BoldrDash on the Beach 2015

10559833_840905215922291_8589046348723719207_n* From: Stephen Rodericks

* Event Details
So parking was free and steps from everything, I almost never notice vendors, but i saw unleashed, heard lululemon was there, along with merch rv, and i am sure more things. Schwag was a shirt, medal. I did like that at the finish line there were bananas, water, apples, and oranges! it was great considering they do not have bag check i needed to refuel for all the laps i did (going for racelocal mileage) Now keeping in mind that i was going for multiple laps, registration was horrible, i kept being told, hang on i am trying to figure it out, i waited 45 min to get my reg squared away, and it cause me to be late for the first wave of the day. after reg snafu the people waiting at the finish line with your extra bibs and timing chips were nice, and got you them in a reasonable time. My main issue was that i showed up an hour before my wave to give me time to get ready, and was late due to reg back ups, and this was common, everybody but one person i talked to said it was a nightmare getting in the extra laps. The volunteer were very nice, and were amazed at the idea of running extra laps, it was pretty cool to chat with them about it.

* Race Details
The course was great, it was just shy of 4 miles, lots of fun and unique stuff, i loved the unique challenge from running through so much on the sand, and the giant rocks, it was cool. The obstacles, were pretty nice (except the burlap sack hop, that was miserable the more laps i did, due to calves cramping). they were varying difficulties, but all doable, those never ending over under through was with the buoy were insane, i just wish it had rope or some sort of handle, otherwise it was nice, and took a bunch out of you. I always like the traverse pipes, that you shuffle across, and monkey bars were great, a few difficulty levels, one formed an arch, one had thick handles, and two regular. the walls we had to get over in sand made it more challenging than dirt, kind of like it was all mud going up to the walls, so an 8 footer was harder than normal. luckily, if you had trouble, every obstacle had something to make them all doable, like varying amounts of kickers on walls, which also made it so that the back ups, were not as bad if you can do more of the challenging stuff.

* Rating
Average

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* From: Michael downey

* Event Details
parking was free* there were people asking for donations at the entrance, what they went do i dont have the slightest clue and maybe having a lil hand out would help that. location itself is great for a race nice and flat for the most part, the festivale area was a little more set up this time around and had a few vendors.

unfortunately before you got to all that you had to get through the hardest and most challenging obstacle of the day the registration table. to say this was a clusterf**k would be a understatment, i was contimplating doing extra lap(s) but the look i saw of a few other spahtens as they were trying to buy sold me that today was a one and done. first problem was the signs to say what lane was what were about waste high and about 10′ back from the tables but since the lines were so long and muddled it was a task and a half to jsut see what line you should be in, also since i could not see what line was for my # i got into the furthest left line next to the day of and apparently that was the high number and the low # was the furthest to the right ( usually most lines start with lowest # or letter A on the left and highest on the right) and once you got to the table some of the volunteers had the deer in headlight look and were overwhelmed and that only added to the wait times. my friend waited in line for 30 mins just to get her bib and ended up missing her start time due to this. the logistics of how registration is run really needs to be looked at and changes made. i hope the issues are addressed before the fall event. i am currently on the fence if i want to sign up for the fall event and going to play the wait and see if these issues are addressed and some plans put into place to prevent them before i put any $$$ down

* Race Details
the course itself was solid, and near the same path as last year. i enjoyed some of the new/redesigned obstacles but course layout could use some improvement to reduce backups. first real back ups came within the first 1000 yards when we had to pick up a rock and do a few out an backs while hopping over 4′ walls. i get it the whole boldr theme is important and such but maybe do this part a bit later on the the course when the pack is spread out because doing this at the beginning just caused big bottle necks.

really loved the ninja wall it was fun more so when your 6foot like me 😀
i liked the 10 foot wall into cargo net tube, just wish it was a lil bigger for us husky fellas
best obstacle of the day was hands down the sand craw not sure if this was a intended side effect or just kinda wen that way but this was also the point where the water bucket people walked over the crawl and all the bucket people instead of going to the top would stand on the bridge and just wait for someone and dump the bucket.

once you got through all the b.s at registration it was a fun race.

* Rating
Average

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* From: Nele Schulze

* Event Details
Parking was free which was nice (you could donate to a local charity). It was right next to the course which I love. Registration was on the opposite side to everything which seemed a little odd, and the finish line and start line were pretty far away from each other. The registration itself was a nightmare. It was even worse if you were trying to do multiple laps. There were no onsite waivers and I never received an email with any instructions so did not know there wouldn’t be waivers. Every race these days has waivers on site. We got told to go to a print shop and print them out. Thankfully fellow New England spahtens had some spare. I was told to wait a lot by the volunteers, I almost missed my start time. I did like that multiple lap bibs were ready and waiting at the finish line. And the fruit for after race was awesome.

