CategoriesRaces Stories

Can A Wheelchair User Complete the Dirty Dash 5k?

Sam Durst has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair, but that didn’t stop him from completing a 5k Dirty Dash mud run last summer in Solder Hollow, UT. I was there to video Sam and his parents Roger and Christine as they tackled each obstacle.

Roger and Christine had participated in the Dirty Dash before. Sam was there too. He sat in his wheelchair near the bleachers with a caretaker and watched all the athletes pass by. This time was different. Sam was sitting in an off-road wheelchair at the starting line ready to run in the race just like everyone else.

We had no idea if we would make it

The Dursts and I had used this wheelchair only once before the Dirty Dash. It was at a park with rolling grassy hills. This was a whole different ball game and we all felt like we were in over our heads.

When the horn sounded for our heat to begin we made our way up a hill to our first mud filled obstacle. It was a long hole in the ground filled with mud and water. To enter the pit there was a steep 3 foot drop into the water.

The Emma X3 floats through a mud obstacle.

Roger said, “There’s no way we can do that.” He wanted to skip the very first obstacle. It did feel dangerous for the 3 of us to try and lower Sam and his chair into the pit. “Why are we doing this if we’re just going to skip all the muddy parts? I asked. I stopped some fellow racers who were about to jump in the water and asked, “Can you guys help us get this wheelchair though?”

Helping Hands

Happy to help they paused their race and ensured we made it safely to the other side. One person held my camera and the other helped to lower the chair to me in the pit.

At every major obstacle in the course we found people were happy to help. I noticed that being able to help Sam was making the race more memorable for the strangers stopping to lend a hand.

In fact on every adventure I have been on with Sam we always find people who want to help. When we hiked Delicate Arch there were helpers. When we went sledding strangers jumped into help push us up the hill.

As we plan future adventures and wonder, will we be strong enough to get Sam and his wheelchair through all this? We know that if we aren’t we will meet someone eager to help.

Surprised at how much fun I had

In the Army we did obstacle courses like this as part of our training. Most Army training doubles as punishment so when Dirty Dashes and Tough Mudder’s became popular I was little confused why people were paying money for punishment.

Having done one now I can say, I get it. Our little group had so much fun. A big part of it was seeing Sam go bananas with excitement each time we celebrated after clearing another hurdle on the way to the finish line.

Sam was able to have so many new experiences that day and he was on cloud 9 the entire day. Later when I was editing the video I came across a shot of Sam laughing like a mad scientist and saying “I’m having the time of my life!” I couldn’t help but tear up a little seeing how much joy this event had brought to him and everyone who helped him get through that course.

Future Races

Sam and I joined Extreme Motus towards the end of summer 2019. Many of the fun events like this had already happened and now we are stuck enjoying snow adventures. But when the snow melts we will be back out there making the most of every opportunity and exploring new places.

CategoriesOff-road Adventures

Off-road Wheelchair Sledding

My favorite thing about the X3 off-road wheelchair is how it unites friends and family. Sam has Cerebral Palsy, but he isn’t the only one affected by the disease. When planning an activity his friends, caretakers, and family all need to decide if a wheelchair can do whatever the thing they want to do is. Today we went “Wheelchair Sledding.”

Wheelchair Sledding

A simple activity like sledding would be off limits with a regular wheelchair. So without the Emma X3 off-road wheelchair we wouldn’t have been able to go out together and play in the snow and have the great time we did.

Not many wheelchairs can be taken in the snow. The large tires of the Emma X3 roll over snow just like every other type of terrain. Last weekend Sam Durst gathered some friends and family and headed up Hobble Creek Canyon to test the Emma X3 on the frozen tundra.

The X3 did great on the sections of the trail that had been trampled down by sleds and people walking. Pushing through the deep powder was a bit of a chore, but we all had a blast playing in the snow.

Sam and friends enjoying the snow.


Normally people have more fun going down the hill on a sledding trip, but everyone seemed to laugh the hardest trying to push Sam back up the hill.

