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Episode 34 – BoldrDash, WinterDash and Find Your Bold

We’re at episode 34! This show, we catch up wiht Lynn Hall, owner of BoldrDash. Little over a week out from their second annual WinterDash – we check in to find out whats in store. We also talk at length about the new charity she started, Find Your Bold – which aims to get disadvantaged or people through obstacle courses with support and encouragement by fellow athletes.

Please excuse the technical difficulties – we got disconnected twice during this interview!

Learn more:

BoldrDash: http://boldrdashrace.com/
F
acebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoldrDash/

Find Your Bold: http://fybold.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FYBold/

 

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The value of #racelocal

Many of my OCR friends and connections have complained this year that the annual Spartan Race elite season pass has gone up in price – now running $799 annually.

And, despite their own season passes running many months into 2017, there appears to be no pro-rating (although I have seen people claiming they have indeed got pro rated pricing).

This blog post isn’t to talk about that. I’ve spoken about Spartan season passes in years past and if you are at the pro or elite level, or have sponsor support, or simply have your heart set on running Spartan’s over and over, then it makes sense for you and you go nuts.

But what if there was an alternative? Of course, there is.

If you registered for:
The Endurance Society’s SnowShoe 10k
BoldrDash Race – Winter Dash
FIT Challenge’s trail race
FIT Challenge’s OCR event
Runzilla’s OCR
Wason Pond Pounder
Gauntlet Races Rock the Gauntlet
Tuff Scramblers
Bonefrog’s Challenge distance
Samurai Sprint Mud Run
BoldrDash Race’s Rocky Point event
O2X
Gauntlet Races’s Run the Gauntlet
(basically, every sub 10k #racelocal event currently open for registration)
The total with NO discount codes or pre-sales would be $793

Add in $35 for #racelocal registration, and you earn points as you go, and get prizes, and competition to push yourselves against others.

and you don’t even need to leave New England.

#racelocal – a lot of bang for your buck.

Of course, many of these events also have multiple lap options. Most race directors will be at the start line, the finish line, and will know your name and say hi.

Learn more about #racelocal, and find links to each of these race brands – and more events right here

http://www.nespahtens.com/racelocal

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#racelocal 2017 is fast approaching

A new year, and a new #racelocal season is almost upon us!

It’ll be our fourth season of #racelocal, and like previous seasons, we switch things up, learn from mistakes and grow the program – and I’m hoping you’ll be along for the ride, and bring your friends!

(all this, and more can be found right here: http://www.nespahtens.com/racelocal)

For those who may be new, #racelocal is a program started within the New England Spahtens to encourage and promote the rich and high quality local obstacle race scene we have here in New England. All too often, people start with, stick with and retire within the large national programs – and never get to know the physical challenge that is Shale Hill, or the huge group of friends gathered at FIT Challenge, or run in a snuggly onsie at Blizzard Blast – or the many other unique events going on in the region. As a community we’re firm believers that the local scene here is pretty much the best in the world – but if you don’t participate in it, don’t register for the races, don’t support it – we lose it.

So, #racelocal was born. The more events you participate in, the more miles you complete – the more prizes you get.

Lets talk a bit about 2017 – this is not news if you’re a member of our #racelocal Athletes group on Facebook, so if you haven’t already, hop on over and join in.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/racelocalathletes/

Firstly, the confirmed race list keeps growing. More and more local events are still building out their schedule, so expect this to grow even more. But, as of today, we have the following events.

For every event you complete, we will be converting your miles covered into points. The points table looks like this.

+20% for competitive miles (elite wave at FIT Challenge, Shale Hill’s competitive division and Bonefrog’s competitive division)
-50% for non-OCR events (We’re an OCR community, but run lots of races. Events that aren’t obstacle based will be handicapped to reflect that)

Most recently we announced that the competition isn’t just going to be the full year – we have two mini-competitions going on.

Winter Warriors – all miles logged before the Spring Equinox (6:29am, March 20th 2017) will count towards the Winter Warrior prize. Top Male / Female prize earners will win some unique and cool swag.
Charity Runners – all miles logged at events hosted by registered charities will count towards the Charity Runners award. Top Male / Female points scores.

Of course, there are prizes to earn along the way – and at the end of the season, the biggest points ranking prize awards we’ve ever done (more to come) – and we’re putting significant development time into a better tool for tracking (this is a way bigger job than I realized!).

#racelocal 2017 is going to be our best yet – I hope you’re along for the ride, and I hope you bring your friends along too!

http://www.nespahtens.com/racelocal

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Winter is coming …

10629393_798675933554088_8871261640807198930_oand so is the winter obstacle course race season.

