After each mud run or obstacle race I compete in, you'll get my review and grades for each event to help you decide which ones you might want to sign up for. The following categories will be discussed:

1. COURSE- the design, venue, and setup of the race itself- how creative/ adventurous/ difficult the obstacles were, and obviously... how was the MUD?!?

2. FESTIVAL- all the fun beyond the actual race- the social atmosphere which usually includes food, beer garden, dj/ music/ concert, contests, vendors, and more during the after-party

3. SWAG- the included goodie bag and prizes up for grabs- all the "free" stuff that comes with price of entry and the quality of awards, shirts, and other giveaways

Feel free to use the search box to read up on any past topics you might be looking for.

MERRELL DOWN & DIRTY, Bronx NY, 10/2/11

One of my favorite races after having done this one last year.  Back again in Pelham Bay Park at Orchard Beach, it lived up to its name after the overnight rain downpour left the Bronx a swampy, muddy mess- perfect for running!

1. COURSE- As far as I remember, the design was identical to the previous year, which was a good thing.  Using the boardwalk, nature trails, beach, and bay offered in this park, the three mile course was as diverse as you'll find.  Obstacles were the same as the year before, but wished there could have been a few more added (6 total?) and some that were not so easy like the 15 yard tunnel crawl or the single 4 foot wall in the trail section (the 10k race does have additional obstacles).  The mud pit was still a classic and was as sloppy as ever, leaving everyone covered in muck from head to toe.  GRADE = B

2. FESTIVAL- Despite the early morning rain, the afternoon cleared up to be a great fall day for hanging around (caked in the drying mud) and partying with the other 5000 mud runners.  A band kept the crowd entertained while chowing down on the "free" food, but the fact that there was NO beer has to knock it down a letter grade, since it's pretty much a staple of these events to include a free pint with your signup, or at least offer beer for sale.  Vendors with samples and contests going on (won a free Marines shirt for doing pullups) were a fun option for before or after the race, and for spectators looking for something to do while everyone had fun getting muddy.  GRADE = B

3. SWAG- Like I mentioned, free food but no beer- so we'll call that part even.  Where they win an added letter grade is with the other freebies in the participant bag- awesome tech shirt, "versatile head gear" (ie head band/scarf), and a bunch of other samples and coupons.  Unique dog tag finisher medal and placing medals stand out from the other races, and also help earn some points in this review.  GRADE = A