Friday, February 03, 2012

Dirt Dancing

Admit it, you looked at that title and thought “Stupid Nitmos, he forgot the ‘y’. What a dipshit.”

But I didn’t forget the “y”. Y? Because it doesn’t belong there. Y? Because I’d prefer to use it as a pseudo-literary device. Y? Because you expect nothing less than that here, dipshit.

No, seriously, Y? Because I’m not dirt-y dancing. I’m going to DIRT dance. There’s no Patrick Swayze to save me from the trappings of my exorbitant richness here. After a few years of flirting with Michigan’s most infamous trail race, I decided to pull the trigger. Actually, the gun was loaded and cocked for me and placed in my hand. A buddy of mine (and co-marathon collaborator) has done the 100k team relay for a few years in a row now. The last two years, he’s called me up a few weeks before the event to let me know that someone has dropped out and would I like to fill their spot. This is quite an offer too because, with this race, you can’t just fill out a registration and sign up. They don’t let just any Tom, Dick or Razz in. To gain entry, you either have to join an existing team or volunteer at the race the preceding year as your penance for next year’s entry. I’ve had to turn him down because of prior plans each of the last two years and I’ve kicked myself both times. This year, instead of a last minute “sub” offer, he’s invited me to register with the team from the get-go.


This race is called Dances with Dirt and it takes place in, appropriately enough, in a little town called Hell, Michigan. It involves trails with no markings, hills with no footing, poison ivy with no mercy, rivers with no bridge, mud with no hard surfaces, and vans with no rape. The relay involves a team of 5 covering 100k in about 4 mile segments at a time. You know the rest…vans, smells, body odor, sweaty skin rubbing…general filthy unpleasantness…like being at a Phish concert but with less pot.

The event features cleverly labeled trail segments such as:

- Buttslider
- Purgatory
- This Sucks
- Styx River of Death
- Stupid Lake

And here I thought Buttslider was just the name of a White Castle hamburger. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for This Sucks. How bad could it be?


The event date is September 22nd – about 6 weeks before the NYC Marathon. I’m sure a nice ankle busting, knee twisting gruelathon is exactly the type of training I need to conquer the concrete jungle of New York a few weeks later!

Well, it looks like my Fall dance card is filling up. We all have to die somewhere and tumbling down a poison ivy strewn hill into a muddy lake is as good a way as any (better even, ask David Carradine).

I’m up for the challenge…because no one puts Nitmos in a corner.

Happy trails.

13 comments:

Viper said...

That race sounds fun. Coincidentally, one of few places I've been to in your awful state is Hell. Fitting. Cheers!

Elizabeth said...

Nice!! Should be a perfect warm-up race for New York.

Sun Runner said...

HA! I know that guy in the picture you chose. He's one of my hashing buddies. :)

DWD starts and ends about 7 miles from my house. I might see you there this year.

The Sean said...

I've heard good things about this race. Assuming you are not covered in poison ivy this should set you up well for NYC!

Drea said...

Nitmos- you're gonna gamble a ButtSlider 6 weeks before NYC? You know you should take a lesson from all these clever names like Stupid Lake to create an alternatively named course out of the five boroughs. It's just, gosh, ButtSlider....brings back such sweet memories of city living. Sigh.

Keen Bean Company said...

DWD & NYC = perfect year of racing! Love them both and they could not be any different! Ivy Block and taller socks are in order for the first one :)

Deb said...

"Vans with no rape"? Y bother...?

Trent (Scott) Lorcher said...

This is like three posts in one week. This is the happiest day of my life! This is seriously the best blog/column on the web. Keep up the good work...and write a book or something.

Char said...

I've decided that you are an incorrigible optimist. How bad could This Sucks be? Pretty awful if the ad for the race welcomes you into hell.

Rachel said...

I hate trail runs, even the ones that don't have a section called "This sucks", although "Stupid Lake could be a nice swim break.

You're better than I. I've repeatedly turned down invites to trail runs.

Have fun and try not to swallow too many bugs.

Beth said...

Oh, boy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you don't twist or pull something in the mud before NYM. I'm sure you will be careful, right?

Yo Momma Runs said...

It's a good thing there will be no raping in the van because NYM is already doing that with their entry fees.

Danielle in Iowa in Seattle said...

My friend was the female winner of the 50k. Since you are doing the relay, there is no way you can be as badass a 100 pound rocket scientist.