* Race Details
The course was pretty fun. A lot of it was switch backs on a field, not super fun or exciting, but understandable given the site. The beach section was fun. The obstacles were a lot of fun and some were pretty creative. There army men on site were great, shouting encouraging words and tipping water on racers.

* Rating
Average

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* From: Sean Gifford

* Event Details
Pricing: Varies based on when you register – the earlier the better, and if you want to run “elite”. Multiple laps are available for $15 per lap.

Parking: Onsite at the beach and FREE!!! Donations were collected for charity if you felt so inclined.
Course: Approximately 3+ miles

Facilities: On the BEACH!! And up and around the property surrounding it, including fields, rocks, and woods.

Check in: I had registered for the “elite” wave and showed up quite early for the event. I was at registration when it opened at 7:30 and found it to be fairly easy – you picked up your bib according to bib number, and if you were registered for additional laps, you went to a different line to pay for those. While I found the process easy, there are a few key opportunities I will cover later. If you were running multiple laps, you paid for your entries and your bibs/timing chips were waiting for you at the finish line (this was pretty sweet)

Bag Check: None – this was not really an issue since your car was parked very close to the finish. You could check your keys for $5.

Wash Station: None – personally, I like a hose to wash off. Yes, the ocean is right there but salt all over your race gear is no fun. Since there was no thick mud, etc, there was not a huge need for this at the race.

Changing station: No specific area – again, I am a huge fan of changing tents for privacy. I marked this as an opportunity.

Bathrooms: Port-a-potties – there were a good number, I did not have issues.

Vendors: There was a good number, US Army, LuLuLemon, Breakwater Surf Co, Unleashed, Perfectly Fit, WOW Face Art, food, some charities – it was a nice area.

Schwag: Nice T-shirt with your race entry – you could upgrade to a tech tee for $5 which I did – for me it was well worth it. After finishing you received a nice finisher medal.

Post- race nutrition: Very well done – at the finish there were water bottles, bananas and apples – there were plenty for all.

Beer: There was no beer onsite at the race, but with a short drive down the street to the Bon Vue/HammerHead Grill, they would cut your wrist band and you got a ticket for a complementary Narragansett beer!

Volunteers: I love the volunteers at this race – and there were lots of them! All the obstacles were well staffed and the volunteers made the experience fun and more enjoyable – they were willing to help runners get through and obstacle by physically helping and/or sharing words of encouragement!

* Race Details
Distance: Approximately 3+

Terrain: Awesome – fields, rocks, woods and best of all the sandy beach – in case you did not know, running on sand is not as easy as it looks in the movies.

Course marking: Very well marked – it was clear where you needed to go – and there were volunteers to direct you. The RD made use of marking tape and orange buckets (the color of the race) to identify where you should go.

Difficulty: This is always a tough one for me – I would categorize this race as a local, beginners race – that said, it had some obstacles that will give you a run for your money – (see below) – overall I would mark this an average difficulty.

Obstacles: They were great – and there were lots of them – again, as a local beginners race, I never know what to expect, but there was something for everyone – the best part was that most obstacles had options for beginner, intermediate and hard – think slippery wall – it has rope with no feet placement (hard), rope with 2 footboards (intermediate) and rope with 3 foot boards (easy). This was true throughout the course. Additionally there were some unique ones too – a tire swing, tire wall climb, potato sack hop, and get a buoy over, under and through a series of walls. I think one of my favorites w the crawl/water carry – essentially you belly crawled under the platform that other racers were carrying buckets of water over. The fun part (and I am not sure if it was designed this way) but the volunteer would dump water on the crawlers… I really had fun here!

Kids Race: There is an awesome kid’s race at the venue – perhaps the best of ANY OCR I have run. This adds to the adult experience and really gives the whole family something to do. It is a challenging and rewarding course for kids of all ages!

Overall Review:
The successes: This is an awesome venue with a great atmosphere. I mean you can not beat a race on a beautiful beach. This is my second year running it and I will gladly come back. Its clear that the RD puts thought into the race, and incorporates some new and some old obstacles to create a fun race experience. I reallly enjoyed the race, the obstacles, and the experience.

