Merrell extended its multi-year deal with Michael Epstein Sports Productions (MESP) as title sponsor of the Merrell Down & Dirty National Mud and Obstacle Series presented by Subaru. Since the series' premiere in 2010, thousands of athletes have taken on the military-inspired courses across the country. The 2012 tour responds to the growing demand and popularity of mud runs by increasing to ten markets across the country.

This year's events will kick off in Los Angeles on April 15th followed by Miami (May 6), Chicago (May 20), Dallas (June 3), Denver (June 24), Philadelphia (July 15), Detroit (August 26), New York (September 30), Atlanta (October 14), and Sacramento (October 28). Racers will compete on either 5K or 10K courses that include military-style obstacles, mud crawls, and new strength challenges for the 2012 season. Even the littlest enthusiasts can partake in the fun with an Adventure Kids one-mile mud run or a shorter adventure dash, all ending in the massive mud pit to crawl to victory. In addition to the off-road adventure, the series has raised over $100,000 for Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that sends personalized care packages to military personnel deployed overseas. For more information and to register visit

“It is no surprise that we would extend our support of this amazing event that ties directly back in concept and success to our mission of getting more people outside,” said Craig Throne, vice president of Global Marketing at Merrell. “From kids on their father's back swimming through the mud pit, to hurdles and slippery shampoo wall climbs, it is an experience unlike any other. The more we can do to make the outdoors fun for families and friends, the more successful we will be in our goal of increasing outdoor participation.”

MESP, a leader in lifestyle sports marketing is also pleased to continue the exciting venture by encouraging more people to get outside with Merrell. “This early renewal of our agreement is a testament to the success of the series and Merrell's commitment to getting people outdoors” said Michael Epstein, President of MESP. “The Merrell Down and Dirty Series has set the standard for obstacle racing, challenging young and old, adventurers and weekend warriors to enjoy a day of festivities in a safe, well organized and family friendly environment. Our experience in producing obstacle style events for over 20 years allows us to lead, where others follow.”

The inaugural year of the series brought mud to the masses in 4 cities. The 2012 tour responds to a growing demand and will bring the muddy adventure to 10 markets. Many of last year's events sold out and doubled in participation since the inaugural year in 2010.

For more information on the Merrell Down & Dirty National Mud and Obstacle Series presented by Subaru and to register to get down & dirty in a city near you, visit