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The Boom Market for Niche Fitness Events Founded by former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Chris McIntosh, Dirty Girl obstacle-course events are running up big bucks.

By Margaret Littman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It started as many side projects do, with a few friends and a few bottles of wine. But the idea really took off once the talk turned dirty.

Former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Chris McIntosh and some friends were discussing Ironman triathlons. They wondered if there was a way athletes who don't have the stamina to compete in a traditional Ironman event could still experience the positive energy of a collaborative race.

In 2011, they launched Dirty Girl Mud Run, producing three mud-soaked obstacle-course races for women, in upstate New York, Wisconsin and Colorado. "We had no event experience, which was a blessing. Ignorance is bliss. We did not need to abide by industry standards," says McIntosh, who serves as president of the Delafield, Wis.-based company.

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