Dirty Outlaw Dash draws sizable crowd crowd

Published 8:32 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014

BY David Vitrano

The Daily News

Approximately 150 participants came out to Cassidy Park and braved the cold weather, mud and just about anything else nature could throw their way Saturday morning for Bogalusa’s first ever Dirty Outlaw Dash.

Organized by local fitness center H.L. Brownstone and its owner Larrilyn Hickman, the three-mile course pitted runners against obstacle both natural and man-made.

Hickman said the decision to offer this kind of race in Bogalusa came down to more than simply promoting fitness or making money. She said the obstacles represented much more than what could be seen on the surface.

“It symbolizes life. Obstacles are opportunities knocking,” she said. “Open the door and let them in.”

Hickman said she and two other ladies, Susan King and Sandy Victoriano, spent the last four or five weeks working 12-hour days, machete in hand, to get the course ready for the Dash. The race featured about 15 man-made obstacles and about 20 natural obstacles, she said. The obstacles included a tire wall, two mazes, mounds of tires and bales of hay to climb over, a mud pit and much more, in addition to the natural obstacles, such as the banks of Bogue Lusa Creek,

During her pre-race talk with the participants, Hickman noted that anyone could opt out of any of the obstacles he or she wished, but during the course of the race, such instances were very few. She also encouraged participants to look out for each other.

“We go by the ‘no man left behind’ policy,” she said.

Hickman added that the City of Bogalusa helped with the parts of the course she and her helpers could not do on their own.

“I need to say a big ‘thank you’ to Jeff and Gary with the city and Mayor (Charles) Mizell,” she said.

Mizell, who came out Saturday to see the runners off, said being around the group made him feel 30 years younger, but added, “I’m going to err on the side of caution and just be your number one spectator today.”

Hickman called the turnout Saturday “above expectations” and said this Dirty Outlaw Dash would be the first of many.

Regarding future races, she said, “Bigger. Better. This is a learning process. It’s a starting point.”

A portion of the proceeds from the Dirty Outlaw Dash benefitted Cassidy Park. (Contrary to an article that appeared in the Friday, Oct. 3, edition, the race did not benefit the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.)