Frequently Asked Questions

Desert Dash Races

  • What is a Dirty Double?

    At Blood, Sweat & Beers, The Dirty Vert, and Trails of Fury we offer both Daylight and Moonlight races, in the morning and night respectively. The Dirty Double is an option for runners that want to participate in both races in the same day at any distance(s) of their choosing. Upon finishing the Daylight race you will receive the official finisher's medal for the event and upon finishing the Moonlight race you will receive a Dirty Double pilsner glass adorned with the race's logo.

  • How often can I expect an aid station? What are they stocked with?

    For races less than a marathon in distance you can expect an aid station every 2.5 to 4 miles.

    For marathon and ultra marathon distances, aid stations can vary from 2.5 to 4 miles apart on sections of the course shared with shorter distances, and from 4 to 8 miles on non-shared sections, depending on the course and weather.

    We always say one of the best parts of trail running are the buffets available at the aid stations. We stock all of our aid stations with Island Boost, Tailwind Endurance Fuel, and purified water, along with an assortment of fruit and goodies such as oranges, M&Ms, Coke, potato chips, and more!

  • I'm new to trail running, will I get lost? Will the courses be too hard?

    We try to go above and beyond when it comes to course marking to minimize the chances of anybody getting lost when out on the course. That being said, trail races always have a chance of getting lost if you're not paying attention to the course markings and the pre-race instructions.

    We scale our course difficulty with the distances, so our 5K and 10K courses are considerably easier than our half marathon and longer races. If you're new to trail running and worried about the difficulty of the races, start out with a 5K or join us for a group run to get a taste for the trail systems.

  • I'm a first-time trail runner, are there any perks for finishing my first trail race?

    We love first-time trail runners and celebrate you! At the time you register be sure to select that you're a first-time trail runner and we'll stamp your bib with our ‘Getting Some Trail’ stamp at Packet Pickup. Upon finishing the race, our volunteers will spot the stamp on your bib and give you our signature ‘Got Some Trail’ First-Time Trail Race Finisher medal, along with the official finisher medal for the event. After getting your First Time Trail Race Finisher medal, head over to our First-Timer bell and ring it in celebration of finishing your first trail race!

  • What awards are given out for top finishers?

    We have custom, race-themed awards for the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place male and female finishers of each distance at all of our races with the exception of The Dirty Vert.

    At some races we also provide prize bags stocked with gift cards and freebie items from our sponsors for the overall male and female winners of each distance, with the value of the prize bags increasing with the distance of the race (e.g. a 55K prize bag is worth more than a 5K prize bag).

    For The Dirty Vert we present awards to the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place male and female finishers from the morning waves as a whole, and the night waves as a whole, and then the top 3 fastest finishers of the Happy Hour Challenge in the morning and night both.

    We're also known to create fun little awards and challenges at our races (like the Happy Hour Challenge and Lumberjack Challenge at The Dirty Vert), so be on the lookout for them!

  • What are the cutoff times for a race?

    The cuttoff times vary by distance, but they are always calculated by the longest distance going through each aid station at a very generous pace to allow all levels of runners to complete the course in the alloted time. Each specific race will have their specific time cutoffs posted by distance.

  • How are the courses marked for the races?

    Our goal is to allow you to focus on running your race instead of worrying about if you may be lost or on the right path, so we are very generous with our course markings.

    We use orange surveyors flags spaced at most ¼ mile apart — but often much closer together. At trail junctions we use orange flagging tape to block off an intersection that is not to be taken and put an abundance of flags on the correct intersection, allowing you to make an instant decision about which path to take instead of having to lose momentum by stopping and making your best guess, along with signage when deemed appropriate.

    Sample course signage

    If two or more distances diverge from each other at a trail junction we use signage that is color coded by distance with your racing bib, along with the name of the distance and an arrow pointing you down the right path (see example to the right).

  • What are the rules for Desert Dash races?

