The Pretty Muddy: A Woman’s Race

When I first heard of there being a race for women, I had mixed signals in my head. At first, I thought “Hell yeah! Some kind of athletic activity for women that men can’t take part it!” But after looking into the name, I started to become quite bothered by it. The name of this race that takes place across the country is “The Pretty Muddy”. In this post, I’ll get into how I still currently have mixed feelings about this event.


To give you a background into the running community, there are many different kinds of races. Some of the more “fun” races (if you don’t like running, probably none of these are your definition of fun) are races such as The Color Run, or The Zombie Run, or The Tough Mudder. All of these races have different obstacles or elements to them so that it’s more than just a run. For example. the color run blasts colors at you while you run, the zombie run has people who are “zombies” who chase you down while you run, and the tough mudder has lots of obstacles.

The Pretty Muddy is the run that has me questioning it since I ran across the site the other day. One of my thoughts is that this is just another pointlessly gendered thing. One of my past posts talks about BIC pens and how they pointlessly gendered an object. Read more about that in order to understand where I’m coming from. When I looked at it this way, it makes me think that they’re giving women a race because they aren’t physically capable to compete in the counterpart race, the tough mudder, which isn’t true.

On the other side of this though, I think it is pretty awesome that they have a race where only females are allowed to run in. The stereotype is that men are more physically capable than women and that women can’t play sports. To that, I cannot disagree more. I think it’s great that women are given an opportunity to compete in their own race that is theirs.

So my the gist of my beef with this race is the name. Why the hell is it called “The Pretty Muddy”. Why is mud pretty? How? Why?!? I don’t understand. Why did they not call it “The Run for Women Empowerment” or something else proactive towards women. I think calling it this name is saying that women can’t get down and dirty because they’re “delicate” and “clean”.

Like I said, I have many mixed feelings about this, it has both positives and negatives. I think that if they changed the name of the race, it would be a major step in the right direction!

4 thoughts on “The Pretty Muddy: A Woman’s Race

  1. Great points! I totally get how some women would want a gender specific race, but at the same time the name seems infantilizing and unnecessarily highlights a gender stereotype.


  2. Yes!! These types of runs have always bothered me, mostly because of the titles of the races. I’ve also heard of one called “Muderella”, as a female take on “The Tough Mudder”. What bothers me most is the fact that our society is so rooted in male normative language, that for something to be designated all female it has to have a specific title that makes it so. (Ex: Women’s World Cup, women’s razors, and yes, women’s pens) All these things are the exact same as the men’s versions but we still feel the need to designate them into a different category because they are meant for women. It’s so annoying!


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