CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For Christina Stowers and Toni Risk, two things were enough motivation to get dirty Saturday morning.
A love for their mother and for mud.
"We like to have fun and play in the mud," said Risk, 44, of Charleston. "Our mother always called us her mud babies. We've been playing in the mud our whole lives."
So the sisters joined about 2,700 other women for the Dirty Girl Mud Run, held in Charleston for the first time Saturday at Coonskin Park. Portions of the proceeds from the event benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The two, who sported bright pink wigs, made up a team named Susie's Mud Babies, in honor of their mother, who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with the women's younger brother. She survived cancer but has since passed away.
Saturday's Dirty Girl Mud Run was one of 60 such events to be held nationwide this year. So far, about 110,000 women have participated since its beginnings in 2011, race director Amy Lessner said.
On average, 8,000 women participate in each race, but Lessner said she was pleased with Charleston's lower attendance.
"This is a really good turnout for this race," Lessner said. "We're in a new city . . . we're really happy with the numbers."
The noncompetitive, untimed run has obstacles that range from cargo nets to mud pits and inflatable obstacles. Participants can skip the obstacles if they want.
"[The run] is basically for women of all athletic abilities," Lessner said. "To get women out and moving and having fun."
Risk said the running course was challenging.
"I told [Stowers] I'm used to running five miles, but this was the hardest three miles I've ever done," she said.