Dirty Bird an invaluable event for southwest Michigan residents

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Despite cool temperatures and rainy weather Saturday, more than 150 people came from all over southwest Michigan to get messy for a great cause.

A tribute to the military personnel the event benefits, participants of Southwestern Michigan College’s Dirty Bird took on more than 20 challenges on a three- to four-mile long obstacle course.

With the damp weather in Dowagiac Saturday, organizers and longtime participants called the event the dirtiest Dirty Bird yet — but that did not deter runners from participating in the long-anticipated annual event.

Each year, we are continuously impressed by the hard work and dedication on behalf of not only those who organize the event, but those who come back year after year to participate.

Designed to raise funds for a scholarship that benefits veterans attending SMC, the determination, toughness and teamwork is an amazing reflection of the cause.

Plenty of veterans and active military personnel participate in the event, but for those participants who do not have similar backgrounds, the Dirty Bird provides an invaluable experience.

While the mud run pales in comparison to the environment and obstacles many veterans have had to adapt to during their deployment, it provides a great sample of some of the challenges they may have faced. And, just as military men and women would have to carry on with their jobs rain or shine, this year’s Dirty Bird participants had to make do with the event despite the cold and rain.

We so appreciate the work that goes into this event year after year, and the wonderful individuals who donate time and money to making it happen year after year. We wish leaders at SMC the best of luck as they begin planning next year’s race, and commend them for providing such a unique opportunity for such a great cause.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.