Race Updates & Results

You can find your results at Epic Race Timing.

Race Update #1

Thanks for racing at the Dirty Duel on November 14! Every day we’re thankful that exercising outdoors is one of the best things you can do, more than ever this year!

We are making every effort to ensure that the race can be held safely. This race will adhere to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) Epidemic Order (Oct. 29) for outdoor, non-residential gatherings. The MDHHS is mandating a maximum of 30 people for every 1,000 square feet of venue space for outdoor events. Based on the 35,000 square feet of space available around Robinette’s Apple Haus, Gift Barn and Bounce Pad area, you will have plenty of room to spread out (likely we’ll be at about 10 people per 1,000 square feet. That said, we reserve the right to cancel the race at any time due to COVID conditions/State of MI mandate (full credit), severe weather (partial credit) or any other situation that adds unacceptable risk to attendees.

While on the property and attending the race, the following are required for participation by racers, spectators, volunteers and staff:

  • Face covering over your mouth and nose when not actually running the race (exceptions: inside your vehicle, eating your doughnut!). Once you cross the start line, you may remove it. Please put it back on when you cross the finish line.
  • 6 feet of physical distance between you and those not in your family at all times (exception: passing another runner on the trail)
  • Completed COVID screening questionnaire just prior to the race (we will email it to you).
  • A maximum of ONE spectator per racer. We have reduced this from two spectators to one to ensure lots of space to physically distance.

The following additional changes have been made to further help with physical distancing.

  • Capacity limits. No more than 275 racers per race. All 9:00 am attendees please clear the venue by 10:00 am (late starters/finishers get some grace on this time) so there’s plenty of room for 11:00 am attendees.
  • No socializing time, awards ceremony or raffle after the race. This year is about racing, not hanging out. Next year we’ll socialize twice as much to make up for this year!
  • Time trial/wave hybrid start. Approach the starting line at any time during your designated window based on your minute per mile pace. Spread yourselves out within this window for physical distancing in the chute AND out on the trail. Hang out in front of the Apple Haus or behind the Gift Barn within earshot of our speakers or megaphone. You’ll have several minutes to make your way to the starting line and start your race. And if you miss your start window, just start any time after that. Ideally you should start at the same pace of others so you don’t have to do so much passing (or get passed so much). Here’s the tentative wave start schedule. If everyone clears through early, we may start the next wave window a little earlier:
    • Sub 8-minute mile pace: start at 9 am, spread out. Winners will be determined by chip time, but ideally the leaders should be racing against each other.
    • 8-9-minute mile pace: start anytime between 9:02-9:05 (11:02-11:05)
    • 9-10 minute mile pace: start anytime between 9:05-9:10 (11:05-11:10)
    • 10+ minute mile pace: start anytime between 9:10-9:15 (11:10:-11:15)

Please contact us for a 100% deferment credit (coupon code in your RunReg account) to a 2021 or 2022 Dirty Duel or Hurt the Dirt race if any of the following apply:

  • You do not feel comfortable doing the race.
  • You do not agree to adhere to our/MDHHS requirements regarding COVID safety precautions.
  • You do not feel well before the race.

If we all abide by these precautions, we will have a fun, safe race. Thank you in advance for committing to this (or for deciding to defer your entry to a future race).

Thanks to Our Sponsors & Key Partners

  • Gazelle Sports. For $10 gift certificates for every registered racer. Take advantage of their expertise and huge selection. Our most faithful sponsor since 2011.
  • Metro Health Sports Medicine. Providing sports medicine and medical first responder services at the race. Stop by their tent if you have a need or just a question.
  • Founders Brewing Co. for top finisher gift cards to one of the best breweries in the world, right in downtown Grand Rapids (if you didn’t know). Make a trip to their brew pub after the race.
  • Jamie Geysbeek Photography. Jamie takes amazing photos of our race as well as weddings, portraits and other events.
  • Zanfel. We shouldn’t have any poison ivy on the trail but if you get the rash, Zanfel can help you get rid of it.
  • Tim Parks LC. A great resource for promotional products and decorated clothing for your business or event. Tim has provided shirts for our races since 2011. He also crafted the snazzy barnwood trophies that top finishers will take home.
  • Fogg Chiropractic. Offering pre-race stretches to help you get ready for your day! They offer 3D gait analysis to help you perfect your form, improve your efficiency and decrease pain while running.
  • West Michigan Trail Runners for trail building and maintenance.
  • Robinette’s Apple Haus and Gift Barn for hosting.

