UVa-Wise women compete in 5K Mud Run


Several women from UVa-Wise drove hundreds of miles to Memphis just to slip, slide, stride and just plain roll around in the mud, but it was all for a good cause.

The women, Erin Clem, Carlee Reiber, Brittanie Jones, Sarah Smith and Nichole Davis and Sydney Pack, participated in the Go Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run, a female only run for ladies of all ages and athletic abilities.

The event was designed to bring awareness to Breast Cancer. The event was an untimed obstacle course that encourages teamwork to get to the finish line. The Wise Girls Gone Wild team maneuvered through 13 obstacles in a cross-country course that featured mud pits, rope climbs and mudslides.

It all started innocently enough when Clem, an Ashburn resident and junior majoring in business, and Reiber, a Nokesville resident and a junior majoring in psychology, learned about mud runs in Cosmopolitan magazine. The event was listed as one of the top 25 things to do. The friends did some research and found one in Memphis, so they decided to hit the social media sites to form a UVa-Wise team.

Campus Police Officer Nichole Davis was the first to respond, and Sarah Smith, assistant director of student services and outdoor recreation, and Sydney Pack, a junior and administration of justice major from Harrisonburg followed. Brittanie Jones, a senior from Roanoke who is majoring in administration of justice, agreed to join the group as a volunteer.

“Nichole and I were on the treadmills side-by-side and I told her that my goal was to run 15 5K races in a year,” Smith said. “Nichole told me about the mud race.”

Davis, who has turned heads on campus the past year with her significant weight loss story, said her new healthy lifestyle has inspired her to be more active.

“I’ve never run more than a mile at one time,” Davis said. “Sarah has talked me into training for a 5K, and the mud run seemed a fun way to begin. It was so much more fun that just running.”

Clem, Reiber and Jones were all about the cause, especially for Reiber whose grandmother is battling breast cancer. She wore her grandmother’s name on the back of her shirt during the mud run. Clem said the good cause brought the women together for a good cause.

“I’m not a runner,” Jones said. “I don’t plan on ever being a runner, but I went as a volunteer, photographer, stuff holder. I had a t-shirt that said Mama Mud Run on the back.”

The women crossed the finish line as a team, and they gave Jones a big, muddy hug to celebrate.

All six plan to participate in a future mud run, possibly in Roanoke in the fall. They plan to recruit a bigger team for the next mud run.

“It would be nice to take one of the college buses full to the next run,” Davis said.

The women raised $350 for breast cancer awareness prior to the run by holding fundraisers on campus. They learned a lot about each other on the trip, and they formed solid friendships and gained the knowledge that they did something as a team that will give promise to breast cancer survivors.

“I was somewhat nervous going into the weekend because I knew some of the girls, but not well, so I really didn't know how the weekend was going to go,” Pack said. “I had such a great time the entire weekend, and really made friends with all of the girls. The run itself was such an accomplishment for me, and I was so proud of myself that we accomplished as the Wise Girls Gone Wild.”