Wait, what?

Spartan Race recently announced that they will be holding their first winter focused event – and the social media space got all excited.

Spartan Race, in the snow? I mean, holy crap right? Crawling in the snow? Running in cold-gear?

I’m here to break the news to you that while I think this is an awesome move on their part – they are late to the party.

New Englanders have been running in the snow for four or five years now.

Blizzard Blast – January 29th 2017 – Lowell MA. While the snow doesn’t always co-operate, this is a ridiculously fun event, and last year, we ran in onsies. That non co-operative weather? 50f.

Join Us.

12604862_979004392187907_8865637090771951052_o

Polar Bear Challenge – February 4th 2017 – Held on the world class course at Shale Hill, snowy and challenging – you want to push yourself, this is where you should do it. One lap, or 8 hours worth of laps.

Join Us.

12646770_982564121831934_692299604559806356_o

BoldrDash – March 4th 2017 – A Rhode Island staple, this Winter Dash was a blast!

Join Us.

12841327_999296183492061_2161844807652193647_o

and of course, now a Spartan Race. Held in central New York state, a 6 or so hour drive from Boston. If you’re excited for this, check out the other much more local options too – because after all, there is no off season!

Join Us.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-10-27-32-am

(and here’s to there being *snow* this winter!)

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Featured Review: BoldrDash in the Mud 2016

 

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! 

 

BoldrDash 2012 Logo Use ThisThe 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.

12938198_1195451477134328_2851748817183432138_nOne 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.

FB_IMG_1463335738675Let’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.

20160514_132445Before 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.

13112768_10207945036495841_6001177090876225324_oAfter 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.

13234469_1041921459215660_1916179137_o
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.

13226803_1298902576806476_4446376773062428742_nAt 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!

944352_10151501332714093_1680717015_nSo 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.

20160514_121322My 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.

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Featured Review: BoldrDash in the Mud 2016

 

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! (UPDATE: The links to this post reference “beach” incorrectly – this is the mud event!)

 

BoldrDash 2012 Logo Use ThisThe 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.

12938198_1195451477134328_2851748817183432138_nOne 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.

FB_IMG_1463335738675Let’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.

20160514_132445Before 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.

13112768_10207945036495841_6001177090876225324_oAfter 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.

13234469_1041921459215660_1916179137_o
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.

13226803_1298902576806476_4446376773062428742_nAt 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!

944352_10151501332714093_1680717015_nSo 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.

20160514_121322My 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.

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Featured Review: BoldrDash – Winter Dash

winterdashlogoEvents like this are why people fall in love with OCR.

A small and intimate venue, with about 400 attendees. Volunteers and fun obstacles all around, and gorgeous scenery everywhere you looked.

I’ve never been to a BoldrDash before. Between timing, apathy about long distances/early wake-ups to get to 5k races, and I’d just never made it.

But, after Lynn came out for her episode of NESpahtens.TV, and some calendar checking, I realized that the Winter Dash fit all the right boxes, and I could ride down … and I had no reason not to go.

So I did.

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A 6am wake up. Coffee and breakfast at Dunks. Drive out to Steve’s, and we’re pulling into Canonicus Camp Ground in Exeter, RI with time to spare. The venue was easy to find, parking was $10, and we had a short walk to the warm building that registration was setup in.

The logistics of registration was simple. Handed over a waver, got a custom biggest team T, shuffled sideways to a lady who took $10 and noted our names down for another lap (or two, or three, depending how ambitious you were). The New England Spahtens, for the first time, had taken biggest team and we grouped up around a table to catch up. I love these guys.

boldrdashtarzanswing9am was the first wave of the day, and it wasn’t too crowded – I was on course from 9am until close to noon, and didn’t see any backlogs that lasted for more than a few seconds, despite some spots that had the potential to be bottle necks, if the course was busier.

I’d heard a lot about BoldrDash obstacles – but, I’d also heard from Lynn that with this being a brand new venue, and a small event, she would be keeping things simple – and that was a really smart move. From a small “boulder” carry, to a 9ft long buddy carry Wreck Bag, cargo net *traverse* – a bunch of crawling, tire flinging, rope pulling stuff. Nicely integrating some natural obstacles too, with bench step-overs in an outdoor seating area, crawling under a giant bell and a volleyball net. There was never anything TOO challenging, which kept the vibe very beginner friendly, but at 3.7 miles, and lots of nice trails with great views – it didn’t get boring either. I went around twice, and I never do multi-laps.

boldrdashslacklineMy one nit-pick – and I had to look for this one, because it wasn’t TOO bad – was course markings – especially once we were in the wooded areas, sometimes course markings were nothing more than a strip of tape tied to a tree, and while looking down at my footing, I found myself slightly off course a few times. Easy problem to solve, and no one had too many complains.