Thanks to Our Charity Partner and Volunteers

  • Our charity partner for the Dirty Duel is 20 Liters. 20 Liters creates and delivers innovative, human-centered solutions to make clean, safe drinking water for the areas of the world that need it most. We’ll provide a portion of race profits to 20 Liters and they’ll support the race with many volunteers.
  • Thanks to all of the other volunteers as well. We try to keep volunteer training to a minimum so if they don’t know the answer to a question, find Greg VanTol or myself (or ask another runner since many have done the race before).

9:00 am race
7:45-8:50 am: check-in
9:00-9:15 am: wave/time trial starts
9:25-10:00 am: donuts and cider
10:00 am: leave venue (to adhere to space requirements; late finishers get some grace on this)

11:00 am race
10:00-10:50 am: check-in
11:00-11:15 am: wave/time trial starts
11:25-12:00: donuts and cider
11:40-12:45: top finisher medals handed out (9 am racers may return for medals or request delivery to Gazelle Sports)

Racer List
Check to see who else is racing here.

Anyone Who Still Wishes to Purchase the Race Shirt 

  1. Before MONDAY, go to www.RunReg.com and select it from the Purchase Event Items below race registration options.

Anyone Who Wishes to Switch Start Times

  1. Before Nov. 13, sign in to your entry on www.RunReg.com or open your confirmation email.
  2. Select Edit/Transfer.
  3. Click Change Category and select the other start time

Pick from two very fun and challenging trails which have been run many times and adjusted until they took the same amount of time to finish with the same amount of effort, as best as we possibly could accomplish this. No need to tell us which one you will do – just pick at the start and go! They split off just a few feet after the start. Here is a map of the courses. We will have mile markers on the courses, determined by measuring wheel which is the most accurate. GPS will only give you a rough idea of distance (it doesn’t accurately measure twisty, wooded trails).

The courses are very similar this year. Short & Brutal is only about 0.05 miles shorter than Long & Difficult but the average test running time was the same due to being more twisty with a couple steep hills.

Short & Brutal. 3.25 miles. Due to the high cost of paying for four sheriff deputies for an extended period of time, this year Short & Brutal will be all on Robinette’s northwest woods trails. Cross 4 Mile Road and then left along south border of the corn field before turning north into the northwest section of the woods where you’ll twist and turn, rolling up and down hills, dodging roots and rocks.

Long & Difficult. 3.3 miles. Turn right immediately at the start. Do a flat, fast loop through the south orchard before crossing over 4-Mile (note that you’ll go straight for 100 meters on the two track before turning east to the East Beltline). You’ll tackle Robinette’s northeast woods. Lots of ups, downs and turns. Join the Short & Brutal racers with a fun dash through the corn, using the corn maze trails or bushwhacking through them. You pick!

Parking/Venue Set-up

  • Please park in one of the areas highlighted on this parking/start/finish map, north or south of 4 Mile Road. Gravel lot south of 4 Mile is best to avoid having to cross 4 Mile. Do not park in spots closest to Gift Barn that are coned/designated for Robinette’s customers.
  • Parking attendants will guide you if you’re not sure where to park. Do NOT try to park at odd angles or squeeze in beyond the normal row. Park away from flags and tape that indicate one of the race courses (especially SE corner of corn field by two track and at 4 Mile and E. Beltline)
  • The paved parking lot in front of the Apple Haus will be closed to all vehicles.

