This was my second Down & Dirty event since last year and both events had a great festival area in common. The turnout for Down & Dirty events (at least the two I have gone to) is high and varies from friends and families hanging out which makes for a good time and lots of smiles and celebrations throughout the event/day.
This being my second Down & Dirty event, I knew that I needed to get up in the front for my wave or I would go out later than I wanted. The way Down & Dirty lines racers up for waves is very unique and I suggest to anyone running a future event to pay attention to the signs and where in line they go.
The course started out with a very short sprint and came to a hill climb that was a decent incline; the course then stayed on the top of the hill for not even a minute and then went back down the same hill and also a decent decline. A short sprint later was the first obstacle “Mud Pit” which was a mud crawl under a roped off area and being early in the morning, the mud/water was nice and cold. The course continued a short distance further and came to another crawl “Low Crawl”, but this time it was more just dirty water and under a net that forced racers to stay low to the ground and in the water for the crawl. The course continued on a trail sprint for not that long a distance and came to “Give ME 20” which was doing 20 push-ups. I enjoyed this as I can do push-ups without much effort. At this point the course had one of its longer trail sprints and eventually came to the next obstacle “Military Walls” which was a series of wall climbs and a nice challenge at this stage of the course. After another brief trail sprint, the next obstacle was “Marine Hurdles” which is a series of high hurdles that racers have to climb over.
The course continued for a short trail run and up next was “Jim’s Jungle Gym”, which starts out with a climb up a metal pole (that are typically used to build fences) that has connector parts that racers use to climb up the pole and once at the top you have to climb over a rope cargo net and climb back down the rope cargo net. This is an obstacle that is unique to Down & Dirty and one that I personally find to be a challenge and fun to do. The course continued on for a trail run by a body of water just to the racers left (I think it’s a large lake) and the only reason I mention this is some parts of the trail next to this water really smelled bad! After another brief trail run, the next obstacle up was “Ladder Wall”, which is a ladder wall climb which was nice and high off the ground and would be a challenge for anyone that has a fear of heights. The course again went on a brief trail run and came to a tunnel crawl through a tunnel that is made out of a cloth material and then almost immediately after the tunnel was the obstacle “Original Hurdles” which was a nice and easy four foot wall to hop/climb over. The course had another short trail sprint and then came to the next obstacle “Sand Bag Haul”, which was carrying a sand bag and tossing it over two four foot walls and then back a very short distance to where the racers picked them up. I have to mention this sandbag carry was much more challenging than the one Down & Dirty had in Bronx NY last year.
The course continued on a very short distance and if I recall the next obstacle was “Colossus Climb” which is a climb up a giant inflatable slide and then a fun slide down. Just after the inflatable slide, the course turned and went back into the woods and after a short trail run came the next obstacle “Heavy Hoist”, which is identical to the Spartan obstacle Herculean hoist. I always enjoy this obstacle and wish more OCR’s would add it to their courses as well; it’s nice to have an obstacle that rewards us larger framed racers! The course shortly after left the woods/tree cover and came near the parks/venues main parking and up next was “Water Crossing” which I have to give big props to Down & Dirty for bringing. The course just didn’t have any parts to have a true water entry obstacle, so Down & Dirty brought a large portable pool and filled it with (what ended up dirty) water and some ice and this allowed racers to get in the water and if they wanted (I did) completely dunk there entire bodies under the water!
The course continued a very short distance and came to the next obstacle “Rock Wall”, which is a high wall traverse that has mountain climbing hand/foot inserts mounted to the wall to assist with climbing the wall. I always enjoy this obstacle and find it to be a fun challenge. This is yet another obstacle I don’t see often enough and wish other OCR’s would start to use on their courses. Almost immediately was the next obstacle “Slippery Wall”, which was a slanted wall traverse with a rope, but the wall was kept very wet and constantly covered with a slippery soap to make it difficult. The course went a very short distance and if I recall had another “Mud Pit” obstacle crawl and then a very short distance later had one last obstacle into some lower water, but at least it was a chance to clean off some of the mud from the previous “Mud Pit” obstacle. At this point the course was back into the festival area and it was time for the last obstacle of the course, the “Monster Climb”, which is a very cool and intimidating two tier rope ladder/wall climb up and then down. I enjoy this obstacle and really like that they placed it last on the course. Literally about fifty to sixty feet after was the finish line!
This was the six mile version of the course, I almost immediately after completing it went back and re-ran the three mile version of the course, which is just a shorter version of the course and had a total of about thirteen or fourteen of the above mentioned obstacles and is very much a course just about any level of obstacle course racer can handle and enjoy.
I really enjoyed the course and obstacles and have to say it just blew away the Down & Dirty course I ran last year in the Bronx. It looks to me like Down & Dirty has really stepped up the course to be more challenging for 2015 and I originally was planning to only run one Down & Dirty event this year, but now I am thinking about adding a second event.
The schwag was a nice 2015 finisher medal, a cool finisher shirt, and some demo products from Down & Dirty sponsors. I am very happy for the second year in a row to add the Down & Dirty Obstacle Race presented by Subaru medal to my collection.
Overall event rating:
The festival was good times, the course was fun and challenging, the schwag is nice with a sexy medal and at least when I registered and raced (2 laps) I saw very few delays. I am rating the event 5 out of 5 stars.
One of the things I like about Down & Dirty is they offer something for just about everyone. They have the three mile course, the six mile course, and offer a brick division for athletes looking to really have a good physical challenge. As noted above, I have ran two Down & Dirty events and both times I have seen some really good OCR athletes show up to run the brick division. It’s clear that Down & Dirty has created a race that attracts all levels of athletes and as well first timers and this is going to help them stay in the OCR game for a long time to come and just keep improving. I look forward to my next Down & Dirty race for sure!
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