Each trip up the hill was a different catastrophe with people slipping and sliding and losing their grip on the wheelchair and falling into the snow laughing.

Like Sam participating in the Dirty Dash the X3 continues to open doors to new experiences. For Sam this chair is a mobility solution. However the real magic behind the chair is how it allows Sam to do things with his family that he couldn’t do before.

CategoriesNational Park Adventures Off-road Adventures

Is Delicate Arch Wheelchair Accessible?

Is Delicate Arch Wheelchair Accessible?

Is Delicate Arch wheelchair accessible? Yes, with the right wheelchair, and group of friends you can visit one of Utah’s most iconic destinations in a wheelchair. You will also need some planning and some muscle.

Delicate Arch is one of the most iconic hikes in Utah. It quickly became the first destination I wanted to visit with Sam in the Emma X3. When I heard that Sam had been to the trail-head of Delicate Arch before and sat with his mother in the van while the other half of his family went on the hike it seemed like a perfect opportunity for an adventure.

Sam has Cerebral Palsy and has used a wheelchair his entire life. He’s also an instant friend to everyone he meets. His infectious laugh, and unbridled enthusiasm for life make him one of the most fun people you will ever spend time with.

Sam Durst ready to roll.

Don’t Chicken Out

The evening before the hike we sat in our room at the Expedition Lodge in Moab, UT. Sam’s parents had heard from friends that the trail to Delicate Arch was too steep for a wheelchair and they thought it might be a good idea to pick something easier.

I suggested we start the hike and see how far we could get. Sam’s cousin Grace was appointed “Safety Police” for the hike. If Grace felt the trail was too dangerous we would turn around no questions asked.

Sam’s family being nervous is completely understandable. This special off-road wheelchair had just opened doors to many places on our planet that were previously off limits to them.

Lets Roll

The trail to Delicate Arch is steep and because the Emma X3 is a manual wheelchair we tied 2 ropes to the front of the chair so that more people could help pull in difficult sections.

Taking a break on the trail.

Be Open to Help

During our trek a couple of hikers noticed us bracing ourselves for the upcoming steep section of the hike. They walked passed us, turned around and asked, “Do y’all need some help?” We quickly accepted and the strangers began to push Sam up the trail.

There are a few technical sections of the trail where the chair will need to be lifted over some large uneven rocks. If you don’t have enough muscle in your group don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some people might want to jump in but feel awkward offering.

Our new friend pushes Sam up the trail.

We became friends along the way and later that evening we all went for pizza together. Similar to our Dirty Dash experience this hike was suddenly more memorable for the young couple because they could provide service on the trail.

Travel Safe

As we pushed the wheelchair along the trail we always had at least 3 people with hands on the chair. In the steep sections there would be 4 people. Two pushing and 2 pulling. We didn’t want anything to happen to Sam, and we didn’t want the Safety Police turning us all around.

Enjoy Your Moment

I love the trail to Delicate Arch because you can’t see the arch in the distance. You don’t realize you are there until you round the last corner and boom. You are greeted with the reward for all your efforts. As we rounded the last corner and saw the Delicate Arch the crowd of people hanging out there began clapping and cheering our efforts.

Our happy moment.

When Sam’s mom began to cry while explaining how they had never been able to do anything like that as a family. We all cried. Even the strangers we had met on the trail were crying. It was such a special moment for everyone.

So is Delicate Arch Wheelchair accessible? You bet it is. You’ll need a crew of helpers and a special off-road wheelchair.


How big is the X3 off-road beach wheelchair?

Size – Length, Width, Weight?


This article discusses the dimensions of the Emma X3 off-road/beac wheelchair. In it you will learn:

1. How wide is the Emma X3 off road wheelchair.

2. How long is the Emma X3 off road whellchair.

3. How heavy is the Emma X3 off road wheellchair.

4. How the Emma X3 off road wheelchair Folds for transport or storage.

This Video Help Explain

Note: (In the above video the rear wheels of the chair are easily removed with a pin. In current models we have moved the disk brakes from the from to the rear wheels. This change has made braking much better but means the wheels are no longer as easy to remove and we recommend leaving them in place during storage or transport.)

