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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | Last updated: 9:52am

Kiss Me Dirty obstacle course proceeds benefit UA Cancer Center



Adorned in tutus, mesh tights, face paint and sneakers, women gathered at the Pima County Fairgrounds Sunday morning for a chance to get dirty.

Designed for women only, the Kiss Me Dirty race series is a muddy, 5k obstacle course that donates a portion of its proceeds to a local gynecological cancer research center in every community visited. From this event in particular, a least 5 percent of every participant’s registration will benefit the University of Arizona Cancer Center for the second year in a row. Last year, the mud run raised a total of $2,735.

“It seems like all of these cancer benefits are all about upstairs,” said Charity Vernon, a co-race director for KMD. “So we’re trying to bring it downstairs to an area that doesn’t get much notice.”

Signs providing information about gynecologic cancer were posted along the course. In spirit with the theme, many women participated in teams, bearing names such as Eager Beavers and Redneck Vixens.

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By Ryan Revock / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Ryan Revock/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Participants navigate a muddy obstacle course at the Kiss Me Dirty mud run. The event was on the Pima County Fairgrounds and the proceeds go to the UA Cancer Center.

“Kiss Me Dirty is all about allowing people to … come, let their hair down, be who they are and let their inhibitions go,” Vernon said.
The race was not about fitness, but about having fun, she added.

Boys determined to play could participate, provided they dress in drag.

The event attracted several UA students, including Maureen McClard, an undeclared sophomore who said she thought it would be fun to run and get dirty.

“You got to dress up … you got to be as quirky or as fun as you wanted to be,” McClard said. “There were people in tutus … cross dressers, it was really cool.”

Savannah Stevens, a pre-physiology freshman, ran with women from her family on a team called the Real Housewives of Pima County.

“I thought it was pretty cool just seeing everybody together, the outfits that everybody has,” Stevens said. “The groups of people was the coolest part.”

Other members of the UA community also attended, including Michelle Mixer, a business manager for the College of Eller Marketing Department.

Mixer said she thought it was great that the event was benefiting the UA Cancer Center.

“Anything that benefits … local charities is awesome, especially one that’s near and dear to us, you know, the UA,” Mixer said.

Kiss Me Dirty focuses on staying local with all of its benefiting organizations, according to Vernon.

“It keeps the money in the community,” Vernon said. “I think our participants appreciate it more, rather than these funds going to some vague national organization that they might not ever see.”

The KMD mud run will return to Tucson on Oct. 19.


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