This past weekend was the busiest weekend of the year, and I was tied up with Ragnar Relay, and couldn’t get to other events. Huge thank you to Amber Galindo, who was able to provide a featured, detailed BoldrDash review, their last at their “mud” event that has been their home since the beginning!
The weekend of May 14-15, 2016 found many of us Spahtens facing the difficult choice of which race or races we wanted to choose from due to the overwhelming amount of options, not only #racelocal, but National as well. I chose Bold R Dash in the Mud for my race – Part of #racelocal and put on by our own Lynn Hall. This event was slated as the final Bold R Dash in the mud at Yawgoo Valley, and boy did they pull out all the stops! I registered myself for the adult course and my daughter for the kids’ race.
I haven’t been able to participate in the Bold R Dash mud events in the past due to scheduling conflicts, but I’ve been a longtime fan of their Bold R Dash Beach event and thoroughly enjoyed the Winter Dash premiere this year. The Mud event is in a category of its own even amongst its sister events.
Let’s start with the pre-event details. Communication about this race was fantastic. I registered back in November during the premiere/Black Friday special to get the lowest price, but in true #racelocal fashion, the event was cross-promoted at other nearby #racelocal events with promo codes always available.
In true Amber form, I also had lots of questions and Lynn and team responded very quickly each time. Answering questions on the event page, Bold R Dash page, via Facebook chat, or via email – they were sure on top of things.
One other cool, new feature – we – the adoring fans – got to vote on obstacles for this event. I loved this feature that Lynn and team put out. I’ll get to the obstacles later, but I somehow suspect EVERY obstacle made it in…so not sure if my vote really counted or not, but it was fun anyway and a cool idea in my book.
Preliminary event day details were sent out on May 11 with your bib number, waiver link, and a note that more details were to come. Promptly on May 12 the further details arrived with reiterated bib number and waiver links. I got two emails that looked exactly the same for my registration. I emailed to double check on my daughter’s race and got a prompt reply from Lynn explaining the email vendor glitch and answering my questions. I figured that was the case, but not worries and better safe than sorry.
For the crazy multi-lappers among us, details were posted on Facebook well in advance (May 5). Based on timing of my race vs. the kids’ race, I didn’t expect to be able to multilap, plus I had another event the next day. The deal was you let them know at registration and paid in advance for $15/lap – It covered timing, insurance, and an additional medal for each lap and multilappers were to get a checkered wrist band that would be unique to them for multilaps. Then you had to check in at the finish line/timing to get their chip reprogrammed and off they went. I can’t speak to the actual experience, although I did hear a couple team mates dislike having to pay in advance vs at the end, but not minding too much since it went to charity.
Let’s move along to race day. Following the instructions from my email, I arrived about an hour early, easily found parking right in the main lot, paid my $10 and went inside. It was a little hectic with a lot of people there, but I found my spot in the registration line pretty easily – I knew my bib # and had my waiver – I listened! Quickly got my bib and ankle strap timing chip and then dropped off my daughter’s waiver for the kids’ race – they were great about letting me drop it off so my husband or I could get it later.
Swag wise, we got a nice orange finisher t-shirt and in traditional Bold R Dash fashion, it was a nice quality shirt. Love it.
I met up with my friend to check out the event area and wait for our heat. This was her first “real” race, so I can provide triple perspective for you. Lots of stuff going on in the event area, plenty of port-a-potties – never a long wait, bag check, changing area, rinse off area, and plenty of post-race refreshments for finishers. You could also see a good cross section of the race right from the main area, which was cool.
Before I get into the obstacles – let me just tell you about an unplanned obstacle – the HEAT. Man was it HOT and SUNNY. I’m not a good runner when it’s warm and it was already close to, if not at 70 degrees by our 9:40 start time. Yikes for someone prone to overheating – so I knew I’d be taking it even easier.
We lined up for our 9:40 start time. The volunteer leading the start line was full of energy and fun. We started promptly, getting a quick chance to say hi to some elite runners as they continued on the race course that ran past the start line (They were now 45 minutes in and still going, which should have been a warning of things to come!) and off we went.
There were so many obstacles I frankly couldn’t remember them – but once again, Lynn pulled through and sent me a map. The course started off smooth and then went into our first gentle incline. We hit the Balance Beam on Chains (1) which had a little back up with everyone going to the chained versions, so we opted for the pipes to not wait in line. After that was the Boldr Run (2). Carried rocks up and then down the hill, then ran down and around for the Crawl Up/Roll Down & Sandbag Carry (3). We bear crawled up on tires and then got to a Sandbag Carry. At this point, my newbie friend was having some troubles, so in true Spahten fashion, I did her Sandbag Carry for her. Not overly heavy or a long distance, but it was up and then down again.
After some rest and water for her, we continued down the Roll Down, bear crawling, rolling, and scooting under the strings. Saw lots of people roll all the way down and get dizzy, and we didn’t want to join them. After that it was down, around, and up some to the Tire Swing (4). Having done this obstacle at other events, I was prepared and it was fun as always. No back up when we got there, which was great.
