More than 800 women are expected at Moody Gardens in Galveston Saturday to run, climb and crawl through five kilometers of dirty fun at the Gritty Goddess. The annual event features more than a dozen challenging obstacles that feature climbing walls, cargo nets and most of all, mud.

“Everybody always wants more mud,” race director Greg Pennington said. “We added a new mud obstacle last year, and have added a few new wrinkles to some of the others.”

Not all the obstacles involve mud. The race takes advantage of its location at Moody Gardens to throw in some water obstacles at Palm Beach. “We have one obstacles in the Lazy River, and another in the wave pool,” Pennington said. A new obstacle for 2019 is the “Camo Caterpillar,” a mud-based maze.

In order to avoid traffic jams at the more daunting obstacles, Gritty Goddess runners start in waves, with a wave starting every ten minutes from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Many participants form teams of friends or family members, and mother-daughter, multiple-sister, and extended family teams are popular. “We used to have a wave just for mothers and daughters, but instead of a wave for young kids, which entailed stopping and changing the course to make it shorter, we now let mothers and daughters, or anyone over the age of ten, sign up for any of the waves,” Pennington said.

There’s even a wave where men can join in the fun. The 8:30 a.m. wave is reserved for couples of any kind, and is the only co-ed wave in the Gritty Goddess. Men are welcome in other aspects of the race though, and will be found staffing some of the obstacles, including “Temptation Island,” and the finish line, where a post-race celebration features beer and a Gritty Goddess signature cocktail made with botanical vodka.

Registration for the Gritty Goddess is available online at grittygoddess.com, and will be available on-site at Moody Gardens on April 13.

Bernice Torregrossa: bernice92@aol.com.

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