12841327_999296183492061_2161844807652193647_oThe race was untimed, with multi-lappers asked to check in and out with a desk right at the finish line so they knew who was on or off course at any given moment. A coffee truck, but no food vendors, and a well stocked BoldrDash swag tent. Custom Biggest Team shirts were standard cotton Gildan shirts, and the medal was a relatively basic sticker-on-a-blank (Lynn falling foul of the Feb/March shut down in China where most medals are produced, something I also ran into last year with #racelocal medals – eh, it happens).

BoldrdashmonkeybarsThe vibe around the venue was fun – with plenty of things to do – no shortage of warm places to hang out or people to talk to. Kudos to volunteers who hung out in the cold, and they were everywhere too! I suspect the venue is pretty close to capacity for parking, available space and available warm spots though.

As I said at the top, this is why people come to OCRs. It’s not always about the toughest challenge, most obstacles or longest distance. It’s not always about having huge crowds of people. Sometimes, you can do just as much with a lot less, and Lynn and her team did just that with the Winter Dash. No race is for everyone, and competitive athletes may have found themselves wishing for the tougher, bigger BoldrDash setup – but for an event that was billed as low key and friendly, this was well thought out, and well executed. Nice job, BoldrDash crew!

What did you think? Click here and leave your own review!

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Episode 6 – Lynn Hall of BoldrDash

Lynn visits the nespahtens.tv studio to talk about BoldrDash, and it’s new Winter offering coming up early March 2016 – we also discuss how a regional OCR handles fits in to the current drive for the OCR industry to go professional. And we tease Rhode Islanders a bit 🙂

Check out their race schedule, right here: http://boldrdashrace.com/

Audio only

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My personal #racelocal recap, and the strangest FOMO ever.

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These people…they make it all happen.

From late September of 2014, Paul Jones and I have been working hard on the 2015 #racelocal Grand Prix.  Everyone knows who Paul is, he is arguably, the face of NES.  Me?  Not so much, mostly by design.  I have always been a “behind the scenes” type, this is where my comfort level is.  I’m not a stranger to the Biggest Team tent, and a lot of you know me and have met me, but I’m much more involved in areas a lot of you will never know.  A “forced extrovert” is how I’ve always defined myself, I’m definitely on the quiet side.

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Finally…Bone Frog!

But, boy…have I enjoyed watching this season.  Every time someone posted pictures of their medals, every time I saw someone in a #racelocal shirt.  Showing up at Killington and having someone race past me in a #racelocal “hoodie.” Reading the reviews of the races, seeing the pictures of the events I wasn’t able to attend, seeing the triumph at the ones I did.  Paul and I had so many “behind the scenes” talks about how proud of this community we are, supporting this effort.

As the races signed on and committed, everyone “behind the scenes” became more and more excited.  Amazing races like Pounder, Shale Hill, O2X.  You know the names.  I was stoked about all of them, and started checking ones off the list, what have I never done before?  Snow race.  Bone Frog.  Shale Hill.  My “to do” list went through the roof (and a  lot of it still remains).

I remember the days leading to this year’s Blizzard Blast.  I looked outside and, speaking to a friend on the phone, we both thought out loud “it might be a blast, but there won’t be much blizzard!”  It was warm, and very non-snowy, right up until a few days until the event.  Boy, did the weather change, just in time!

…and then it wasn’t!  More snow than we knew what to do with. It was awesome, and a sign of an amazing season to come! We raced, slipped, slid and slipped our way through six miles of fresh snow (that wouldn’t stop falling all year).  And, with that, #racelocal 2015 was off and running!

 

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Killing it at Bold ‘R Dash!

I’ve wanted to do a Bone Frog for a couple years, this was going to be the year I would not be denied.  Setting out with my buddy Rob, I can’t think of a course that pushed and challenged us more.  Another unexpected weather day, yes?  So much for “60’s and raining,” by the time it was all said and done, we saw mid 80’s that day!  #racelocal was certainly an adventure this season.  I watched my wife crush Bold R Dash (I was sidelined with injury), same with FIT in April.  I was this (-) close to finally getting to Shale Hill (which will not elude me in 2016), only to be derailed by child care issues.  And, through all the races, I was able to do my “thing,” watch from the back ground and really enjoy all of your successes.

