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updated: 7/1/2012 9:11 AM

A whole lot of muddy fun at Grayslake 5K

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  • Around 8,000 women came out to Lake County Fair Grounds in Grayslake Saturday to participate in the Dirty Girl Mud Run. A portion of the proceeds goes out to the National Breast Cancer Association.

       Around 8,000 women came out to Lake County Fair Grounds in Grayslake Saturday to participate in the Dirty Girl Mud Run. A portion of the proceeds goes out to the National Breast Cancer Association.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • A team watches as the rest of their members climb over the first obstacle during the Dirty Girl Mud Run Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.

       A team watches as the rest of their members climb over the first obstacle during the Dirty Girl Mud Run Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Anita Fuller of Antioch attempts pull herself out of the mud after army crawling through about 30 feet of mud during the Dirty Girl Mud Run Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.

       Anita Fuller of Antioch attempts pull herself out of the mud after army crawling through about 30 feet of mud during the Dirty Girl Mud Run Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • As women finish the Dirty Girl Mud Run others begin their 5K trek, Groups left every 15 minutes from the starting area. Around 8,000 women came out to Lake County Fair Grounds in Grayslake Saturday to participate in the fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Association.

       As women finish the Dirty Girl Mud Run others begin their 5K trek, Groups left every 15 minutes from the starting area. Around 8,000 women came out to Lake County Fair Grounds in Grayslake Saturday to participate in the fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Association.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Participants in the Dirty Girl Mud Run wash off afterward. A portion of the proceeds goes out to the National Breast Cancer Association.

       Participants in the Dirty Girl Mud Run wash off afterward. A portion of the proceeds goes out to the National Breast Cancer Association.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Julia Rastmen of Gurnee throws her muddy shoes into a pile after running in the Dirty Girl Mud Run. They will later be cleaned by Green Sneakers and then given to people in need throughout the world.

       Julia Rastmen of Gurnee throws her muddy shoes into a pile after running in the Dirty Girl Mud Run. They will later be cleaned by Green Sneakers and then given to people in need throughout the world.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Around 8,000 women came out to Lake County Fair Grounds in Grayslake Saturday to participate in the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

       Around 8,000 women came out to Lake County Fair Grounds in Grayslake Saturday to participate in the Dirty Girl Mud Run.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Lynn Eidenberg of Vernon Hills, her sister Karen Gundersen of Sleepy Hollow and her future daughter-in-law Carrie Jansen of Elgin dive into the mud during the Dirty Girl MudRun. "It was plain dirty fun with a good cause behind it," they said.

       Lynn Eidenberg of Vernon Hills, her sister Karen Gundersen of Sleepy Hollow and her future daughter-in-law Carrie Jansen of Elgin dive into the mud during the Dirty Girl MudRun. "It was plain dirty fun with a good cause behind it," they said.
    photos by Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Participants watch women conquer some obstacles before they take on the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

       Participants watch women conquer some obstacles before they take on the Dirty Girl Mud Run.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Alissa Szyszka of Grayslake works her way through a tire obstacle course during the Dirty Girl Mud Run Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.

       Alissa Szyszka of Grayslake works her way through a tire obstacle course during the Dirty Girl Mud Run Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Joel Bissell/jbissell@dailyherald.comJoniqia Howard of Puerto Rico is helped out of the mud by two of her teammates during the Dirty Girl Mud Run on Saturday.

      Joel Bissell/jbissell@dailyherald.comJoniqia Howard of Puerto Rico is helped out of the mud by two of her teammates during the Dirty Girl Mud Run on Saturday.

  • Joel Bissell/jbissell@dailyherald.comHather Schuster of Huntley hugs 9 year-old Mikala Pagh of Lake Zurich after she climbed out of a mud pit during the Dirty Girl 5k Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.

      Joel Bissell/jbissell@dailyherald.comHather Schuster of Huntley hugs 9 year-old Mikala Pagh of Lake Zurich after she climbed out of a mud pit during the Dirty Girl 5k Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.

