We love to hear your feedback! Please hashtag your likes (and dislikes) about the races to #DDRTrailSeries

Feedback from the 2014 Wildhorse Trail Half Marathon

Thank you for a fantastic course and a wonderful race! Your staff/volunteers are the best. One of the funnest courses I’ve ever done— and my slowest half to date! I would do this again in a New York minute.

Stephanie P.

Feedback from the Dirt Devil Race Series

Dr. Runco,

I have to say that YOU are the reason I am signing up for this series.  I visited you back in 2011 for a mysterious and debilitating pain that ended up being a correct diagnosis of micro tears in my soleus. The exercises, warm ups, and care you prescribed were the reason I was able to complete my training for the 2012 Big Sur marathon and the reason I was able to complete the race (my first)!!!  I couldn’t be more appreciative of the information and confidence you gave me that made it possible for me to continue running.  I’m so glad I didn’t visit my primary care doctor (that doesn’t run), or worse yet – give up!

Now I have the confidence to move from the black top to the dirt and push forward to someday sign up for my first dirt marathon (a dream of mine).

Happy healthy running to you – see ya in the dirt!!!

Cameron V.

Feedback from the Coyote 5K

Hey, my name is Nick, and I won the Coyote 5k. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your race. I was very excited for this race series, and it did not disappoint me. It has been a long time since I have been at a race where the true running spirit was so alive and palpable. Rather than pointless finsiher medals, we got very useful pint glasses, it was not overly commercialized, the race crew seemed like real runners, the entry fee was very reasonable, and the race prizes were fantastic and practical! I also wanted to give a shout out to Pat’s Photography. Not only did they capture great photos, but to give the downloads free is amazing. And the prices are ridiculously cheap. I will probably buy some pictures of my ugly race grimace just because they are so cheap! I could keep raving about your race, and I do to anyone who will listen, but I just wanted to say how stoked I am for the rest of the series. I will gladly endorse your races on my facebook and race blog. Keep doing what you are doing!


Reply: Thank you for all of your kind words Nick. It is acknowledgement from racers (and constructive criticism) that helps us make our races fun for us to promote and helps us improve them as well. Your suggestion for finishers tape will not go ignored. I have provided that in the past but sometimes with so much going on I forget to get it ready….plus you just got back there to damn fast! I am really glad you enjoyed the beer as well. I tried it last night myself for the first time and was very impressed. Our secret Dirt Devil Brewer (his moniker is “Dirty MK”) keeps producing amazing beer for our races. In fact his Cougar Saison just beat Green Flash’s Saison in blind taste testing!

Our friend and photographer, Pat, loves doing what he is doing and so we have found a way to provide this picture service to our runners and are very excited about it. We are glad you like the pictures. Enjoy!
The brilliant guy on the obnoxious megaphone is me. I am a trail ultrarunner (I am doing the SD 100 Mile Endurance Run this Saturday). A few years ago I decided to bring an ultrarunning trail feel to San Diego but offer it at shorter distance so more runners could learn and enjoy trail running. I tend to use trails that I run frequently for our events.

Thank you again for your support. I will certainly let my entire race crew in on your compliments!

Dr. Victor J. Runco

Have something good to say? We’d love to hear it.

Feedback from the 2013 Wild Horse Half Trail Marathon:

The race was a BLAST! Thanks so much to the staff and volunteers for the well-organized event. The mudfest merely added to the fun! I am ready to sign up for the Cougar Half! (Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do the Foxy Half as it’s the same day as the Big Sur Marathon :( ) I am hooked on trails!

– Cindy C.

Feedback from the 2012 Dirty Invitational Trail Marathon:

Even though I completely crapped out, nearly DNF’ed, and barely finished arguably the worst race of my life, I want to say how much I enjoy and appreciate the Dirt Devil series. I think I spoke with half a dozen people who agreed that they are so over the “Rock ‘n Roll Marathon” series, and how much more enjoyable it is to be a part of a running community like the one that you have assembled. It is not just the more reasonable prices, it is being part of something where you can get to know your co-runners, your aid station staff, celebrate in an intimate envt after the race with your fellow competitors and RDs is so much more fulfilling.

The Dirty Race was not my best race, but I really hope that you are able to continue offering it and other innovative and exciting races in 2013.

Feedback from the 2012 Stairway to Heaven 5K & 15K:

I did not get a chance to thank you for the great race Sunday. A couple of things. You said something in your pre-race comments that had me and those around me laughing. You said something along the lines of, “If your GPS says something other than 9.3 at the end, DEAL WITH IT – It’s a trail race, folks. Heck if one of your races ever hits the exact distance, it would take all the fun out of it.