The Opportunities: For me the clear opportunities of this event do not distract from the overall experience. It’s clear in talking to the volunteer coordinators that they want to get better and they was the best experience possible.

For me registration was a opportunity. It was not convieniently located – it was on the opposite end of parking and a good ¼ mile to the start corral. They did not have waivers onsite – yes, I know the racers packet said to bring them, but some people forgot, did not get the email, or as a first timer did not even notice the email. Multiple laps/#RaceLocal – for the experience racer that wants to run multiple laps, the check in/payment process was not very clear or easy.

Here are the suggestions I would make:
1. Invest in a check-in tent and move registration closer to the fesitval area or at least closer to the start/finish to the race.
2. Have waivers – sorry but this is a no brainer for any RD
3. Make the multiple lap check-in payment process clear and easy – mark it and have the volunteer trained on what needs to be done. I would consider a separate line for any multiple lap folks that preregisterd as such so it’s a one-stop-shop for all bib numbers and check ins.
4. Make sure the process for multiple laps is clear – if I paid for 4 but only ran 3, how do I get my refund for the unused lap?

* Rating
Above Average

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Name: Michael Carr

Event details:
parking: free, and on-site, 2-minute walk to registration and start-line
facilities: adequate porta-potties, no changing tents though
vendors: Army, LuluLemon, Unleashed, some trainer, some yoga outfit
schwag: race specific medal, cotton t-shirt (could upgrade to tech shirt for $5); free water, fruit and energy bars at finish
registration: fast and painless, walked right up to the table, no line, handed in my pre-printed waiver, and was out of there in 3 minutes.

Race details:
course: This is the third year in a row Lynn Hall has brought BoldrDash to the beach, and the 2nd time at this particular venue (Scarborough Beach, Naragansett RI). Everyone agreed that this is a spectacular venue for an obstacle race different from all others. The race started in the grassy infield area, with a number of switchbacks and 4′ walls, a chain drag, and a suspended balance beam. Then, out onto the sand for a little under a mile with several obstacles. Next, out onto the rocks — be careful not to twist an ankle! The return brings you back into the sand with several more obstacles, and finally back intothe infield for a few final obstacles. Don’t underestimate the added difficulty of running in sand and on rocks!
obstacles: The obstacles is really what makes BoldrDash (both mud & beach) my absolute favorite race series. Not only are they clever, innovative, plentiful and challenging, they are usually paired with easier versions, so that literally almost everyone can succeed. For example, at the rope-assist slanted wall, the far left has 2×4 cleats every feet, the middle has only 2 such cleats, and the right rope has no cleats. Pick your side based on your own ability level. Everyone gets to challenge themselves to their own level. This year, a number of new obstacles were present, and changes were made to obstacles from previous years. The build crew is really trying to appeal not only to the first-timers, but also that very important repeat crowd. And again, do not underestimate the difficulty the sand adds to obstacles. Jumping up and over the tire obstacle is not a problem at all for me at the Yawgoo BoldrDash, but put soft shifting sand in front of it, and I had a tough time. Same for the 8′ walls. Normally, not an issue at all, but it took me three attempts to get it on the beach.
difficulty: I’m going to rate the difficulty “above average”. As I said, whenever there is a really tough obstacle, there is usually an easy and medium variant of the same obstacle. So for the elite obstacle course racer, who should be picking the hardest variant at every opportunity, they will certainly be challenged. But so will the green noobie picking the easier variants.

Rating: above average. I usually try to rate a race not only based on my own personal experience at that race, but also try to factor in how everyone I was watching was enjoying it. BoldrDash is one of those races where it is really hard to not have a blast. People just plain have fun. It’s not as super-competetive as say a Spartan race (there is bib timing, but no podium), a fair bit more relaxed, and just plain fun. I also see people offering help to strangers here more than any other races I’ve been at. And never at any other race have I seen such volunteer presence (to include National Guard and/or Army support!).

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* From: Sandy Rhee

* Event Details
The good:

~ Parking was on site and free. There was an attendant taking money for a charity and we heard that some were “forced” to pay for parking, but we were left to make our own decision. The parking on site was also very close to all the festivities, so no bag check was not a problem at all – we could just leave everything in the car.

~ The morning heat went off on time and the announcements of who should come to the start line based on their wrist band colors was loud enough for all to hear. They gave several announcements to get people to the right place at the right time.

~ There were a lot of fun activities for those who had kids to keep them occupied. Adults could play too. The “boulders” were fun for picture opportunities and to just toss and push around. The human foosball area was a fun idea too.

