Race Information

Saturday, November 11, 2023
Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery, Grand Rapids, MI
9:00 am

Pick from two very fun and challenging trails unlike no 5K on the planet. No need to decide until right at the start. Expect to run a lot slower than your normal road 5K time. You’ll suffer (a bit) and you’ll love it. The trails are test-run and shortened or lengthened until they both take the same amount of time to complete. Which one will give you an advantage?

Short & Brutal. 3.1 miles. It’s a roller coaster of a course with some severe climbs and descents in Provin Trails – including a sand dunes (in the middle of Grand Rapids?!) and the Wicked West Ridge. Make it through these challenges in one piece and then you’re faced with the rugged, rooty Robinette’s north woods trails. From there, it’s a wild grande finale as you must make your way through the cornfield maze.

Long & Difficult. 3.3-3.4 miles. Starts with a nice warm-up through the south orchard before crossing over 4-Mile Road to tackle Robinette’s north woods. Lots of ups, downs and turns, quite rooty at times but not as difficult as the other course. Join the Short and Brutal racers with a fun dash through the corn, using the corn maze trails or bushwhacking through them. You pick!

Wave starts to thin out the field of runners. Walkers welcome in the last wave.

To better understand the experience and the two courses, check out the video on the home page or race photos on our Flickr photo site.


  • Dirty Duel SockGuy running socks or wood medal (mock-up shown) as your finisher award (socks limited to first 200).
  • Donuts and cider. Robinette’s famous guilt-free sugar and plain donuts, fresh out of the oven.
  • Chip-timed by Epic Race Timing. Results will be available with the handy receipt printer (punch in your number for instant results) and online/phone via Epic’s website shortly after the race.
  • Chance at $2,000 in raffle and top prizes.


14 age groups! 14 & under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75+

The overall and masters (40+) winners will win a handcrafted barnwood trophy and a $170 Merrell gift card. The top 2 in each age group will win a custom wood medal and a $15 or $10 Gazelle Sports gift certificate. The third place finisher will get the wood medal but no gift certificate.

Not sure if you signed up? Looking to see if a friend (or rival) is racing? Click on Who’s Registered here.

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery, 3142 Four Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Registration is online only. We are not allowing any registrations after the cut-off. Information about deferments and transfers is found on the Register page.

To keep entry fees low, the race shirt is an optional purchase. $15. Long sleeve, cotton/poly blend. Men’s/unisex crew-neck or women’s v-neck. Sizing Chart

(buy online or at the race; pick up at check-in only)
Dirty Duel skull cap, $20
Dirty Duel stainless steel pint, $12
Dirty Duel sticker, $2
Michigan Adventure Racing hoodie, $35
Michigan Adventure Racing buff, $12


No Friday check-in

7:15-8:40 am      check in at Robinette’s
8:40                    leftover shirts up for sale, exchange shirt sizes
9:00-9:15            race starts (many waves)
9:20-10:45          start serving donuts, cider, bonfire
10:00-10:30        awards ceremony, raffle
10:45                  target cut-off (police may leave at this time)

Robinette’s has parking both south and north of 4 Mile Rd.

Pick up your race number. Attach your number on the front of your front side, outer layer. Please don’t cover it up or the chip timing may not work. Come with your race number to help keep lines short. We’ll provide your race number via email the day or two before the race.

Portajohns are located at the start/finish only along the south edge of the south parking lot, west of the donut & cider shack. Please do not use Robinette’s bathroom due to septic limitations.

Race organizers reserve the right to cancel the event in the case of severe weather or any other unplanned external factor out of our control. We will do everything possible to get the event in, but refunds are not available if it is cancelled due to significant costs we must pay in advance of the race (vendors, shirts, insurance, permits, advertising, etc.)

Each race course will have one aid station with water and Gatorade. Note that the Long & Difficult aid station will be at about the 0.6 mile mark due to logistical challenges and space limitations of moving the aid station into the woods so bring fluids with you if necessary. Type in “soft flask” or “energy flask” for one option to carry fluids. Salomon and Gu have flask options.

Arrow signs (and utility/sprinkler flags where there are no trees) will be used to mark the course. Be aware that sometimes the course may veer off the main trail. It’s your responsibility to follow course markings or your time and place will not count.

Ear buds/music is not allowed due to safety issues of not hearing sheriff officers at road crossings, volunteers, or runners who want to pass. Walkers are allowed as long as you head out in the last wave. Dogs are not allowed (except with spectators, leashed).

We use dozens of wave (ripple) starts to reduce congestion. Look for the pace group signs to help you start with the correct pace group for your speed.

First wave, 9:00 am: fastest 20-30 racers

Middle waves: 20-30 racers every 30 seconds (approximate)

Last wave, 9:12 am (approx): remaining runners and all walkers

The fastest runners must be in the first wave so you are directly racing against your competition. For men who have done last year’s race, first wavers are considered under 26 minutes or sub-19 minute road 5K PR. For women, 32 minutes or under for last year or sub 24-minutes for a road 5K PR. Walkers and run/walk participants must start at the back of the last wave.

The first section on each course will be two or three wide and will allow you to get into a proper position based on your pace. Short & Brutal will have fewer chances for easy passing in the second half of the course, but just communicate with the runner in front of you when you want to pass and give a burst of speed to get by when vegetation or obstacles lighten up on the side.

We would encourage you to invite friends and family to watch the race. We will post race maps so spectators know your route and can cheer you on from along the course if they wish (please watch for racers at all times). Please make sure dogs are on leash.

Awards and raffle prizes will be given out at a ceremony following the race. And of course help yourself to some free homemade cider and a legendary Robinette’s donut. Once everyone has had a crack at the donuts, you can grab another. We offer no saloon, although Robinette’s does sell some tasty wine. Enjoy the bonfire while you polish off your donut and cider!

Our charity partner for the Dirty Duel is Camp Anew, a branch of Starlight Ministries, that provides support to children & teens ages 7-17. It’s a place where campers can experience the value of gathering with other children who are grieving, learn biblically-based coping skills, and find hope to lead a meaningful life going forward.

Thanks to Robinette’s for hosting and to Kent County Parks for the use of Provin Trails and the Kent County Parks Foundation for helping expand and enhance our park and trails system. To support Luton Park and all our great Kent County parks by volunteering or donating, visit the Kent County Parks Foundation.

Questions? www.facebook.com/dirtyduel is a great place to ask questions and get answers so others can learn from your question. For questions specific to you, email Mark VanTongeren, race director.