Second, if anyone complains about some of the aid stations running out of water, send them to me. You have told these people, time and again, to carry water. Ron White, the comedian, said something profound: You can’t fix stupid! Did we get started late? Yep. Was it hot? Yep. Does that happen when you run trails? Yep. I carry 22 ounces on board, topped off my bottle at the top of the Widow Maker and was good to go the rest of the way. It’s called planning. I think you had more than a couple people who had zero idea what was waiting for them out there. Maybe they learned something.

It was a challenging race (mile for mile, that was as tough a race as I have ever run with Dirt Devils) and that is what makes your races super. Most are not easy and some, like Stairway, really get your attention. But, heck, if they were not tough, you would not get much in the way of bragging rights.

Thanks again. Jim C.

“I want to say thank you to all those who make this series possible.

When I signed my son up for these races I was hoping to show him the positive side of sports and competition.  To show him that runners are the most supportive and encouraging athletes.  That no matter what the size, shape, speed or sex of the runner they are all out there together doing it.  That it is not the equipment that counts but the heart and determination.  That you can do your best without having to demean others.  To be honest I was not so sure about that at the begining of the Coyote 5K…. but soon the posers dropped off and the runners came through.  I heard great words of encouragement and complements to my son just after the race and during the breakfast.   You have a great series and even better people that are helping suppport runners.  Thank you and all of the people  involved in Dirt Devil Racing, the Running Institute, and to all the runners out there who are taking up the challenge of racing and the challenge of being good people.

Wishing you continued success in all that you do.”
-Charlie R.

Don’t be too hard on yourselves. You have pretty high standards for the quality of your races and sometimes sh*t happens! It was an awesome race, even at my trail snail pace and I enjoyed all the fun – the aid station volunteers, the other runners on the trail  and the strange apparition on top of the Staircase (I thought that I had heat stroke when I first saw her…) Looking forward to the Raptor Ridge race…easier than Staircase and in my own backyard. By the way, for that one you might consider Stone Brewery for the post-race party sometime in the future, since they’re located pretty close to the race course. Don’t know if they’d support a race event like yours…I hope so.

Thanks, Marcus

Feedback from the 2011 Stairway to Heaven 5K & 15K:

Another GREAT race and it just keeps getting better and better. I herd several comments from other runners on what a well organized race and how much they enjoyed the challenging course.  I talk with one lady that  ran her first trail experinece and said that she is hooked.  What a positive and enjoyable experience you have given to so many runners. Thanks again for all the hard work and planning you all do.
-Art S.

That was one of the best races ever today!!!   The hard course, the breakfast, …  :-)   It’s just a great crowd you all get together!!! Thanks so much…and the dog tag is SICK!!!!!!
-Michelle W.

I wanted to say THANK YOU so much for such an awesome race! We had a GREAT time at the 5K!
-Stephanie H.

Stairway was the single toughest race I have ever been in.  What an absolute a** kicker.  I appreciated the first part of the race where we could make some time on the only flat stuff we would see (other than the last mile).  You guys know how to put on races, though.  You warned us it was tough and you delivered.  At my age (61) there are not too many conditions I have not faced but Sunday was something else – and that is after previewing the course twice.  But race day was perfect and it all led to a great time, even for an old guy.
-Jim C.

Feedback from the Inaugural 2011 Painted Rocks 1/2 Marathon:

“Thank you for this amazing event.  It could not have been more perfect, (unless I had made better choices and showed up without a hangover and a pulled butt muscle!)

I’m from Escondido and this was my home course.  I have run a lot of races, primarily offroad.  This event is now right at the top of my “favorites” list,  and I will for sure make it a target race for my running group next year.  I thought it was really perfect.

The course you picked was perfect, the weather was perfect, and I loved the old school feel of the whole event.  Thank you to whomever put this event together.  There are many choices out there,as I’m sure you know, when it comes to racing.  This event made me want to pay more attention to what Dirtdevil has coming up as opposed to some of the other names in trailrunning.  I’m definitely going to be considering your events as I plan my races for the upcoming season. ”

“Just wanted to say thank you for an awesome race. This was our 1st trail race and what an amazing experience. We have run a dozen road ½ marathon races but this was a nice change- challenging, scenic, lots of fun. Thanks again for an incredible time!”
-Susan M.

“It was a beautiful race and flawless organization. Thanks!”
-Francois T.

“It was a great run today – so pumped with my first Half on Trails. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers, awesome job and kuddos to all of you!”
-Sophie V.

Feedback from 2010 Stairway to Heaven 15K:

“To all the staff at the Running Institute,
Thank You for an outstanding event on Sunday. I know you all spent a lot of extra time and planning to make race day GREAT and it was. The race is truly a reflection of such a helpful, knowledgeable and friendly staff at the Running Institute.
Thank You,
– Art S.”

“Beautiful course! very scenic! well organized and plenty of trail markers which were clear so that you not get lost. good support throughout the race. I would do it again in a hearbeat!”
-Ana V.