~ The course was well laid out and fun. The obstacles were varied and some were quite unique. All were solidly built and I didn’t notice anything that could have been a safety hazard. The terrain was also varied. You simply could not be bored on this course because there was a little bit of everything. I ran at 8:55 and all the volunteers that I encountered were encouraging and attentive.

~ The kids course looked amazing! I don’t have kids, but I did stand and watch for a while and their obstacles weren’t a joke! Many of them were the same as the adult obstacles, just scaled down a bit in size. I did notice that the kids course had the inverted walls from last year’s adult course. It was fun watching kids just go for it. The ones I saw didn’t seem to have any fear at all.

* Race Details
The bad:

~ Registration was backed up early. There were signs meant to separate runners into categories based on their bib numbers, but they were mounted so low that no one even knew they were there once a few people were standing around. The bib number categories are an excellent way to do things, but the signs need to be higher up or there should be a volunteer directing people.

~ Pre-race emails – once you signed up for the race, you were on the mailing list and therefore subject to all the reminders to sign up for the race (that you had already registered for). Since I was tired of getting all the reminders, I unsubscribed. Of course that meant that I couldn’t get any of the athlete notices either. Friends forwarded them to me, but there really should be a way to have separate lists – one for reminders up until you register, and a separate one once you’ve already registered.

~ Waivers – This was the biggest sticking point for me. I remembered to print my waiver in advance. However, anyone who didn’t remember was out of luck. We had friends who didn’t have their waivers for whatever reason who were told that they would “… have to go find a Staples and print them out from their email…”. As a group we were told that there were no blank waivers on site. The problems with this are 1) that is a real lack of planning on the race staff because there are always going to be people who forget, even if they tried not to and 2) it wasn’t true. They were taking day of registrations, so there had to be waivers on site. But instead of allowing for mistakes on the part of the athletes, it was thrown back in their faces. It felt to me like a parent trying out a tough love play – ‘you forgot your waiver? Too bad. Guess you better figure out how to fix that.’ I asked specifically about it and was told, “I sent out several emails with the waiver attached.” When I said th
at was irresponsible, the response was shrugged shoulders and walking away. This is not how you treat customers, even if they should have had their waivers. No one appreciates being lied to.

Overall:

I highly recommend this course because it is challenging, unique, and fun.

However, I made the decision that morning to not do the extra laps I was planning to do because I will not spend my money with a company who treats their customers the way we were treated. Personally, I will never do another BoldrDash event, either on the beach or in the mud. The inflexible and rude running of the event overshadowed all the positives that came later, so even the challenge, uniqueness, and fun of the course were not enough to change my mind.

I would like to give this a rating of Above Average for the course itself, but Below Average/Terrible for the overall experience.

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Your Name: Jeanine Peirce

Event Details: Parking was free & plentiful, however they did request a donation (you were given a BoldRDash car deodorizer for the donation) at the gate which sent me scrambling to find cash to cover my good karma for the race. The Spahtens did not have a general meeting area this year as we were all spaced out throughout the start times, so the close proximity of the car was a bonus over doing bag check. Many racers did not realize registration/tshirts/bag check were in a new location across from the parking lot and were wandering the length of the grounds searching. The volunteers or signage at the gate could have relayed this information avoiding pre-race confusion. Registration was slow and rather disorganized. Having volunteered before at other venues, I understand how overwhelming it can be. If the signage was up in the air rather than at waist level, that could have helped line confusion. Stationing a volunteer to herd the racers into the proper lines also helps. When we leave out waivers behind we all should automatically do 30 burpees because of how much that holds up the line. The schwag was a tshirt & a cute lil medal. The volunteers running for t-shirts earned their race that day, they were hustling. Again–raise the signs so racers don’t stand in the wrong line and then have to move to a new volunteer. Portapotties were in better shape this year as was litter control–thank you!