  • Jackie Newmann of Libertyville attempts to get up after diving into a mud pit as she is cheered on by her teammates during the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

       Jackie Newmann of Libertyville attempts to get up after diving into a mud pit as she is cheered on by her teammates during the Dirty Girl Mud Run.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Robin Graham in yellow and Angie Bathel of Chicago make mud angels during the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

       Robin Graham in yellow and Angie Bathel of Chicago make mud angels during the Dirty Girl Mud Run.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Krista Green of Lake Villa army crawls through mud under a cargo net while dozens watch during the Dirty Girl Mud Run Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.

       Krista Green of Lake Villa army crawls through mud under a cargo net while dozens watch during the Dirty Girl Mud Run Saturday at the Lake County Fair Grounds.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Stacey Anderson of Lindenhurst laughs when she reaches the end of an mud obstacle course during the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

       Stacey Anderson of Lindenhurst laughs when she reaches the end of an mud obstacle course during the Dirty Girl Mud Run.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

  • Lauren Schultz of Grayslake and Lindey Skelley of Wauconda wipe mud on each other during the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

       Lauren Schultz of Grayslake and Lindey Skelley of Wauconda wipe mud on each other during the Dirty Girl Mud Run.
    Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

 
 

Wet and covered in mud, Amanda McPartlin of Chicago raised both arms in victory as the crowd hooted and cheered the first finisher of the day for the Dirty Girl Mud Run in Grayslake on Saturday.

"It was muddier and dirtier that I thought it was going to be," said McPartlin, 37. "Look at this," she added, lifting her wrist band and letting a brownish goop trickle down her hand.

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That's what happens when you do a race where the grand finale is crawling through a 40-foot mud pit called "PMS (Pretty Muddy Stuff)."

More than 8,000 women registered for the race, an outdoor 5K run with 12 obstacles that took place at the Lake County Fairgrounds. The first racers set off at about 8:15 a.m., with staggered groups leaving every 15 minutes through 4 p.m.

Many women showed up in teams sporting names like "Dirty Dames" and "Muddy Lady Lumps," and outfits like knee-high multicolored socks, neon yellow tights, pink tulle tutus and even gladiator skirts.

The whole thing is just about having fun for a good cause, as a portion of proceeds is donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, said race director Kara Bilot. No one gets timed, and there are no winners, Bilot said.

"You see women of all fitness levels, some of them just walk," she said. "We tell them they don't have to do all the obstacles, we even have signs that say 'Shhh ... we won't tell,'" she said.

The obstacles were definitely the hardest part of the run, said friends Lynn Hatzikostantis, 29, of Glenview, and Fawn Woody, 31, of Chicago. "The cargo net was especially hard for me because I don't like heights," Hatzikostantis said.

The muddy hills were even worse, Woody said. "They felt like they never ended," she said.

Cassie Muellner of Crystal Lake is already planning at least two more mud runs, one in Gilberts at the end of July and another one in October. Mueller, 34, was part of a team of 15 or 20 women called "Underground Fit Chick."

"It was a lot of fun," she said. "Crawling through the mud pit -- you can't go wrong with that."

Thirteen-year-old Monica Gonzalez of Elgin stood on the sidelines with a sign supporting her mother's team. Watching all the fun to the tunes of energizing music like Outkast, LMFAO and Flo Rida made her want to do the race next year, Monica said. Dirty Girl Mud Run's minimum age is 14. "I just want to get in the mud, it's looks fun," Monica said.

So should there be a mud race for men, too? Five-year-old Austin Koske certainly thinks so. He was there to support his mom, Kristen Koske of Lake in the Hills.

"We were pulling into the parking lot, and he said, 'I want to invent a Dirty Boy Mud Run,'" said his father, Kevin Koske.

In the meantime, the pair was happy with sitting on folding lawn chairs right by the finish line, ready to cheer for the smiling and oh-so-muddy racers.

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