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Featured Review: BoldrDash on the Beach 2015

boldrdashWhile this was a bit of a drive for me, I had so much fun last year that it was worth the drive to run it again.  Who wouldn’t want to race on the beach!

The weather was scheduled to be beautiful but was chilly on the car ride in.  Scarborough Beach was easy to find with GPS.  I followed Sandy, aka Mama Hen, and Vince in to the parking area.  Parking was free but that they were accepting $5 donations for Meeting Street and in exchange you would given a BoldrDash air freshener.  I did not donate so I do not know what the air freshener is like.  It was slightly awkward to have it listed that they were accepting donations.  Personally, I would much rather have it state that the parking was free, or that parking was $5 per car with all proceeds being donated to Meeting Street.   Parking was plentiful and an easy walk to registration and to the start and finish line.groupstart

Registration was located under one of the shelters to the side.  It was not in the middle of the start/finish zone, the location seemed to work well.  What didn’t work well was the different lines for registration but people didn’t realize this and so the line was really long.  Picking up my packet was easy but instead of having all of my bibs ready to be paid for, the volunteer had to send me to another line.  So after waiting to pick up my packet, I had to wait to pay for my bibs.  While they had me on the list for the requested number, when I asked about prepaying and if I didn’t run them all did I come back to this table to get my money back, I was told I wouldn’t be able to get my money back.  This was not what we had been told but since I knew that I was only going to run a max of two extra laps, I decided to just pay for both of them and worry about the details later.  Luckily I didn’t have to worry about getting my money back as I did run both of my extra laps.  Not everyone has been so lucky.  It was time to move on to another line to wait to pick up my t-shirt.  I opted for the technical shirt, which feels great and I love the design, I likely won’t wear it as it is white.  Not the first race to have white shirts of course but lowers the likelihood I will wear it.  Unfortunately, registration was not smooth and does not earn a thumbs up from me.  That being said, I loved the concept of emailing the RD and getting on a list for multiple laps and having them available at the finish line so that I didn’t have to traipse all over to get my additional bibs.

start3Despite the struggles and frustrations with registration, the course was fantastic.  The start was a short walk from the finish line and festival area.       We started out on the grass, with a short down and back that at first felt like a waste but I was soon grateful for the chance to warm up before grabbing a bolder to carry down and back over 3 different walls.  While there appeared to be a few backups by simply walking in between the walls meant that I didn’t have to wait.  The next obstacle was deceptively challenging!  A boulder attached to a chain.  At first glance it appears that it will be easy but the boulders really don’t do anything other than give you a something to hold on to.  The chain was heavy!  Dragging it up the hill and back down was hard.  A spider crawl, which I don’t remember from last year.  At first I tried to go  in the middle option but the walls were too far apart for me to reach!  Luckily the other sets were closer together and I could complete the obstacle.  It wasn’t anything I had ever seen before which made it fun, for the first lap.  Simply energy sapping on the 2nd and 3rd.

The balance beam supported by chains was just as challenging as I remembered.  teamworkAnother new obstacle!  A wall scale to a cargo crawl and down a firemen’s pole! It is much easier going down the pole than it is going up it.  I was starting to get a bit worried we had spent so much time on the grass but that was soon to be remedied as we were sent down to the beach and a 100# Wreck Bag carry.  Sandy and I carried it together but my two additional laps I had help getting it on my shoulders and proceeded to carry it myself!  The tire horse.  I can’t get the ups I need in the sand, so this one I crawl up and over.

A sandy crawl under a platform that runners later in the course were traversing with buckets of water.  The drill Sargent they had working this was encouraging them to dump water on us and yelling at us to get our butts down under the cargo net in the middle.  It was good fun.  I stayed dry on lap bldrdsh wreckone, but laps two and three both involved water fights with other NES members.  Which admittedly felt great in the hot sun.  From there we went on to one of my favorite sections.  We just had to navigate along all the rocks.  I know it tears peoples fits up and can lead to a lot of rolled ankles if not careful but I really enjoy rock hopping and find that I can maintain a fairly decent pace!

The volunteers on course have thus far been great.  One even got a great jumping shot of me and she didn’t even realize it till after the shot was taken.

Tires, a wall that was super slick from the salt and sand and I needed to use the supports to get up and jumpover with a little help from my friends, even crawling up Michael on my last lap and then helping to haul him and his ruck up.  Sandbag carry, of course Sandy and I take the 50# option, why would we take less?  A wall with three options for getting up and over.  No help, some kickers and grabbers, and a full ladder style.  Was a great way to still do the wall even once tired.

Balance beam with slosh pipe.  Was great that the volunteers offered to bring the slosh pipes back to the start for us but on the third lap none of the slosh-pipes were at the start and so people just ran up and over the balance beam.

The buckets, woman grab one, men grab two, there were different sizes.  I grabbed two for each lap.  This was totally brutal on my hands as the handles are so thin.  Water fights did ensue!

Over under through, with a 50# buoy.  I downgraded to the 35# for the 2nd and 3rd laps.  BuoyI believe it was in this obstacle that I lost my FitBit.  I looked briefly on laps 2 and 3 but couldn’t find it.  I know other people helped look for it as well.  Very sad!

Tire hop, similar to the log hop but stacked tires with wood on the top.  They wiggle and sink and are super fun.  I get a lot of enjoyment from these, a little more than I feel is truly necessary!  On to the slant wall, again with different amounts of help.  As the day wore on and the sand and salt built up on the wood, it got slicker and slicker.  First lap I went with the harder, but not hardest, option, and by the end I was using all the help I could get.  Sliding down the backside was a bit scary as I was afraid of falling.  Silly irrational fears!

slantSomewhere between the buckets and slanted wall was a tire drag. Through the sand. With different weighted tires.  Blue rope was the lightest, the first two the heaviest.  They were heavy but I did them, all three laps!  The sand and the rope chewed up my hands though.  Between the swelling, the heat, the friction of the sand.  Ouch.

On to the monkey bars.  It was only at FIT Challenge a few weeks ago that I managed to get the monkey bars on my own.  I even did the larger spaced ones with help on the upwards bars.  At the Beast, where the bars are thicker, I did all but the highest up on my own, that one up I needed help.  But BoldrDash? I DID THE HARDEST UP AND DOWN MONKEY BARS!!! ALL THREE LAPS!!! WITHOUT HELP!!! Okay.  Sorry, not sorry.  I did it on my own and its one of the proudest moments I have ever head at a race.

topofwallParallel bars that I fell off of and so used my legs to help get through, a tire wall up and over, and then it was the dreaded potato sack.  I am actually pretty efficient at hopping in a sack but all the jumping brings out the calf cramps like nobodies business.  I had to miss this obstacle on lap two as they were taking someone away in ambulance.  I haven’t heard an update but he was alive when taken away and have been thinking of him a lot.  I don’t know the details but it was certainly scary.

The tire swing, maneuvering from tire to tire without touching the ground.  I have a great method but wish the ropes were a little thicker as they continue to sackjumptake a major toll on my hand.

Finish line! Fruit, chia bars, bottled water.  Was great to cross the finish line and be able to stuff my face with something.  Certainly made a difference in getting back out for my multiple laps.  They took my timing chip, handed me my medal, and right there was my next bib.  It took just a minute to get and I was able to be off again.

I sadly didn’t get to enjoy any of the festival area or see what was around for vendors but there were plenty of porta-potties and that was all that mattered at the time!


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