Spartan Race Series on NBC


Have you seen the latest Spartan Race series that has hit NBC Sports?  If you missed the first episode, get on the bus before you get left behind! [Read more…]

Reebok Spartan Cruise Sweepstakes


Spartan Race has conquered the land, now they head out to sea!

When I think of cruising I think of endless buffets, bottomless drinks and lots of fun.

Well I’m sure the Spartan Cruise will have all that and so much more!  Throw in a Spartan Race and you’ve got a cruise of epic proportions.  Who wouldn’t want to be on a ship surrounded by like minded people who love Spartan as much as you do?   [Read more…]

Reebok Spartan Cruise Press Release

logo-altSpartan Race has conquered the land, now they head out to sea! [Read more…]

Merrell Down and Dirty Obstacle Race Review


A sure sign of spring and the start of a new OCR season in Southern California is the return of the Merrell Down and Dirty Obstacle Race series.  We attended the Down and Dirty Mud Run April 13, 2014.  The event took place at Castaic Lake in northern Los Angeles County.  This race draws a hug local crowd and offers such a great family atmosphere.

Race Options

Merrell Down and Dirty offered many race varieties including some new options that had not been offered before.

5K – This is a great course with lots of fun obstacles that will challenge any fitness level.

10K – Designed for those wanting more of a challenge.  This course veers off from the 5K racers and offers more challenging terrain and some additional obstacles to conquer before meeting up again with the 5k course.

Military & Public Safety Heat – Retired and active military and public safety personnel are honored with their own competitive heat.

Brick Division – New for this year.  The Brick division offers an extra challenge where each participant is required to carry additional weight in a backpack throughout the course for an additional challenge.

Adventure Kids (4-6 years) 100 yard dash – Pint sized obstacles that finishes on the other side of a long mud pit.

Adventure Kids (7-13 years) 1 mile race – Older kids can experience some of the same obstacles as the grown up including the famous mud pit crawl.


New Obstacles

The Heavy Hoist was a new addition for 2014.  There were two different weighted cement blocks that had to be lifted up to the top of the pulley and the brought back down.  This was something that offered a nice challenge to new racers.

Photo Credit: Merrell Down and Dirty

Photo Credit: Merrell Down and Dirty


The Jungle Gym was another new obstacle we encountered this year.  The cargo netting offered a challenging climb since the rope was not super tight on the structure.  There was some give to the rope, so teamwork was the best way to get over this one.  Other racers would pull down on the ropes so that it was easier to climb.  And there was no shortage of cheers when a struggling racer made it over the top.

Photo Credit: Merrell Down and Dirty

Photo Credit: Merrell Down and Dirty



Castaic Lake Course

This year I opted for the 3 mile course since I knew I would probably be sore from doing an adventure race the day before.  The course was laid out similarly from previous years, but they added some additional obstacles that kept the race fresh and fun.

The distance itself may not seem that challenging to seasoned obstacle racers, but the terrain is very challenging.  The course starts off relatively flat as you make your way through the park setting.  You get to go through a water obstacle, some hurdles and a cargo net climb.  Once you make your way into the foothills you are greeted almost immediately by switchback trails that lead straight uphill! You quickly realize if your training was enough when you encounter these hills.  This part of the course is very dry with no shade, so good hydration is important.  As you make your way up the foothills there was a sandbag carry and the new obstacle Heavy Hoist.

Right around 1.5 miles you encounter what we like to call Heartbreak Hill.  It is a ¼ mile section of packed dirt that seems to go straight up with no end in sight.  The good news is that once you make it up this hill the rest of the course is downhill.  And there is a water station on top that will be a great reward once you get up there.

As you make your way down the hills you get some breathtaking views of Castaic Lake and Castaic Lake Dam.  It seems that Merrell Down and Dirty saved the funnest obstacles for the second half of the course.  They have a giant inflatable slide and several mud pits.  In addition there is also a challenging rock wall climb and a slippery incline wall that you have to hoist yourself up using a rope.  And of course, the final obstacle is the giant mud pit you get to crawl through before receiving your dog tag finisher medal.


The Kids Races

Two of our kids participated in the kids races and they look forward to them every year.  Our youngest ran in the 100 yard dash.  She was so excited to get all muddy at the end, and her only complaint was that she wished it was longer!

Our oldest loved the one mile race and the opportunity to do some of the same obstacles the adults do.  Her favorite obstacle was also the mud pit at the end.  There is something about kids being encouraged to get dirty that gets them all excited!

Charity Partner

Operation Gratitude






This year the Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run has partnered with Operation Gratitude.  This non-profit organization that sends 150,000+ care packages annually filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.  I have personally volunteered my time to Operation Gratitude and know what a great organization this is.  To find out more about Operation Gratitude please visit them at


The Bottom Line

We have been doing this race for the past three years and each year they have brought something new to the course.  Their obstacles are top notch and very well built.  There is always plenty of support throughout the course – from water stations to energetic volunteers to keep you motivated – this race has it all.