    We try to keep our races pretty free and loose, so we only have a few very specific rules:

    • All runners must check in at the Check-In table on race morning. This helps us to make sure we don't lose anybody on course. If you don't check in, you will not be timed.
    • You must stay on the trails at all times, except for bathroom breaks. Trail cutting and damaging the areas surrounding the trails will not be tolerated.
    • On that note, there will be no littering. There will be a trash can at each aid station, as well as trash and recycling bins at the start/finish area. If you use a gel on course, please keep the container and the tab you pull off the top until the next aid station, where you can dispose of it properly. At the start/finish area, please only put recyclable materials in the blue recycling bin.
    • You must wear your race bib on your person at all times. If you don't have a race bib, the aid stations will not be able to assist you.
    • If you drop out of the race, let somebody at an aid station know or return to the start/finish line. You will be checked in at each turnaround and if you leave without notifying somebody, we'll think you're missing and send out the hounds to look for you on course.
    • At all races that are a 55K or less, there are no crews or pacers allowed.
  • Can I wear headphones during the race?

    We allow headphones on the trails, but ask that you keep the music off for the first mile or so of a race until everybody spreads out a little bit and congestion on the trail clears up. While wearing your headphones, please be attentive to other runners trying to verbally signal their intent to pass.

  • Can I use a drop bag at a race?

    For our ultra-marathon distances drop bags are allowed at the locations indicated on the web page specific to the race.

  • Can I have a pacer or crew?

    There are no pacers or crew allowed for any race that is a 55K or shorter.

  • Are Desert Dash's race directors familiar with the courses we'll be running?

    Being avid trail runners ourselves, we know every section of trail our races take place on and run them repeatedly, including running the actual courses themselves multiple times when possible. We do this to ensure that the courses flow well and “feel right” as well as helping us to find any confusing intersections that need signage or any other potential problems with the courses.

  • Run a trail in the dark? Are you serious?

    We're totally serious! Running trails in the dark is an entirely different experience from daytime running. You'll get to experience the stars and amazing moon-lit scenery, along with the always cool sight of seeing lines of runners wearing headlamps while running together on a trail.

  • Do I have to wear a headlamp for a night race? What if I don't have one?

    For our Moonlight races, we require all participants to run with a headlamp for their own safety and the safety of other runners. We recommend checking all headlamp batteries before the race and carrying a spare set with you.

    If you do not have a headlamp we will have lighting systems available for rent or purchase before the race.

  • How are Desert Dash races timed?

    We use chip timing with a backup antenna and manual-entry backup to make sure nobody is missed.

  • When will I be able to view the race results online?

    Race results are available on our Race Results page of our website no more than 48 hours after a race and generally the day after a race. We will also post on our Facebook and Twitter profiles when results are available.

  • What type of shoes should I wear for a trail race?

    We recommend a good pair of trail running shoes for the added foot protection against an accidentally stepped-upon rock, the added traction built into the sole design, as well as numerous other improvements to make running on a trail safer and more comfortable. That being said, you'll probably be just fine in a pair of road shoes, but you won't be as fast, as efficient, as protected, or as prepared as you would be in shoes designed for trail running.

  • What if I finish dead last?

    We'll keep the drinks cold — or hot, depending on the weather — and will hang out until the last runner arrives. You'll still receive a medal and the satisfaction of completing a tough trail race!

  • What if I can't finish the race?

    If you can't finish the race you can check in at any aid station and we'll shuttle you back to the start/finish line. If you're on the trail and need help getting back, we have our emergency number printed on the back of every bib. If you don't run with your phone, flag down a fellow runner and ask them to give us a call for you.

    If you are unable to run the entire race and cross the finish line under your own power you will be marked in the results as a DNF.

  • Are dogs allowed at Desert Dash races?

    We love having dogs join us on our group runs, but due to the number of people sharing the trail at races, we do not allow dogs at any races.

Race Registration & Packet Pickup

Volunteering with Desert Dash

  • How can I volunteer at a race?

    Drop by our Volunteer With Us page to see the volunteer positions we have available for upcoming races.

  • Are race volunteers compensated for their time?

    Of course! All volunteers with Desert Dash (other than course sweepers) will receive a ‘Team Desert Dash’ tech tee and all volunteers will receive credit redeemable towards a future Desert Dash race.

    Course sweepers receive a free entry into the race they are sweeping, including a finisher's medal and race tech tee, as well as credit towards a future race.

Group Runs and Las Vegas Valley Trails


About Desert Dash