Get to Know Your Running Clubs - San Diego Dirt Devils

In this edition of Get to Know Your Running Clubs we chatted with Dr. Victor Runco (the Disciple of Dirt and Chief Dirt Devil) about San Diego’s Dirt Devil Run Club. You’ll often find them out on the numerous trails of San Diego from South Bay to North County, and from the beach trails to the Pacific Crest Trail

Want to learn more about them? Read on!

Dirt Devils trail run club san diego

Tell us a bit about the club history, how did the Dirt Devils get started?

The group started in 2007, after I ran my first 50 mile trail race. I realized many other runners would enjoy the trails of San Diego but not necessarily running 50 miles so I began to map all the lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain trails in San Diego.

At this time Dirt Devil Racing was formed and offered trail races from 5K to Half Marathon. The club became a natural extension of as we could train runners for our events as well as open them up to the world of trail running and even ultra running!

Nice! Tell us a bit about your members

We have all levels of runners that join us but somehow we seem to convert many of them into crazy ultra runners. I think it is because we have a core group of runners who have transformed into adventure seeking distance runners and formed tight bonds with each other. As runners enter our group and are exposed to these relationships it is natural that they too want to be part of it. For example, this February we have 19 people going to Antelope Canyon 50 in Arizona and for many this will be their first 50 mile experience.

That being said we definitely do not discourage but rather encourage those that run shorter distances to train with us. Our long runs are designed to facilitate this. For example we might do two 8 mile loops using our cars as an aid station this way those that want to only run 8 mile can bail out when they are finished.

Where/when do you usually meet and run?

We host early (6am ) runs during the week, full moon runs at night once a month and Saturday or Sunday runs starting around 7am. These runs can be anywhere but often we go to the Laguna Mountains at 6000 feet (yes we have 6000 foot mountains 1 hour east of downtown San Diego!), Lake Cuyamaca at 4200 feet or Anza Borrego Desert which has amazing and unique desert trails with geographical features such as slot canyons, wind caves, abandoned railway lines and tunnels and ghost towns.

You can check out the Dirt Devils meetup page or Facebook to get the most up to date information about group meet up locations and times!

Dirt Devils trail runners san diego

Any cost to be a member/join?

We give a two week trial membership for free then we ask for $20/year to help support the website and other club logistics, like the beer and wings at our post Turkathon run, or club shirts and hats and such.

Is the club affiliated with any events?

Yes our club is associated directly with the Dirt Devil Racing Series ( which includes:

  • The Foxy Half Marathon and 5K

  • Wildhorse Half Marathon and 10K

  • Stairway to Heaven Half Marathon and 15K

  • The Raptor Ridge Half Marathon

We are also closely connected with the Oriflamme Canyon 50k and Pacific Crest Trail 50 Miler.

Plus we like to host our own fun club events. We recently hosted the "Turkathon" which consisted of 4.5 mile loops through a local canyon. There were prizes for fastest loop and most loops so runners did anywhere from 4.5 miles for speed to 18 miles......we all drank beer after though :) 

Where are your favourite spots to run in/around the city?

There are so many but two local favorites that are very unique are the Cliffs (Beach Trail) at Torrey Pines and the San Elijo Lagoon.

The beach trail is a 6 mile loop that takes you from the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course down sandy trails with breathtaking views of the Pacific all the way to your own private beach and then back to the top.  

The San Elijo Lagoon takes you from Cardiff State Beach through an amazing lagoon full of wildlife into scenic Rancho Santa Fe (one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the USA). This trail has a little know (until recently) slot canyon that has been recently opened up to the general public.  

dirt devils san diego

Do you have any favourite races? Outside of anything that you’re affiliated with

The BLAH Anniversary Second Annual 5K Craft Beer Cape Run

Anything else that we should know?

The San Diego Dirt Devils is a great group for entry level or experienced trail runners. We specialize in showing you the trails of San Diego and we NEVER leave anyone behind so you never have to worry about getting lost which seems to be a major concern to those that are not used to running trails.

We are also a social type group so we travel together and run races or even do non-running type things together like Hike to the top of Mount Whitney, Halfdome or just run to our favorite pizza joint on Wednesday night and drink beer!

Want to learn more?

Want to connect with the San Diego Dirt Devils, or just learn a bit more about them? Check out their information below:

Website | Facebook

San Diego trail running club 

Find more runs around San Diego

Looking for runs in and around San Diego? The RunGuides San Diego race calendar can help you find upcoming runs and running races in the area -

Published on Nov 24, 2016