This event is a must do when it comes to your town.  Merrell Down and Dirty has perfected the formula for a great family-friendly OCR event that can be enjoyed by everyone.

For more information on this event and registration visit .

MudRunFun Magazine Transforms into Hybrid Runner


The world of OCR is a continually evolving animal.  Those of us involved in the industry in one form or another know that nothing stays the same for long, and it has been amazing to watch the evolution of the sport grow and get better each day.

Today, the folks at MudRunFun announced a change to their MudRunFun digital magazine.  It will now be called Hybrid Runner Magazine.  Rather than focusing solely on obstacle races, they will expand their coverage to all types of events including fun runs, rucking, obstacle course racing and mud runs.  The magazine will be produced bi-monthly in digital form and will cover a broader spectrum which better represents their audience.

Hybrid Runner Magazine will be available beginning in May 2014.

I am especially excited about this announcement, as I have been asked to be a contributing writer for the magazine.  I am honored at the opportunity to be able to share my love and passion for the sport with all of their readers!

So sign up now, and be prepared for some dirty goodness in your inbox.

See below for the full press release.

MudRunFun Magazine

MudRunFun Magazine

MudRunFun Magazine Evolves into Hybrid Runner Magazine

MudRunFun Magazine will become Hybrid Runner Magazine in May of 2014 to better represent its subscribers. Readers can expect to see more focus on fun runs, rucking, obstacle course runs and mud runs.

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) April 03, 2014

MudRunFun Magazine is changing to meet the needs of all of the hybrid runners and race organizers creating new adventures around the country. “Our subscribers told us that they are interested in many different kinds of runs, adventures and challenges. They talk about themselves as a hybrid between a typical street runner, an obstacle racer, and someone looking for a fun weekend adventure. So that is what Hybrid Runner is all about,” says Damion Trombley, president of MudRunFun LLC. “We already cover fun runs like glow runs, color runs, off road trail runs, obstacle races, and mud runs. Hybrid Runner is for all of these alternative participants. He/she might enjoy fun runs and mud runs, or rucking and obstacle runs. That is why our magazine is targeting the “Hybrid Runner.”

 The digital MudRunFun magazine was first released in August of 2013 with articles on fitness, obstacle course strategy, health, and the inspirational victories of the exceptional people that flock to these races. What can you expect from Hybrid Runner magazine? We have contributing writers from across the “Hybrid” community including Holly Berkey, the famous “Muddy Mommy”; Dr. Roger Smith, author of The New Blueprint for Fitness; Laurie Hale, Host of Getting Dirty Podcast and reviews of everything a hybrid runner could be interested in from races to apparel to supplements to strategies.

Vice President, Matthew O’Leary, says, “Our magazine is different because it is an interactive community newsletter that is very personal. Hybrid Runner Magazine will open a direct digital doorway for the reader to get the full experience out of the community at the same time giving the advertiser the power of being one click away from their customer. The articles come directly from our community. Our inspirational reads are always different depending on who is writing them. They really show how being a Hybrid Runner has changed people’s lives, and the spirit of our community shows through this.”

Hybrid Runner Magazine will have its debut release in May 2014 and will be available for your viewing pleasure bi-monthly. Do you want to subscribe now or get more information? Visit

Spartan Up! and Other Things Joe De Sena Can Teach Me

Spartan Up!

When I first heard about this thing call the Death Race I couldn’t believe that people would pay good money to essentially be mentally tortured, and physically broken down to the point of delirium.   This race so insane that the participants aren’t told exactly when it will start or when it will end.  They  just push to finish each challenge before the cutoff time, which is also an unknown to them.  I was even more amazed when the “victims” boasted about their experiences and said they would do it again in a heartbeat. This must be the concoction of a sadist or an evil genius. What type of person could inflict pain and still have people clamoring for more?  The mastermind behind all of this is Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena. [Read more…]

Spartan Sprint and Super Races Temecula 2014

Spartan Entrance at Vail Lake

Spartan Entrance at Vail Lake

Another racing season is upon us, and what better way to kick it off than to bring Spartan to Temecula for their first races of 2014.  Spartan invaded Vail Lake for a two day event on January 25th and 26th. They offered up the Super on Saturday and the Sprint on both days. [Read more…]

OCR Turf Wars


Is there such a thing as an OCR turf war brewing?

Remember back in the good old days when obstacle racing first started gaining popularity?  Like-minded adrenaline junkies started forming groups so they could train together and conquer obstacle races together.  Those were simpler times. [Read more…]

Mud & Obstacle Magazine – Review

There has been a lot of excitement surrounding the first issue of Mud & Obstacle Magazine.  I for one have been waiting with bated breath to get my hands on it.  So I was stoked when I was sent a preview copy!   [Read more…]

Salomon Fellraiser Trail Shoe Review

We got the opportunity to test out and sample lots of products in 2013.  The one I was most excited to try was the Salomon Fellraiser trail shoes.

fellraiser [Read more…]