dirty girlOctober marks the start of Breast Cancer Month. Though there are countless ways to give money and time to help fight this disease that impacts so many women, we’ve got one of the coolest.

If you don’t mind a little mud.

Mud runs — which began in the 1980s – have been growing in popularity over the last several years. Most of them involve much more than running, and include obstacles such as wall climbing, crawling under barbed wire and jumping over fire pits. Tough Mudder and its offshoots, Spartan Race and the Warrior Dash,  saw an estimated 1.5 million participants in 2012, up from just 41,000 in 2010. More recently we’ve seen a surge in mud races specifically targeted to empower women and help raise money in the fight against breast cancer.

Get Dirty and Help in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Dirty Girl Mud Run is the largest women-only 5K mud and obstacle run series (it is held in 50 cities). It’s also a proud supporter of Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization focusing on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.

Dirty Girl encourages runners to set up their own fundraising pages, and canvas their personal social networks to raise money that will benefit Bright Pink. Dirty Girl also gives 300 free entries at each event to cancer survivors. Many participants even decide to dress up (they are often seen in tutus). It’s an incredible example of women working together for a great cause.

Best of all, these races are not about winning, but about accomplishment. The Dirty Girl website reminds participants: “Run, walk, climb, crawl—you will experience it all in this adventure race….but don’t worry, if you get to an obstacle that’s more than a challenge for you—hey, take one of the adventure races detours. Also expect safety throughout. Expect the fun obstacle course runs competition to go on rain or shine. Expect not to be timed on the adventure runs. Expect some crazy team uniforms. Expect to put your mud run training to the test. Expect to leave with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.”

Other great women-targeted mud runs include Mudderella LoziluPretty Muddy and Shape Diva Dash.

So get your dirt in the skirt this October!