Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run 5k

On Sunday morning, we played in the mud. :)


As you guys know, I LOVE mud/obstacle runs and haven’t done one since last year, so I was excited to get out there and run in a more creative and fun way on Sunday morning at the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run 5k! Pictured above is “Team Awesome!”, comprised of me, Matt, and my friends Lara and Jess, about halfway through the run. Fun times had by all. :)

As usual, I brought along my waterproof camera for the adventure so I could get some action shots of us during the race. When I wasn’t using the camera or needed my hands for obstacles, I stuffed it into my sports bra. Classy, I know. It worked! I was able to salvage all my clothing and my shoes, too – they just got a SERIOUS rinsing in our tub and then I ran the clothes through the washer twice.


We signed up for the 9:30 a.m. 5k wave (there was also a 9 a.m. wave, and an 8 a.m. 10k option) – as late as possible was the key since we were at a wedding the night before! Matt was sleepy. :)


But pumped. ;)


We arrived at the race start with plenty of time and had no problems parking, checking in to get our race packets, hitting the porta-potties, or checking our bags. Two points for good race organization! Off to a good start. We were ready to go at the starting line shortly before 9:30.


And then we were off!


It was hot out, but not unbearable like last week was, and since we were getting muddy/wet, the heat didn’t matter as much. The race took place on a mostly shaded (and really pretty) trail, so that was nice, too.


One of our favorite obstacles was this lake! You just waded through it in a small loop, but it felt SO good.




Then came the mud. ;)



Another fun obstacle was this big blow up slide! You climbed up the rope on this side, and on the other side you slid down. Fun!



Running by a pretty pond on the the trails:


Here’s Jess peeking out over a fun rock climbing wall obstacle! I liked this one.


Made it!


Matt goofing off near the top:


At one point, we randomly ran by corn fields! Does anyone else find corn fields super creepy thanks to a certain 80’s horror movie?


We ran from the corn and back to the pretty wooded trails:


And then got ready for a big climbing obstacle!


down and dirty mud run DC

merrell down and dirty mud run dc



The race ended with some more trail running, and then two more obstacles. First was this rope climb up a slanted wall – this was HARD!


And then more mud, of course. :)


We made it!


It was really sunny – excuse our pained expressions. ;)


Nothing like starting your weekend by playing in mud. :) Overall, this was a really fun race! Next time, I would love to do the 10k – I could have gone for even more obstacles and more of those pretty shaded trails! I told them they should offer more than one start time option for the 10k next year – we’ll see. :) For the 5k, we could have gone for more creative/even crazier obstacles, but that’s just me being an adrenaline junkie. Thanks to Team Awesome! for the fun morning! If you’re interested in checking out the Down & Dirty race, too – check out their locations page – they have races all over the country!

Are you a mud run/obstacle run fan?

Disclaimer: Matt and I received a free bib for this race in exchange for sharing our experience here on the blog. Thank you to the folks at Down & Dirty for the great opportunity! :) All opinions are my own.


  1. 1

    Wow, that looks like a lot of fun! I bet the best thing was the shower afterwards ;) ?

  2. 3

    that looks like a tough course! ya’ll look like you had a blast though!

  3. 4

    I did my first mud run/obstacle course two weeks ago. I’m not sure I would do another one, however if I had a significant other who would do it with me, I might go again!

  4. 5

    Love the pics!! Looks like a great (and tough) time!

  5. 6

    This looks like it was so much fun! I would love to do a mud run; I’m on the lookout now for one near me. The colour runs are really popular right now too.

    • 7

      Yeah, I haven’t done one of those yet – they sound fun but I hear the dye doesn’t wash out of blonde hair very well – yikes!

  6. 8

    This looks like so much fun! I love all the photos you captured – you can just tell you guys were having a blast. I’ve never done a mud run, but it sure looks worth trying!

  7. 9

    Ahh that looks awesome! I’ve never done a mud run, but I really want to do the Warrior Dash. I just looks like you get to be a big kid!

  8. 11

    I would totally do a race like this! It looks like so much fun! Glad you guys had a good time! You got some great action shots!!!

  9. 12

    This race looks like SO much fun. We have mud races out here and I think you have convinced me to sign up for one :)

  10. 13

    Ah this looks like so much fun! I need to try one of these! Thanks for sharing.


