About 2,000 women participated in the Dirty Girl Mud Run at Little Everglades Ranch on Saturday in Dade City.
Dirty Girl is a 5K mud run for women of all ages and athletic abilities. According to the Dirty Girl organization, the run is not a race in the traditional sense. It is an untimed obstacle course designed to push participants slightly out of their comfort zone.
Dirty Girl is a for-profit organization based in Wisconsin that partners with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, said Kent Ebersole, Dirty Girl chief marketing officer.
"We have 62 events and what we do is give just one big chunk of money [per year] and that will be a minimum of $500,000 this year," he said.
The women ran in groups released in waves throughout the morning into early afternoon. Participants could run individually or as a team.
Michelle Twitmyer of Dade City put together the Miss Muddy Panties team to take the Dirty Girl challenge. It started with an email from Little Everglades Ranch, where she had done some volunteer work in the past. She tried to dismiss the idea.
"I'd never done this sort of thing before," Twitmyer said. "I thought that's kind of a crazy idea and yet it seemed like it would be fun and challenging. I mentioned it to some of my girlfriends and they just kind of laughed about it."
But she kept thinking about it.
"I was inspired by the idea behind it raising money for breast cancer awareness," she said. Then Twitmyer's husband, Tom, said he would sponsor a team if she wanted to do it. She gathered four friends in Terry Smith, Susanne Sommers, Kristen Mendoza and Casey Celender and they formed a team.
The team members finished by doing a non-required crawl through the last obstacle to finish the course.
"It was fun and it was really encouraging to see so many people there." said Twitmyer. "It was really fun just getting together with a bunch of women and doing something crazy."
Twitmyer is sold on the event now. Her 13-year-old daughter, Jessica, wanted to participate in the run but the minimum age is 14. "She wants to do it next year," Twitmyer said.