Then it was time for a big climb with obstacles mixed in. The heat was already starting to get to me here. Log in Woods (5) was an easy climb over a suspected log, Rope Climb (6) that now that I know the technique I mastered, onto a Tarzan Swing (7) which we saw at Winter Dash and was again fun, and then onto an 8 ft. wall (8). Up to a Cargo Net Crawl (9), and lots of Over/Under/Through Walls (10). Around here was the first water stop if I remember correctly and boy did I need it. Given the heat, I kind of wish there were additional stops. We had also past the mile mark at this point.
Heading back down was another wall – 6 Ft Wall (11), down and down and down the hill more to the Inverted Wall (12) right back along the Tire Swing, and then a rope, ladder climb (13) where I had a good photo op and posed, and then up around, down, and up again to the Cargo Tube Crawl (14). Then we got to head up again (because where else would we go) and do more walls – 4 ft. walls (15), and then down a little to the Partner Slack Line (16) that I remembered from the Winter Dash finish line. And then up again to the A-Frame Wall (17), down to the Spider Traverse Wall (18), and up to a tire pull (19), up more to the Tire Jump (20), and a cross again near the water stop so you could get more water.
At this point I was in rough shape. Walking and still close to overheating. It was just getting hotter and not a lot of wind. And all the hills. Wow. I thought FIT prepared me for this, but not with the heat/hill combo. We had just passed mile two and guess what was next? SLIP N SLIDE (21). Seriously, I was a little nervous about this, but it looked so fun and guess what, it was! And getting soaked in cold water was just the ticket to give me the energy boost I needed.
At this point all the obstacles pretty much blurred together. It was lots of ups and downs with a heavy dose of obstacles. The next thing I remember was running along the start line where I had seen those elite runners at the start of our race, we looped around and then I totally thought we were lost because we came to a river – but no, we got to walk down the river – I’m short so it was between upper thigh and waist deep, but nice and refreshing. The map Lynn gave me says here is mile 3 and we are up to obstacle 25.
Then we got to go up and up and up some more with a mud crawl in Bob’s Barrel’s (26), the weighted pulley (27), and then the tire ring toss and tire traverse (28 & 28A). At this point it was 11:10 and I was getting seriously worried about making the kids race with my daughter. The volunteer at obstacle 28 was kind enough to let me use her phone to call my husband so I could let him know – Awesome volunteers!
So off we went again through trails and of course up and up to the Potato Sack (29) with an awesome Spahten volunteer who made this obstacle I hate tolerable and distributed Starbursts – Yummy candy, yay! Then we got to do the Trench River (30), climb a wall (31), do a downhill/uphill bucket carry (32), climb the tire wall (33), and then we paused for a photo op again – lots of photographers on the course. Can’t wait for the pics! Lots of short distance, but heavy incline up and down with obstacles mixed in and finally at the Monkey Bars (36). Bold R Dash has my favorite Monkey Bar Rig – 3 levels of difficulty – normal, thick bars, and inverted – so of course I went for inverted and nailed it. Yay again.
Onto the final stretch which culminated in a crawl through a mud pit (37) to the finish line. So fun and while I’m not a huge fan of mud, it was enough that you experience it, but didn’t come out covered in muck. At the finish line you turn in your ankle strap timer and get your medal. The medals were nice heavy, die cut medal. Love it.
I don’t have a GPS watch, but I heard the final distance was about 4.4 miles.
Which was good, because it was 11:43 and I had to run with my daughter to get her on the kids course in the 11:40 heat. So here’s your kids course review. They thankfully let us start a few minutes late.
My 6 year old wasn’t a fan of the climbs, but loved the obstacles. I think it was a lot of hills for the younger kids, but saw some awesome Spahtkins out there. They had their own course here with scaled down obstacles for kids. It ran along the adult 31-37 obstacle and had some walls, tubes, and monkey bars – my daughter’s favorite. She trudged her way through and then we headed back down the hill to some more walls and balance beams and finally the kids course ends in the same mud pit as the adults – so she crawled through the mud and got her own medal. She was proud!
Final thoughts. This was epic. I feel like Lynn and team pulled out all the stops for this course. The volume of obstacles, the terrain of the course, and the fun of the party – all awesome. Very well organized and run. I will say that I wouldn’t consider this an all abilities course like I believe I saw it advertised. It’s a good course for people who train and challenging for people who have not. Partnered with the heat, it would be difficult for someone who wasn’t experienced. It was definitely way harder than the Beach and Winter race due to the elevation changes. After seeing my friend, I personally wouldn’t recommend the Bold R Dash as a first race, but it’s definitely a great race for someone who has experience easier OCRs and wants to step it up or for those who are experienced and want to have fun and get challenged. I honestly can’t imagine how anyone multi-lapped it. I don’t think I could have!
I’m already signed up for their Rocky Point race debut and I sincerely hope they find a new home for the mud race in the future so we can live it again.