  11. 14

    I did the Lozilu mud run on Saturday in Maryland and it was so fun! I am definitely hooked and am trying to convince some friends to do a legit tough mudder now! :)

  12. 16

    Hi Anne: love your posts…I am a two time Lozilu participant. Lozilu is a women’s mudrun (disclaimer no affiliation with them), untimed and a great entry for a newbie like me. The encouragement from other women and my team really propelled me up, over and forward. I am thinking about doing this race next year but wonder how the crowd is with slow runners or runners who aren’t major athletes. My fitness and health journey has taken me this far and I’ve lost 25 lbs and participate in about 2-3 5ks a year now, but I’m far from an athlete and my 5k time is about 45 mins. Lozilu is terrific for newbies like me- challenging but also I feel good about myself and am surrounding by all different shapes and sizes. Would going to a co-ed race take the fun out of it since my goal is to do all the obstacles and finish, not necessarily finish quickly? And I won’t be among the buffest. Really interested in your viewpoint as my team is wondering if we should try a coed mudrun or stick with Lozilu (which is terrific for us!)

    • 17

      I wouldn’t be worried about doing this race at all! No one was in a hurry – I’d say at least half of the people were walking the running part, and there’s usually a short wait at the obstacles, too. Everyone is just in it for fun, not time! :) Congratulations on your health journey and your weight loss, that’s wonderful!

  13. 18

    I have done two mud/obstacles races in the past, and while I enjoyed them, I doubt I will sign up for any more. They are just SO EXPENSIVE!

  14. 19

    Such a fun run! We do a 10k one here called to hell and back…carrying bricks up hills, crawling under barbed wire, swamps so hard to get out of they had grown men screaming. Fun but I ended up in bits for days after. Your one looks great though! Perfect balance of mud, a challenge and lots of fun!

  15. 21

    That actually looks really fun! Glad y’all enjoyed it :)

  16. 22

    Awesome! Looks like you guys rocked it! :)

  17. 23

    Looks like so much fun! I’ve heard there tends to be a lot of crowding around the obstacles, but I still want to cross a mud run off my bucket list!

  18. 25
    Roadrunner says

    How do you spell “Awesome!”? Really nice post/pictures, too. Very impressive. Well done to Mr Matt, as well, please!

  19. 26

    Just looking at those obstacles gets my blood pumping! Glad it was a fun time! I always worry about how crowded events like these are, but it looks like you guys had fun along the way. Love the pictures in the corn field – lol

  20. 27

    This looks like so much fun!
    Wish they did this in Australia!

  21. 28

    Those races always looke like so much fun, but I would be afraid that it would take me too long to do an ostacle and the people behind me would get mad.

  22. 30

    I did the Dirty Girl mud run earlier this year, and had a lot of fun. I don’t know if I’d do them regularly, but it was a great bonding experience. The Dirty Girl run had one of those climbing obstacles where you had to get across flat rope sections also…I totally lacked grace lol. Pretty sure I ended up doing my best to full body roll across it :).

  23. 31

    Wow that looks amazing!! I’d love to do an obstacle course like that. 5k is quite a manageable distance as well – something to use as a build up the full-on Tough Mudders.

  24. 32

    that looks like SO much fun! I need to sign up for one of these… were you ever worried about getting injured? I tend to stay away from those sorts of races while I’m training for a long race because I’m worried that I’ll get injured…

    • 33

      I just take it niiiice and slow on the obstacles. I’m doing Tough Mudder a month before my marathon this fall, so I’ll be taking that approach BIG TIME during that race, too.

  25. 34
    GF and more says

    The Down & Dirty race was a blast! I did the 5K too at the 9am start and had a wonderful time. So well organized and a perfect day for it. You got some great pictures of the course. That big climbing obstacle “castle” near the middle was a challenge for sure. Did you guys stop throughout to take pics? My family was able to take some near the finish area on the slant wall and the final mud pit, but having pictures of the obstacles throughout is an extra bonus.

    • 35

      I’m glad you loved it, too! Yes, I just took pics while we were waiting in line for the obstacles, and stopped for a couple action shots during. :)

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