Same-day Check-in
The race will be held at Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery (3142 4 Mile RD NE).

  1. Avoid walking near the start/finish chip timing mats which can trigger your start time way before you actually cross the line.
  2. Look up your bib number if you didn’t via the email we send Friday, 11/13. Provide at check-in table.
  3. Get your race number/bib, pins, $10 Gazelle Sports gift certificate (and shirt if you ordered one). If you need to switch shirt sizes or didn’t get a shirt but want one, you’ll need to wait until 10:50 am when we know that everyone who paid for a shirt gets one and in the size they ordered. 
  4. Pin your race number anywhere above the knee on your front side, outer layer. It must be visible to register your time. The chip is on the race bib. Your time begins when you cross the start mat and ends when you cross the finish mat. No severe bending or cutting.
  5. All portajohns are behind the check-in tents. Line up in one queue that goes back toward the east (East Beltline).
  6. Hang out near the start at 9 or 11 am, but don’t pack into the corral like previous years if you’ve done the race before.
  7. We’ll put out a tarp along the Apple Haus where you can shed layer(s) right before the race. No valuables please. We will not have a bag check. Parking lots are very close so you can run items back to your vehicle if you have any concerns or bring a bag with your name on it.
  8. FASTEST RUNNERS AND LAST WAVE OF RUNNERS/WALKERS: Because of wave start times and speed differential, the fastest finishers may be crossing 4 Mile north to south toward the finish line as the less speedy runners/walkers from the Long and Difficult course are crossing 4 Mile from south to north. Slower runners/walkers please give right of way to those finishing the race as you will have the ability to stop easier and they may be racing side by side for first place. Volunteers will also be stationed here to help.

Aid Stations
We will not have any aid stations on the course OR at the start/finish in order to minimize touch points. Please bring your own hydration.


  • Please limit friends and family to one person per racer.
  • Remind them to bring and wear a face covering.
  • They can watch from anywhere; just make sure they look out for runners if they choose to cheer you from along the trail.
  • They can bring a dog on leash as long as it is kept away from runners and other spectators.

Age Groups and Awards

  • 13 age groups: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+
  • Top 2 in each age group (combined 9 am and 11 am) get a wood medal, similar to this one from last year,
  • 1st place overall, under 40 and 40+ receive a handcrafted wood trophy and a $30 Founders Brewing gift card.
  • Metal finisher medals to all kids 12 and under at the tents after the race.

Post-Race (Results, Doughnuts, etc.)

  • Results will be online/mobile only this year. Find them minutes after your finish here. No results board.
  • If you finished top 2 in your age group, you can pick up your medal at the check-in tents at or after 11:35 (approx.). If you can’t wait around (or ran the 9 am and can’t make it back for your medal), email us and let us know whether you want to pick it up at Gazelle Sports Grand Rapids, Holland or Kalamazoo (or we can mail it to you for somewhere around $7-8).
  • A volunteer with gloves and mask will hand out donuts and cider. Please maintain six feet of physical distance while in line and while enjoying your treat.
  • We won’t do a raffle this year due to physical distancing needs. Everyone wins this year with the $10 Gazelle Sports gift certificate.
  • What’s next? Trails to Hope Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day at Cannonsburg Ski Area. Fundraiser for Kids Food Basket.


  • We have Dirty Duel pints and Michigan Adventure Racing buffs again this year. $10 each at check-in or after the race.
  • See the website for the other items for sale including Michigan Adventure Racing sweatshirts, shirts, and stickers.

Consider Bringing with You

  • Protective eyewear for branches (will trim best we can) and corn stalks.
  • Old warm-up clothing to throw off onto our gear tarp at start. The tarp will be against the Apple Haus wall just south of the start.
  • Shoes with good traction, Icespike cleats or other traction devices.

