Monday, February 14, 2011

Dance with Dirt - Green Swamp Dade City, Florida

Dance with Dirt - Green Swamp Dade City, Florida

This weekend was the famous Dances with Dirt (DWD) - Green Swamp race.  This race is located in Dade City, FL.  It is an "extreme" trail run.  There is a good description of the race here. Bonnie and I ran the 13.1 race.  Triston did the 10K.
Bonnie and Deb (the "gator bait" friend) finishing

Overall it was a great and fun race.  The run was very pleasant and scenic.  It had beautiful trees, trails, rivers, lakes, etc. Everyone was very friendly.  I found the race course to be pretty well marked (although some people did get lost).
Pretty View
Pretty River

I did not find the race as "extreme" as race directors wanted to describe it as.  Is seemed like your typical trail run.  There was sugar sand, uneven trail, beautiful wildlife, etc.  The whole course was bone dry except for the one "extreme" point that was about a half a mile from the finish.  At this point you had to walk on a board across a river that was about a foot deep.  Then you had to walk in the water for about 6 feet.

There was about 1/2 mile in the race where you had to carefully run around cypress tree roots which proved to be difficult. Cypress tree roots are like little ground stalagmite landmines.  The are very hard and pointy and very easy to trip on.

"Extreme" River Crossing

A fellow runner said the DWD in Hell, MI is very extreme and very well attended.  I will have to travel to Michigan next year to try that race.

Mr Half TRIing

After the race you had freshly made BBQ pork, veggie "hamburgers", baked beans, coleslaw and ice tea.  It was very delicious and there was plenty to go around. 

Bonnie in her Wink pack

Like most trail runs there was not a ton of water stops.  I believe the 13.1 had about 4 water stops. I would suggest carrying water on ANY trail run.  I used my Ultimate Direction Wasp water pack and Bonnie used her Ultimate Direction Wink and we both LOVED the packs.  I am considering wearing it in all my future races.  I will have to post a review about them one day but if you are looking for a water pack look no further than these two gems.
1st place awards (minus the arm)

The race directors make a big deal out of watching out for Florida gators.  The finisher awards are plaster life-sized gator heads (pretty cool) and the finisher medals have gators on them.

Bonnie was scared of encountering a gator and contemplated carrying a knife.  LOL  We both decided that was not a good idea so she invited a friend to run with her.  She decided ahead of time that if a gator came near her she was going to use her friend as "gator bait." :-)

I had multiple gator sightings.  This pack of gators try to eat me!
Another extreme scary beast I had to avoid
This one is either sleeping or Bonnie got him with her knife!  Poor Fella!

It was a great and fun race.  Not as extreme as they lead you to believe but well worth running.  The grade for this race is an A.  I would highly recommend running this race to others.

The Bling


  1. Thanks for sharing! This truly sounds like my kind of race! :)

  2. Congrats to everyone who ran! I am glad that no gators were hurt in the running of this race! ;)

  3. Yep I was one of the ones who got lost and did an extra 2.5 miles. Oh well it was just a training run anyway. No gators:)

  4. DWD is thrown by the Hell, MI crew based out of Ann Arbor (where I work!) If you come up to do the Hell race next year you better let me know!!!! We can meet and maybe you can even talk me in to doing it! Great job out there and I'm glad you didn't have any actual gator encounters!!!

  5. Those are some scary gator's alright!

    Love the bling!

  6. Dude ,I love it ! They should have served gator nuggets.

  7. Sounds like a blast. Love the gators and the bling :-)

    I'm with Morgan... if you do decide to do DWD in Michigan let me know. I can probably arrange to be there.

    Bloggers Unite!!

  8. The river crossing looked great! Sorry I am late to the party on this one, sounds like a fun event.