Murray • French maids high-stepped through tires, runaway brides crawled through the mud and hula dancers soaked their grass skirts while running through a knee-deep river July 2 at Wheeler Historic Farm.
Underneath all the outlandish costumes ranging from mariachi band members to female hygienic products were the thousands of women running to benefit gynecological research.
Cancer is serious and grim, but that didn't stop all those attending the Kiss Me Dirty Girl Run from having fun fighting it. The all-female mud run featured tiaras and tutus worn by women of all ages charging through the four-kilometer obstacle course with friends and family looking on.
"It was awesome," Brandi Palmer, 26, of Salt Lake said. "It was just super fun."
Palmer and Chelsea Ivie, 25, also of Salt Lake, joined forces as the Muffin Divers. The duo jumped at the opportunity to fight back against cancer, no matter the kind. Palmer's dad battled cancer and Ivie has seen the disease's reach in her time as a nursing student. Being able to raise funds for research was all it took for them to participate. Getting to make a mess of themselves and everyone else along the way was an added bonus.
"It was fun to get other people dirty," Ivie said laughing. "People were running from me."
Most participants didn't need any help getting covered in mud. A group of "Black Swan"-like ballet dancers looked much more like Natalie Portman at the start of the race than they did after it. Another team, the Muddy Mother Truckers, won the costume contest of their heat before ruining their flannel shirts and trucker hats.
Whether or not the participants had been affected personally by gynecological cancer or had a family member or friend affected didn't matter.
The Dirty Girl Run was about support for all women that have fought or will fight it. It was about "girl power" one runaway bride said as she peeled caked mud from her face.
The Dirty Girl Run raised more than $10,000 for research. With cars packing the parking lots and grassy areas of Wheeler Farm and then stretching up and down 900 East, it was clear that the women of the Salt Lake Valley wanted to have their say against cancer.
Palmer and Ivie are making firm plans to return next year to the Dirty Girl Run. The only questions are how many friends they will get to join them and what they will dress up as.
They felt completely upstaged by the rest of the field. Girl Scouts were already taken, as were school girls.
It's going to take some creativity to be original.
The Kiss Me Dirty Dirty Girl Run
• Featured thousands of women running an obstacle course to raise money for gynecological cancer research.
• The run was as much of a costume competition as it was dirty dash.
• Over $10,000 was raised by the thousands of people that packed Wheeler Historic Farm.