My First Ever OCR. (Merrells Down & Dirty Mud Run, Miami)


I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a bright and sunny Sunday morning down here in Miami, FL; the venue, Miami Metro Zoo. I really had no idea what to expect this being my first mud run ever. My friend and I dressed up as pigs 2 & 3. Pig 1 was missing because it was Cinco De Mayo the night before. Anyways, before we knew it we were at the start line just before our wave had started. Soon as they let us off, it was such a rush, I wanted to sprint the whole course. We ended up doing the 5k which was actually perfect for our first mud run. It may have been short, but it was good enough to get me hooked into OCRs till this very day. Looking back after having completed many other OCRs since then, it wasn’t the hardest race I can remember, but man was it dirty. I remember I had to clean mud out of my ears for weeks after crawling through the trenches before crossing that finish line, it probably didn’t help at all that I dove in head first. I was a little disappointed though, seeing as how it was in a zoo, I thought we would run with the animals, maybe next time. 

The Pros: 

-Great parking coordination/ volunteers

-Decent, but not difficult obstacles

-Really dirty

The Cons:

-Can’t really think of any. Either I was so excited that day about my first mud run that I overlooked anything being bad about the event, or my memory is shot. 


I wasn’t able to attend this years Down & Dirty because I had registered for another OCR the same weekend, but I had heard it wasn’t as good as the one I first attended back in 2012. Anyone else do this event this year?

And people always ask what I did to prepare for such an event; the honest truth, nothing. I run a couple times a week and do body weight exercises, but that’s about it. The event wasn’t so hard that you had to be a super crazy cross fitter or gymnast to complete it. What would I recommend to first timers doing a mud run:

-Compression socks: They are a lifesaver. If you get muddy or wet or are running through trails, the compression keeps your legs and feet feeling fine and I have not gotten any blisters to this day because of them. 

-Shoes: You definitely need the right shoes for these. I use trail shoes that I got from my local running store. You shouldn’t go out and buy whatever is popular, each person has their own running style and should be consulted by specialists to get the right shoes for your running style. 

-Clothes? I would not be the best to ask about this category. I run my events in speedos and a piggy hat. Costumes are the way to go though. You have so much more fun than running in plain old running clothes!

Merrell Down and Dirty f 


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