"Everyone Wants to Be a Dirty Girl"
Friday mornings are a bitter/sweet time for me. Bitter because I have to wake up first thing in the morning to run (I am, by nature, more of a shake-off-the-day runner), and also bitter because I have to have a strong cup of black coffee first in order to make it to the run. The "sweet" comes when I arrive at Gig Harbor's McCormick Forest and am enveloped into a swarm of my favorite local ladies, the Dirty Girls Trail Runners (aka the Dirty Girls). I work at Route 16 Running & Walking, a specialty running store where in addition to selling shoes we advise our customers on proper training and injury prevention. "Hit the trails," is one of our mantras, and each of us who works at Route 16 lives by what we preach. "But what about safety?" the women always ask. Especially after last fall, when four female joggers were attacked in the Puget Sound area, they have every right to be concerned. Thankfully, for women who chose not to run trails alone, we now have an easy solution to their question. "Come run with the Dirty Girls."
After the attacks, the gals that work at Route 16 (myself included) banded together to form a women's-only trail running group. There are no fees or dues for the Dirty Girls. We welcome all ability levels. Our only requirement? You have to be willing to get a little muddy and a lot wet. When we formed the group we figured we'd probably be it's only members. Gig Harbor is, after all, somewhat of a wealthier community, and the women around here dress up and turn out well-groomed. At last count there were close to sixty Dirty Girls running the trails at McCormick Forest. While we definitely have our fair share of hard-core ultra-runners, we also get trail-running virgins to turn out every week. Safety-in-numbers is what initially draws women to our merry pink pack. But it's the camaraderie that keeps them coming back for more (nor does it hurt when they discover that muddy legs are sexy). No matter your pace we make sure that you have a buddy to run with if you show up to run with the Dirty Girls. And if you're nervous about getting lost we offer you a whistle. It doesn't take but one or two trail runs for a woman to be a trail-running convert, and after a few months of running the steep hills at McCormick Forest a new Dirty Girl begins to reap the fitness benefits. Pamela Holt, a Dirty Girl who deserves a MOST IMPROVED award recently told me, "I love running trails because when I race roads it feels like I'm on vacation."
In addition to having a Facebook Page, we also have a Google Groups list serve that we use to find running partners on other days of the weeks. Everyone wins when women run together. Except the bad guys. We may be cute, but let me tell you, you'd want a Dirty Girl on your side in a fight. Well-developed from hill-running, our calf muscles are deadly. Plus, we'd kick mud in your eye if you tried to mess with one of our posse. Recently I was at a race watching a relay team of Dirty Girls. Standing at my side was my boss's six-year old son, Micah.
Micah tugged on my shirt.
"What's wrong?" I asked. He was frowning.
Sighing, he said, "I wish there was a Dirty Boys."
Everyone wants to be a Dirty Girl.
|The Dirty Girls Do The Dirty Dash|