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Money for mud raised by ‘Swamp Sisters’

By Staff | May 8, 2014

Team members trudge through the muddy obstacle course at Saturday’s Dirty Girl Mud Run.

HUGHESVILLE – This challenge isn’t for everyone. Ready to get down and dirty, 17 women boarded a bus Saturday morning and headed for Montage Mountain at the Toyota Pavilion for the annual Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run. This event started in 2011 and made its debut in three cities: Milwaukee, Denver and Buffalo. For one glorious day they get to run 11 obstacle courses that were designed by an ex army ranger.

And so these brave women from Hughesville and Muncy decided to organize a bus and make an honest attempt to become the biggest and most creative team on board. They called themselves the ‘Swamp Sisters.’

Several of the ladies are employees of East Lycoming School District and Cindy Gomez who is the head cook in the cafeteria took the lead as the main organizer. “We’re a bunch of crazy women,” said Gomez. With some capable followers and a few students who went along for support, these women boarded the bus around 9:30 in the morning from the Hughesville High School parking lot shortly after they presented a check to the American Cancer Society. In less than 3 months they raised $1,526. Most of the money was raised through a chicken barbecue dinner held in February said Gomez.

Pam Foresman, Community Events Specialist with the American Cancer Society in Lycoming County and local Kaitlyn Lunger who is on the committee for Making Strides for Breast Cancer came to accept the check and bid them a good luck farewell. Athena Snyder, one of the employees and mud run participants, is a breast cancer survivor and said that she is proud to go and participate despite her health. She brought along her daughter, Hollie McElroy and granddaughter, Makenna who wanted to come for the support. “I want to go swimming in the mud pit,” said cousin Tessa McElroy.

Dressed in bright green tights and pink tee shirts with the sponsors names on the back, the women were excited, as for many it was their first time. “We are going to be in mud and dripping,” said Sandy Wodrig. Never before had there been an event devoted solely to women, welcoming all fitness levels according to rule guidelines. Bright pink is the official color to support breast and ovarian cancer awareness and prevention. This year 25 cities signed up for Dirty Girl.

The ’Swamp Sisters’ team left Saturday for the Dirty Girl Run at Montage Mountain. They raised $1,526 for the American Cancer Society. Back row left to right: Tina McElroy, Patty Higley, Frausteen Richart, Paulette Wagner, Hollie McElroy, Dustie Waldman, and Denay Wodrig. Middle row: Kaitlyn Lunger, Christine Sangrey, Cindy Gomez, Kathy Schell, Pam Foresman, Athena Snyder, and Sandy Wodrig. Front row l to r: Tiffany McElroy, Tessa McElroy, and Makenna McElroy.

Dirty Girl is a 5k women’s only obstacle course for all ages. “You will walk, climb, crawl and laugh through it all,” said Gomez. Detours are set up if it becomes too challenging. “The obstacles help us all work together as a team and have fun,” said Ciji Wagner who sent the Luminary team photos from the event. She met the group on Mongtage Mountain as she was traveling from Washington D.C.

Over 10,000 women showed up with friends and family. Saturday was the biggest day. The race began at 1 p.m. following an 11 a.m. registration. Fun prizes were awarded to the most creative team and best themed costume. Some obstacles were high stepping tires, a rope climb, and muddy streams. To see some action videos visit godirtygirl.com.

Local sponsors who helped the team of women were: Frosty Beverages, Rooster Steve, Weis Markets, Larry Entz, the Wagner Boys, The Baylors, Mike Higley, Julie Williams, Karen Fisher and Merilee Baxter.

All in fun the women completed each of the 11 obstacle courses.