Race Recap: 2015 Dirtybird Mud Run

First off, I will preface this by saying this is gonna be aloooooong post. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit down and have a good read. 🙂

Earlier this year, my husband and I registered for theDirtyBird Mud Run up at Snowbird. My husband LOVES to do obstacle races and mud runs, so we signed up for it. It was kind of pricey, but we figured with the beautiful scenery it would be worth it. Plus, they boast about having a 1 mile slip ‘n slide.

Well, due to me being pregnant, I didn’t want to risk my safety or my baby’s safety on the obstacles, but I went and walked the course with my husband.

It was supposed to be a 10k (6.2 miles). At one point, we had a guy pass us and say “Well folks, we’re at 8.4 miles!” and that was at least 3/4 mile before the finish.

The race started out fun. You took the aerial tram up to an elevation of 11,000 feet. As soon as you got off the tram, the race started. I’ve never been on the tram before, but the view is beautiful on the way up. Then, they do have a “warming hut” that you could go in & use the restroom and get some water before you started the race.

Superman waiting for me to start the race.

We had to hike about 1 1/2 miles before we got to our first obstacle. I had NO choice but to do this obstacle. The side of the mountain was so steep that you almost had to repel down the side of the mountain about 50 feet. It definitely wasn’t anything that put me or baby in danger. You just had to straddle the rope and then walk down the side of the hill backwards.

Then we had to hike another mile or so and we got to the slip ‘n slide. We found out that the 1 mile of slip ‘n slide was actually broken up in to 3 different slides. And lucky for us, the first 2 slides didn’t work because their “pump” broke. That was a disappointment.

This guy decided to go down the slide even though there was no water.

We finally hiked over to the 3rd slip ‘n slide. I do have to say, it was kind of cool that they had different inflatables that you could ride down the slip ‘n slide on. I was originally gonna take the inflatable whale & ride down, I thought this was a fairly safe obstacle. But, as I saw more people kind of bunching up at the end of the slip ‘n slide, etc., I decided to opt out of this obstacle. I didn’t want to take the chance of having somebody run in to the back of me. So, my husband took the whale and went down the slip ‘n slide. He was not very successful. It was hard to ride the whale. He kept falling off. I’m sure it didn’t help that the slip ‘n slide wasn’t very slippery. But, he still had a good time with it.



So far, these obstacles were all on the back side of the mountain and the back side of Snowbird. So, when we got done with the slip ‘n slide, we got on a chair lift that took us to the opposite side of the back of the mountain, so we didn’t have to trace our steps (otherwise we would have been out there FOREVER. Oh wait…we were {more to come}).

We had fun on the chair lift. Took a couple of selfiesand enjoyed the scenery. That is one thing about this race. The scenery is BEAUTIFUL. There is a time when you can see down in to the Salt Lake valley and it’s just breathtaking.


We got off the chairlift and had to hike another mile (I’m guessing). I REALLY wish I had my GPS Heart Rate monitor so that I could have seen how far we really went & how many calories I actually burned, but alas, that bit the dust a little while ago and I just don’t have the funds to replace it.

But, we had to hike another mile or so. We saw snow…in July…in Utah. It was kind of cool. We had to climb up a steep mountain. You know the mountain I told you earlier where you had to have ropes to help you get down…well apparently they didn’t think you needed ropes to help you get UP that side of the hill. It was definitely tough. But I was able to talk through the workout, which kept me ok. My doctor told me at my last appointment, “just make sure you can talk through your workouts”.

Snow. In July.

Then we had to hike forever and a day and then we got to “the tunnel”. There’s a tunnel that goes from one side of the mountain to the other. Both my husband and I were tired at this point. When we got to the tunnel it said we’d gone 2 miles. Oh my hell, I’ve done a lot of running in my athletic career and I think I’ve become a fairly good judge of mileage and I can tell you we’ve gone more than 2 damn miles at this point. There was a pro photographer there taking pictures “at the half way point”. That gave both me and my husband hope. Yes! We’re at the 1/2 way point. That means there’s gonna be a whole ton of obstacles one right after another and then before we know it, we’ll be at the finish line. Yea…we were wrong.

So, you walk through the tunnel and you come out and there’s an obstacle course of monkey bars. Do you watch American Ninja Warrior? You know how they have an obstacle of monkey bars & if you fall off the monkey bars, there’s a pool of water you fall in to? Yea, that was the obstacle. Even if I wasn’t pregnant, I wouldn’t do this obstacle. I just can’t do monkey bars. Never been able to do them. So, my husband climbed up this steep ramp and then got up to do the monkey bars. His hands were swollen from walking so much, etc., that he couldn’t keep a good enough grip & fell in the water. The water was COLD!! He came out of the water shivering. It took him a while to warm up.


We walked a little longer and came upon a cargo net. The cargo net was attached to the side of the mountain. It looked fun. But it was VERY deceiving. As you climb on the cargo net, all of your weight goes forward and so does the cargo net and it goes up against the mountain, so you have hardly anything to hold on to & grip with your feet. My husband was a champion though and made it through.


FINALLY, I saw water! I was so thirsty at this point. Neither one of us took water with us because we knew it was an obstacle course and it was gonna be hard to hold anything in our hands because we’d need our hands for the hiking, etc. They had itty bitty cups of water. Not even the normal Dixie cup size cups of water. They did seem to have a plethora of water though. I’ve been to races where they’ve run out of water.