Race Details: I enjoy this race. It is fun and doable by anyone–except for those dreaded sets of tires you have to jump on top of and get over, that takes great leaping ability. There are no penalties, so try and either make it or do your best. Kudos to those who accomplished that obstacle. For the record, yes it is on the beach and no, you do not swim. There is a bucket carry where you run down the beach and fill your bucket(s), to return and empty them, so your feet get wet. Like last year, the number of buckets varied by race heat. Some had to go down the beach 3xs, others 2, I was told only once. This causes me to judge my own race knowing that I unknowingly short-changed myself on an obstacle. I assume the changes were due to back ups, although as I came through there were plenty of buckets. I will say I was glad to have not had water dumped on me while crawling under the platform bucket-carriers had to climb over. I would have welcomed it on a warmer day, but the weather was quite comfortable without getting soaked. The suspended balance beam was quite the challenge. Lots of people went through face to face holding hands to help each other balance. The cargo net tube that we had to crawl through would have slowed me down if not for an Unleashed team member next to me who jumped in on her back and crawled through reaching overhead to pull with her hands and pushing beneath with her feet. I thanked her for the unintentional Unleashed training on the obstacle. Running on sand is an obstacle in itself. The course changed from 2014, eliminating a scramble up the cliffside. This also avoided a small stretch of ankle-biter rocks. As for the heavy lifting portions: there are the choose-your-own boulders which were carried further and over walls. the chain on the pull & drag obstacle was surprisingly heavy in a great way, the Wreck bag was an awesome 90lbs (to be carried solo or team) and the water-filled bouys were 45lbs “for the men” (I don’t have the women’s weight because there were none available at the time).

Things not to forget: It’s a beach, wind is a factor, sand is a factor and so is sun. Wear sunblock! Dress warmer (long sleeves) if your body does not regulate well to wind cooling you down.
Biggest downside: not having a team heat this year, though our small groups were still awesome

One thought on “BoldrDash on the Beach 2015

  1. Hi everyone, thank you all so much for the valued input on BoldrDash on the Beach. I just wanted to take a moment and address some of the registration concerns above. 

    1. The registration area was set up in our usual manner. We adopted a system of lines by bib number in 2014.  The difference was that we did not use our tents at the beach because we stationed registration under the gazebo in the main lot as last year we had suggestions of moving it to a more visible location from the lots. We put out posts and rope to separate the lines like we usually do and hung the signs on the posts. The registration lines were long and as stated above people were unable to see the clearly marked lines thus causing even more back ups. This is easily remedied by having the signage higher/more visible at our next event.

    2. ’Extra laps’ for the RaceLocal series was something new to us this year.  In an effort to streamline the process for those involved we developed a system that brought the bibs and chips to the finish line. Here each person who was running extra laps would pick up their new bib and new chip and avoid returning to the registration area.  The bibs were different from the event day bibs so we could identify multi lap folks throughout the day.  Each person was also to receive a VIP band for ease at the start line.  Minor tweaks with this system will make it run with ease at the Mud event in October.  
     
    3. Waivers – Yes we do have a ‘No printed waivers at the registration area for pre-registered runners’ policy. We set up this system last year in reaction to the 2014 beach event where approximately 1.5 hours after registration opened we ran out of the 500 printed waivers we had brought with us to the beach.  We sent a staff member out to the Staples mentioned in the runner packet and printed 1000 more.  When we returned to the beach with the new waivers, we handed out about 10 more. With conservation and waste in mind we tried something new in the Fall of 2014 at our BoldrDash in the Mud Event. A ‘no-printed waiver on site’ policy and it seemed to work with no major issues at that event.  We decided at that time to keep the policy for the 2015 season.

    [For clarification – we did bring printed waivers for new registrations and for other event day needs to both the Mud event in 2014 and the Beach event in 2015.   We did not print waivers for pre-registered runners and answered any questions regarding the policy as such on event day.]

    I have met with (or spoken to) most of the registration volunteers from the Beach Event and it is my understanding that no runners were turned away or sent to the printer mentioned above due to not having a waiver with them. However, we understand the frustration runners may have had with the policy itself.  This was not our intent.  Our intention was not to mislead to our participants or treat them disrespectfully.  To Sandy and/or anyone who may have felt that way – you have my personal and sincere apologies. 

    We are always willing to look into our systems and adjust accordingly.  Every area of a BoldrDash event is scrutinized before and after the event, itself.  We have sent out our surveys on Monday and have begun reading through for further input. We will meet as a team in the upcoming weeks and have already added registration and waivers to the agenda as areas of concern.

    If you paid for multiple laps and have not yet spoken to me please feel free to reach out directly lynn@boldrdashrace.com We are looking into the system on Monday to see if we can simply reimburse your credit card from your paid registration for ease of refund. If that is not an option since the event has concluded we will send payment by mail.

    Thank you again to everyone who came out to spend the day with us and to those who took the time to submit a review. Hope to see many of you soon at RaceLocal events throughout out the season!

    Lynn Hall
    President
    BoldrDash Race LLC

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