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published: Monday, May 13, 2013
New venue brings more mud, fun for Dirty Dozen
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
AVON PARK -- Get ready to get dirty with a revamped and relocated Dirty Dozen Mud Run.
For the fourth time in three years, Lisa Celentano, Dirty Dozen founder and owner of Crossfit Sebring, is bringing the obstacle race to Highlands County. Since its inception in 2010, the Dirty Dozen has grown to become a well-known event throughout Central Florida.
This year's Dirty Dozen will be held at a new venue - the National Guard "Bravo Battery" Armory at 2500 U.S. 27 South -- on May 25.
Celentano is focusing on a more military and first responders feel for this upcoming mud run since the event will be held on Memorial Day weekend, and the armory is the perfect place for that. With the go-ahead from the higher ups in Tampa and St. Augustine, Celentano has gained much support from National Guard members and others.
"I looked at multiple venues. I was flipping through one of my workout books and I just saw an ad for Warrior Dash and saw that it is nationally sponsored by the National Guard (and) a light bulb went off. I just called up the National Guard and ran the idea by them," Celentano said.
It was no easy task, but two months later Celentano had secured the site for her fourth Dirty Dozen, which has been held at Sebring International Raceway since its inception.
Eleven sponsors have joined the movement, including returning main sponsors Crossfit Sebring, Gold's Gym, Budweiser and Alan Jay. New sponsors such as Don Jose's and Big Sky Builders are all working together to help create a unique course with new obstacles, challenges and tasks.
Using raw materials from the armory as pieces of the challenge, Celentano has transformed the run into a more challenging -- and dirtier -- event.
"This place is going to have a lot more mud. At the Race track we had that sugar sand so it didn't get that muddy. Well, we won't have that problem here. We're using all kinds of things this time - expired missiles as hurdles; there are 12 shipping containers that participants will have to climb over; we've dug rabbit holes under the armory fences near the groves; there will be four huge mud holes.
"It's just going to be better," Celentano said.
"People are very happy with the venue change. There's plenty of space for the sponsors to advertise and it's in a better location. A lot more people drive past the armory every day than they do the Race track," Celentano said.
The muddy fun all kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 25. The Dirty Half Dozen kid's run begins at 9 a.m. and is a one-mile course with six obstacles for kids ages 7-12.
Three teen/adult/masters waves follow at 10, 10:45, 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.. (the 10 a.m. wave is full). First- through third-place prizes and trophies will be given to males and females in the four age divisions.
Registration fee is $40 for ages 13 and up. The price increases to $50 on Monday. Kids ages 7-12 is $25, increasing to $25 Monday. Teams of four is $145, and increases to $180 Monday.
The two grand prize winners will receive an expense paid, five-day resort trip to Flat Penny Inn in Montana for two -- a prize worth $1,200.
The famous rubber ducks that can be traded for prizes will once again be spread throughout the course.
The event is open to the public. Spectator admission is free, but parking is $5 per vehicle. No coolers will be allowed on the premises.
"I'm excited about it. Everyone here at the Armory is excited about it and we've had so much support on the new venue and with sponsors," Celentano said.
Money raised from the event will be donated to the Folds of Honor Foundation, VFW 4300, West Sebring Volunteer Fire Department and National Guard Bravo Battery.
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