General Course Info

  • The trails have been tested several times to ensure they take the same amount of time to complete (within a handful of seconds). You will not know from the results who did which trail since we allow people to decide at the last second. Be aware that the fastest runners generally pick Short & Brutal. The fact that most top finishers ran Short & Brutal is not an indication that it was faster to complete than Long & Difficult but rather due to who was attracted to Short & Brutal. Top area runners gravitate toward that trail for the extra challenge it offers.
  • Long & Difficult actually has the potential to be faster because it always has fewer people racing it. Short & Brutal has the potential to be faster if you are an above average hill climber and descender, especially off the trail (because we tested the courses at a pace we thought represented average ability for all aspects of each course).
  • Please take a look at the course map to get a general idea of where you are going. Review the start, finish and road crossing in particular for the trail you decide to do.
  • Arrows will be used more than flags because of better visibility. Caution tape may block off some trails and may line one or both sides of off-trail sections but we’ll mostly use arrows and some flags.
  • You do not need to decide which course to run until the start.
  • Please start on the right side if you are doing Long & Difficult and left side for Short & Brutal. Long & Difficult will take a sharp right turn and Short & Brutal will go straight across 4 Mile and then left along the south side of the corn field, which is a new route this year.
  • We will blow the bulk of leaves off the trail before the race. However, expect slick footing on roots, leaves, mud and/or ice. Roots will not be marked. The trails are full of them. Please keep your eye on the trail and adjust your speed and stride in sketchy areas. For new trail racers: if you take a dive, roll onto a shoulder rather than try to catch yourself with your hands (broken wrist or arm much more likely than shoulder injury).
  • Kent County Sheriff deputies will be on hand to ensure safe crossings over 4 Mile Road. Please still look for traffic as you cross.


  • For those of you new to racing, a good rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 10-20 degrees warmer than the feels-like temperature and don’t forget that the wind will be calmer once you get in the woods.
  • We will race in heavy rain or snow if necessary. Pretty much anything except a thunderstorm, strong windstorm, or tornado.
  • Please hang out in your vehicle rather than the Apple Haus to stay warm.
  • We reserve the right to cancel the race if conditions will endanger participants. We will do everything possible to get the race in. Full refunds would not be available if the race were canceled due to thousands of dollars in up-front costs but we would provide a partial credit (coupon code) for next year. A race cancellation due to COVID will result in a full credit (coupon code) for a future race.

Trail Tips/Etiquette

  • Make sure you are in the correct position in the “pace line” when the trail narrows. Just because it’s singletrack doesn’t mean you can’t pass. Look for any small opening in the vegetation, announce “on your left/right” before starting the pass, and then burst ahead (the person ahead should shift to the opposite side to give you a little extra room to pass). While the trail width is narrow, much of it runnable just beyond the actual dirt trail. You must be aggressive or else a long line will form making it hard for anyone to pass. The person ahead of you will prefer you in front of them rather than nipping at their heels.
  • If you plan to walk the race, that’s cool. Please start in the back of the last ripple as you probably know. We have requested police officer support until you finish, but please watch for traffic when you cross either way.
  • Please no music during the race. With so many runners on the trail and the need to listen to volunteers and police officers, it’s imperative that you hear well. Plus we want to encourage a fun, community atmosphere, impossible if everyone is in their own world.
  • “Bandit” racers will be locked up in the stockade. If a friend runs the race un-registered, they are at risk during a medical emergency and it’s unfair to those who paid to race and race organizers.
  • A few volunteer course marshals will be on the course, especially at key intersections and crossings. They will have a mobile phone to call 911 if you get hurt. Rockford Ambulance and Metro Health Sports Medicine will be on site.
  • If someone is injured, please stop to help them. Look for a volunteer so they can contact medical support and get a vehicle closer to them if needed. If you gave away your race to help someone, we will give you race credits and/or prizes. Or, if you were in the 9 am race, you can come back and do the 11 am race at no charge.

Look for another race update with your number, COVID questionnaire and final details a day or two before the race. We’re looking forward to seeing you on November 14!

Mark, for Greg and Lin
Dirty Duel/Michigan Adventure Racing