Students, teachers and community members are signing up to participate in a Warrior Dash-esque event, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Dash, on the morning of Sept. 22 at Camp Alexander, 1783 Road P5. The event is sponsored by the Recreation Center, Associated Student Government, Union Activities Council, Camp Alexander, Center for Student Involvement and Community Hornets.
“The Dirt Dash is going to be messy and a whole lot of fun,” said Joel Dixon, program supervisor. “We started setting a couple weeks ago.”
The trail is approximately as long as a 5K and boasts “a lot of mud pits, trenches and barbed wire,” Dixon said. The first wave of runners will start at 10:30 a.m., according to Emporia State’s website. Additional waves of runners will be sent off on the obstacle course until 12:30 p.m. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. the same day.
“We are also setting up log hurdles on the Walnut Grove area of the camp,” said Lance Claibourne, maintenance supervisor at Camp Alexander.
Other obstacles found on the course include tires, cargo nets and a half mile uphill run followed by a hay bale “mountain.” Food vendors and kids’ activities will also be available at the race site, as well as live music by Russell Dickerson at 12 p.m.
“We have already gotten a lot of feedback and participation,” Dixon said. “People from Wichita and Lawrence have signed up. We have a group of elementary school teachers who signed up as a group.”
Dixon said making the extra muddy trenches and pits required a couple trucks and a 150 gallon water tank.
“We are (also) hoping for one more, good, long rain by the 22nd,” Claibourne said.
Mike Wise, director of recreation services, said the event was spawned through research at other campuses.
“The Recreation Center is always looking for something fresh and exciting,” Wise said. “While we were meeting with other organizations on campus, we found that CSI had also (come) up with the idea for a Warrior Dash type of event.”
The proceeds of the event will pay for kids in the Lyon County area to go to summer camp who could not otherwise afford to. Wise said their goal was to not only take care of students, but also the community.
“Because this is an event that benefits children in our community, we wanted to make it open (to everyone). We tried to gear the event towards people familiar with the area or who would want to compete in a Warrior Dash event, but live too far away to do so,” Wise said. “We’re really excited to for the opportunity to work with other organizations. It’s good for the campus, and it benefits the community.”
Wise also said the Recreation Center is starting to plan a variety of other events that are not set in stone.
“We try to implement new ideas all the time,” Wise said. “We are currently working on adding more to the new pool programs as well.”
To register for the race online, visit ESU’s website to download the registration form. Completed forms can be turned in to the Center for Student Involvement or the Recreation Center. The entry fee is $10. On-site registration will also be accepted the day of the race. Optional T-shirt orders must be made by 5 p.m. this Friday, and all participants must sign a waiver and be at least 14-years-old.