Mud runs, glow runs, color runs, haunted runs. When we hear of a fun run these days it's no surprise when it involves some of those untraditional elements. It seems that these fun runs are becoming more and more popular and the courses more creative with each year.

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Recently, I was able to run the Dirty Dash Mud Run held in Heber City.

This race was probably one of, if not the most, fun races I have done so far in my years of running. While the race was outright hilarious, I will admit that I didn't run as much as I would have in a traditional race. And most of the participants weren't running either. It really isn't feasible with straw barrels to climb, mud hills to scale, and giant pools of slop that make running practically impossible.

With this being said, a run like the Dirty Dash leads to lots of laughter and fun memorable moments that a traditional run, like a Ragnar or marathon, might not have.

So for those wanting to do a similar race in the future, I want to share some advice before signing up.

Know what kind of experience you would like to get out of the run. For a more paced and competitive race a traditional race may be a better choice. Or for more of a novel and unique experience a fun run may be for you.

Either way running and participating in a race, both fun or traditional, is a wonderful goal worth the time and energy spent preparing for it.

As I have joined races in the past I have noticed the feeling of community as thousands of strangers get out and participate in a cause for good.

Running has created a health-conscious mindset for my life as well. So I encourage anyone looking for a fun activity this summer and beyond to join a race. Races are for all ages, sizes and personalities so almost anyone can participate.

Natashia McLean lives in Provo. She is a mother of four children and a fitness instructor. She also is the owner of CanaryJane.com. Contact her at hello@canaryjane.com