Down and Dirty Race Recap May 2015

This was my first time participating in the Down and Dirty Obstacle Race. I'd heard so many good things about this event that I was really excited to compete. There were lots of great things about the race, and it's definitely a race that I'd recommend anyone run.

Registration--  I registered through Groupon, which I don't normally do. I got a great price, VIP parking (more on that later), and had no issues using the code from Groupon to register on the Down and Dirty site. So, here's the sketchy part-- I wasn't able to select the "elite heat" (a more costly, competitive heat) when registering with the Groupon, but I emailed and made arrangements to pay the extra $15 to be transferred into the elite heat. Previously, the website contained information that stated prizes would be awarded to the elite winners. The website has since changed to state "Awards will be given to the top 3 finishers in each division. The top 3 finishers overall will be recognized as well." No longer a mention of prizes. 
VIP- The start was over by those trees.

Elite Heat-- This wording no longer exists on the website. It disappeared sometime between registration being open for the Miami event and the event itself. On the listing of bib numbers and start times emailed out for the race, the elite heat was listed. The day of the race, the only distinction was that we were lined up in the starting corral at the front of the pack. Future racers-- save your money. Age group winners were determined by chip time (time the chip crosses the start and time it crosses the finish), so the only benefit was a front start. And that wasn't really a benefit.

VIP Parking-- At Miami, this didn't really exist. One of the first cars in the lot, I was parked at the end of the lot, farthest from the starting line. And I still paid for parking. **However, I didn't pay for VIP anything, so it was just a sales tool used to sell Groupons, I think.

The Course-- Here's where Down and Dirty nails it. They offer a 3 mile course, a 6 mile course, a brick division (for those who want to go with a backpack and carry bricks) and 2 distances for "Adventure Kids." The obstacles were solid, well-constructed and plentiful. Multiple kinds of walls, hurdles, low-crawl, tires, tunnel, balance beam, sand bag carry, mud pit and a heavy hoist all provided variety during the 6 mile run, which I chose. I don't know if there are penalties for missing any of the obstacles, I was able to successfully complete them all. (According to the website, there are no penalties for skipping an obstacle, except that you won't be allowed to earn a medal.)

The Finish-- The "Event Expo" featured a merchandise tent, a large sponsor area, where you could learn more about Subaru, multiple vendors, a changing tent, showers (complete with shampoo-- hopefully it was environmentally friendly) and post-race food. There was also a free bag check, which was nice. 

Overall-- I was pretty pleased with the experience. The obstacles were challenging, but not so difficult that a first time racer couldn't successfully accomplish. This truly was a course for all fitness levels. And with the Groupon specials, it's a very affordable event.


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