton may be the next best thing. Stretched across 10 kilometers, the Camp Pendleton course is famous for its hills and gritty obstacles. You can race individually or as a five-person team. To cap off the competition, the event hosts a Filthy Fun Fest After Party with live music, food trucks and a beer garden. This year’s first mud run event will be held on June 1.
Defenders Dash Mud Run
Riverside, CA 92518
Date: Sept. 14
On Sept. 14, some of the region’s greatest heroes will compete in the Defenders Dash Mud Run. This Riverside event will bring together military, police and fire personnel for a day of muddy mayhem. Sign up to run with your local heroes on this 3.5-mile course which includes walls, hills, slides and plenty of mud pits.
Survivor Mud Run
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Date: Sept. 21
The Survivor Mud Run boasts one of the most extreme 5K mud runs ever created. Obstacles test your ability to climb, jump, crawl and run while maintaining your mental determination. Only the most muddy participants with strength and stamina are said to survive. Even if you don’t complete the course, you can walk away with a survivor T-shirt, snacks and free beer. The 2013 event is scheduled for Sept. 21 at the Storm Baseball Stadium in Lake Elsinore. Sign up with friends and don’t forget your crazy costume.
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Truc Dever is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.