A couple of years ago I paid money to run seven muddy miles, wade through creeks and climb my way up steep hills. It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. In fact, if I had been more in tune with the calendar, I would be doing it again this Saturday at Living History Farms in Urbandale. Each November Fitness Sports, an athletic store in the Des Moines area, puts on this ultimate cross country race for over 7,000 eager and crazy runners. Many of them dress in costume, although that’s not required.
The race takes you through the rough, unexpected wilderness of the Living History Farms property. It gives you just a glimpse of the various farms that make up this unique living museum as you run past in a sea of other participants. The run takes you through grassy prairie areas, down muddy hills, into water that sometimes you can jump over and sometimes you have to wade through, then makes runners find a rope to pull themselves up a muddy hill and continue to run. Sure it’s a test of endurance, but it’s also fun as your competitors help you up those hills and encourage you to keep going.
Check out the Des Moines Register's photos from last year's event. Or watch runners cross one of the creeks in this video.
Next year you’ll find me out there with the other crazy runners. Want to join me?
Coleen Murphy, Iowa Tourism Office