The Monster Truck Of Wheelchairs.

This outdoor wheelchair is unparalleled in mobility, comfort, and durability. But when you see that the Emma X3 is basically a 4×4 wheelchair (minus that one wheel), you might find yourself wondering , “Do I have room for this”?

How Wide Is The Emma X3

The large wheels cause a sort of optical illusion causing the wheelchair to look wider than it is. The Emma X3 is rugged, but also designed for navigation tight spaces.

The X3 is actually a narrow wheelchair. In fact, when you place it next to a standard size wheelchair, you’ll see that they both have about the same width. The all terrain wheels are large enough to roll over grass, rocks, and even float in water, but the Emma X3 will still fit through most regular-sized doors. The rear wheels are 32″ wide. Skinny enough to fit through the standard 33″ exterior door of a home.

How Long Is The Emma X3

During use the X3 is 6 feet long. It’s length and low center of gravity give it stability on the trail. An aluminum frame and all terrain wheels create a durable but light chair for tackling even the roughest terrain.

How Heavy Is The Emma X3

Our wheelchair is made from nearly 100% aluminum. At 49 pounds most people can lift it into the back of a van or truck by themselves. If you have a truck you can load the X3 the easy way. Don’t pull the pins or fold the chair. lean the chair back, put the front wheel on the tailgate, lift the chair into the truck.

How Do I Store The Emma X3

During use the X3 is 6 feet long. It’s length and low center of gravity give it stability on the trail. An aluminum frame and all terrain wheels create a durable but light chair for tackling even the roughest terrain.

Emma X3 Easy Use

When you are done using your chair, simply pull the two base pins. The X3 folds in half in seconds without the use of tools. The pins are tethered to the chair so they won’t be lost when it’s time to ride.

When configured for storage the length of the chair is cut in half. Dropping from 72 to 31 inches.

Small Space, Big Adventures

When you make space for the Emma X3 you’re also making space for more freedom, travel and fun. If you want to learn more or have question about the Emma X3 off-road wheelchair please give me a call, text, or send an email.

Ryan Grassley


CategoriesMeet Our Families

Meet the Durst Family

Meet The Durst Family

When Sam Durst was young, his family loved to go to the beach.

Since Sam was in a wheelchair, the Durst Family’s approach to beach day required some modification. His father or brother would carry him across the sand and out into the water to help him swim in the waves.

But as Sam grew older, it became more difficult for the Dursts to do these types of activities. A day at the beach now required help from a few strong friends or family members to carry both Sam and his wheelchair onto the sand.

“We’d lay out a towel and set Sam’s wheelchair on top of it so it wouldn’t get sand on it. Then, he would just have to sit there because we couldn’t risk harming the chair,” Sam’s mom Christine Durst said. “He was left parked in the chair while everyone else was out on the water.”

That was the status quo — until we put Sam in an off road beach wheelchair.

A Better Beach Wheelchair

The Emma X3 off-road wheelchair opened the door to new experiences for the Durst family. The large all terrain wheelchair wheels glide over sand and rocks with ease but are buoyant enough to float in the water.

The lightweight wheelchair frame weighs only 49 pounds making it simple to lift and maneuver through both the sand and the water. And the entire wheelchair folds in half for easy transportation to and from the shore.

Equipped with his new beach wheelchair, Sam no longer had to stay on the sand. He could freely move from the beach out into the water and back, enjoying the day like everyone else.

“It gave me the freedom to run with my family and with my nieces and nephews,” Sam said.

Is Delicate Arch wheelchair Accessible?

The chair also offered a new sense of freedom to Sam’s parents.

“We had no worries about having to carry him, no worries about his wheelchair getting damaged,” Christine said. “We are now able to things with Sam that we haven’t been able to do for a long time.”


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