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Big Rapids, Mich. - It has been said that "those who give will often receive".
For the Ferris State University women's basketball program, that has certainly been the case.
The Bulldog women's basketball team recently traveled north to Boyne Mountain last Saturday (Sept. 18) for the Dirty Dog Dash, a challenging adventure running event that incorporated mud, obstacles, camaraderie and a sense of accomplishment.
In addition to being a tremendous team bonding experience, the Bulldogs also helped support an important charitable cause as all entry proceeds benefited the Wounded Warrior Project, a nationwide effort supporting the country's soldiers wounded in the line of duty. Each player paid for her own entry fee, which helped contribute to the important initiative.
"This was a tremendous event that provided excellent team bonding and supported a great cause," said FSU head coach Tracey Dorow. "It was challenging and yet fun for our players at the same time."
The Dirty Dog Dash covered three miles of tough mountainous terrain with various obstacles thrown in between.
The course incorporated everything Michigan has to offer and ranks as one of the toughest adventure runs throughout the state.
"Our entire team ran the race together and cheered each other on the entire time," said Dorow.
The Bulldogs' path to the Dirty Dog Dash actually began last August when they took advantage of an opportunity to train locally using kettlebells as part of a way to enhance their strength and conditioning program, according to Dorow. Since then, they've worked closely with local residents and kettlebell enthusiasts including Dr. Jeff and Jenny Mossel, who helped organize the team's entrance into the Dirty Dog Dash.
"We wanted to try something different and they've really become part of our family," said Dorow. "The Mossels have inspired our team to be stronger and better conditioned athletes.
"They've also been excellent role models both in the way they train and thru their community involvement," she added.
The Mossels, who compete regularly in adventure-type races, also took part in the Dirty Dog Dash with the Bulldogs in addition to local residents Darin and Marcia Cebulla, who also train regularly in kettlebells and are strong supporters of FSU women's basketball.
"Our players decided they wanted to do this and had a great time," Dorow said. "We appreciate the support of these families in being such great role models for our players."
While the Dirty Dog Dash may have been the first adventure race for most of the Bulldogs, Dorow noted it may not be the last for some team members.
"A few of the girls mentioned this is something they'd like to do more of when their playing days are over so it really could become a life-long type of thing," she said. "They've been inspired in so many ways by the Mossels and its exciting to see the enthusiasm our players have now towards fitness because of them."
Dorow believes her players can also give something back to people like the Mossels, who now play an important part as members of the Bulldog family.
"It's almost like having another set of parents with the way they've taken our players under their wings," she said. "Hopefully, we can continue to return the favor by being great role models for their young kids as well."
Women's BB - "Dirty Dog Dash" Adventure Race
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