NINE MILE FALLS, Wash. – The Dirty Dash is sold out with about 6,000 participants, and that size crowd could generate between $30,000-50,000 for Washington State Parks.
But Riverside State Park manager Chris Guidotti said the park’s priority is not profit: it’s public safety and protection of natural resources.
This year, The Dirty Dash will be located in the park’s off-road vehicle park area, which should alleviate the major traffic backups on Government Way drivers experienced the past two years.
“I’m pretty optimistic we’ll have things flowing smoothly this year,” Guidotti said. “I think the first year we were caught by surprise by the popularity of the event. It far exceeded all of our projects in terms of the number of people and we just weren’t prepared for that volume of traffic.”
The Dirty Dash event staff has been out all week getting the course ready, utilizing major mud puddles from the big storms a few weeks ago.
“There’s probably 10 to 15 water holes that already existed, so we just set our stuff in the water hole or around it and we want them to go through it so they can get muddy,” course director Jordan Fairbanks said. “Mud’s beautiful.”
The first wave of athletes dives in at 8:40 a.m. Saturday with competitors taking off every 20 minutes after that. Organizers suggest arriving an hour early and carpooling, since each vehicle will need to have a Discover Pass.