So far, at this point, we have yet to come in contact with any mud. Disappointment. You could hear other racers talking about how there’s been no mud too. That was a big disappointment. I was trying to stay positive though and thought there was still plenty of time for mud.

We walked what seemed like FOREVER until we got to our next obstacle. My husband was excited about this one. It was an air bag jump. He jumped off a 30 ft platform on to a 10 ft high air bag. It was fun to watch. It was kind of annoying though. The line was long. I waited what seemed like forever for him to jump. Then, right as he’s waiting on the stairs to jump, here comes a group of like 5 guys that for whatever reason got to jump in line in front of everybody. I’m sorry, but I don’t care if you’re with a special group or not. You get to wait in line like everybody else. Or, they could at least explain to everybody else waiting in line with these folks are so special they get to jump the line. It’s really rather unfair.

After this, the race went REALLY downhill, and I’m not talking literally. From here on out, there were NO water stops. There were NO medical tents. Nothing. They told us from the beginning “if you get injured, stop & sit down and show the international sign of injury, which is crossing your arms above your head & we’ll either see you from a chair lift, or someone will tell the next medic stop”. Do you know how long it would’ve taken until they got to the next medic stop? The end of the race! My husband rolled his ankle during a portion of this race, but there were never medic tents around so that he could get it wrapped. He didn’t want to tap out of the race, but it would’ve probably felt a little better if he could’ve got it wrapped.

I thought after we got done with the air bag drop that we were almost done with the race. Boy was I wrong.

They had a bunch of other little obstacles through the race. They had some ropes that were tied to 4 trees that you had to climb through. They had “adult teeter totters”. But only one person can be on the teeter totter at a time. And it was a bunch of hiking uphill.

The more we hiked down the mountain the more I was getting excited because I thought we were near the end. But they just prolonged it. Unnecessarily. We got to their marker of 6 miles and at that point, that is where the guy passed us saying “We’re at 8.4 miles folks”. I kept trying to be positive that we were close to the finish. That we had maybe a max of 1/2 mile left to go. Once again, we were wrong.

The finish line was so close we could see it. Literally. But, they had you on a single track bike trail that bypassed the finish line and took you a good at least 3/4 of a mile past the finish line so you could double back.

At this point, a lot of us said screw it, and we cut through and bypassed an unnecessary 1/2 – 3/4 of mile.

The last obstacle was the finish line. You had to climb up a cargo net to go down a steep blow up slide that landed in what looked like a mud pit. I obviously skipped the cargo net & slide, but my husband, being the good sport that he is, even though he didn’t want to do it, he climbed up the cargo net. As I was on the other side watching other racers come down, I noticed that the water wasn’t very deep and that if you’re not careful, when you go down that slide, you hit the water and you hit the ground HARD. I wish I could have warned my husband somehow. I just saw him at the top of the slide and he came sliding down and hit that water and ground HARD. I almost thought he had a bruised tailbone (he didn’t). But it took him a few minutes to get up. And…to top it all off…it was just dirty water. No mud.


At the finish line, they have your medal for you, which is cool, but then all they have for you is these little cups of water. Hell, even at 5k’s that I’ve done, they have banana’s & bagels and stuff like that for you at the finish line. They didn’t have anything like that.

We just spent 5 1/2 hours of hiking what we thought was supposed to be a 10k, but ended up being 9+ miles, hiking all over the side of the mountain and all we get is a little cup of water.  

Oh wait…it gets better. After you finish this race, you have another mile of hiking to go before you hit pavement and the lodge at Snowbird.

Then…if you don’t want to wait for the shuttle…you’ve got another mile of walking to go to get to your car.

I’ve done A LOT of races in my time. I’ve done my fair share of “first year” races too. I get that there’s going to be issues when planning a race. I get that. It’s the nature of the beast. But I think some of the issues these folks had are inexcusable.

If you’re going to advertise it as a 10k, make sure it’s a 10k. I get that maybe measuring might be a little off. But I think 3 miles off is a bit excessive.

Have more water and aid stations. Especially on the second half of the race. I think one of the reasons after the last BIG obstacle of the air bag jump the race was so hard was because all of our resources were depleted. We had no water. No snacks. Nothing. If I would’ve known it was going to be a 9 mile trek, I would’ve brought some gu’s, chomps, etc.

Maybe they need to think about placing the finish line at a better locale. We just trekked over a mountain and now we have to walk another 2 miles to get home! Walking is the LAST thing I want to do right now.

If you’re going to advertise it as a mud run…make sure you have mud. They said they needed up not having the resources to haul mud in. WHAT???? We’re on the side of a mountain. Dirt + water = Mud! A mountain is made of damn dirt! C’mon people!

One thing I will point out that was cool that I noticed at the bag check. They had showers…like REAL showers for you to rinse off in. The only down side I can see to that, is you know people aren’t going to go in & just “rinse off”. They’re gonna take their time. Even though you’ve posted to be courteous to others please hurry, you know people are gonna take their time. I’ll admit, I would. Lol. But they only had about 8 showers.

I would LOVE to do this race next year, but I want to know that there are going to be some serious improvements before next year. You know? I’ll be sending them an email later with some constructive criticism.

Here is some of the pretty scenery though:





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