So, you may be asking yourself how I could have all these cool memories and still have this “strange FOMO.” Last year one of my best friends moved to North Carolina.  We planned a time for me to fly down and see him, coinciding with Spartan’s Beast weekend.  Bought my plane tickets, booked the hotel and the plan was set.  The #racelocal Grand Prix was scheduled to end weeks before this event, there were no conflicts.  I figured, great – I get to see a friend, and race. It sounds like a great weekend!

…And then Robb McCoy announced the fall FIT Challenge.  Now I was going to be missing something.  Now my weekend away wasn’t so clear and easy.  Everyone “behind the scenes” would be at FIT, except me.

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My buddy Ryan and I, running hard in South Carolina.

I had an amazing time with my buddy, we had a great weekend; however it is really hard knowing that everyone it gathering at an event, except you.  An event you had a large hand putting together is going to be ending, there will be a lot of smiling faces, awards, laughs, memories…and I won’t be there.

It was a strange feeling, being at a fun event with a great friend and, yet, having this strange FOMO feeling at the same time.  While I was running with, literally, thousands (and thousands) of people in South Carolina and doing the exact obstacles I’ve done hundreds of times, my mind was wondering what you folks were doing.  I loved being with my friend, I wouldn’t trade that weekend for the world.  But I would be lying if I didn’t admit I wasn’t jealous, and I didn’t miss you guys.

I guess that is what #racelocal does to you.

I was glad to have Paul to talk after both races, yours and mine.  I loved seeing the pictures of the event, and the prize winners.  But, really, aren’t we all “prize winners,” everyone who ran even one #racelocal event?  I know that is how I feel.

My wife and Paul at FIT!
My wife and Paul at FIT!

And next season I am determined to not have the FOMO feeling again. I hope you avoid it as well.  How do you avoid it?  Pretty simple, something Paul and I have been working on since about October of this year..

#racelocal #strongertogether

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Interview: Lynn Hall, founder of BoldrDash

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BoldrDash is loved by many Rhode Island racers – and has been around and putting on solid, challenging events since 2010. One of the few events that started back then that is still around, and thriving – putting on a couple of races each year, and supplimenting them with training camps and programs – even adding Unleashed to their roster of facilities.

BoldrDash is also one of the amazing races we hand picked to be on our #racelocal Grand Prix, and for early 2014 you can race in the opens or elite divisions of the Grand Prix – right on the beaches of Rhode Island!

We (well, Corrine!) chatted with Lynn and got to know her, and her events a little better.

 

http://www.boldrdashrace.com

Check our featured reviews of the 2013 beach event and fall events!

When did BoldrDash Start?

The conception of BoldrDash was in 2010.  The company was actually formed in January of 2011.

What motivated you to start an obstacle course racing company?

I guess you could say the motivation for BoldrDash began in the back seat of my van.  (sounds a bit creepy’)  I am a trainer, and I back when OCR’s first came on the scene a friend that I trained happened upon this ‘thing’ called a Spartan Race in Amesburry MA.  It was 2010.  I was petrified, I had no idea what we were getting into but I knew it was time for something different.  So, I got about 50 people together and we trained in my backyard.  Outdoor bootcamps weren’t even all that popular back then, so just being outside and crawling around was a new and fun way to keep in shape.  After the race and before the bruises began to appear, we were driving home and couldn’t stop talking about what fun it was.  Not only was it an incredible day, but it was an incredible few months before the race training together and supporting each other.  This simply could not end there. We had to do this again.  But in true RI nature, traveling so far away from home was not an option.   People began talking about needing something like this closer to home (after all – we had to drive 1 1/2 hours, that’s practically an overnight trip for a Rhode Islander).  As discussions continued all heads seemed to turn to me. ‘You can do this,’ I kept hearing, ‘We’ll help.’

So with the help of so many fantastic friends and my wonderful family I agreed to take on the challenge.  I left my job, and began the build.  We were not only building obstacles.  Back in 2010 and 2011, we were building a foundation.  We were educating the public.  The OCR revolution had only just begun.

How many BoldrDash events have there been since you started? How have they grown?

 The first BoldrDash Race was held on August 13, 2011.  There were 600 in attendance and about 589 of them didn’t have any idea what they were getting into.  ( I guess you could say, neither did I.) Mostly, there was an atmosphere that screamed FUN.  When the day ended, my husband scraped me up off the ground and took me and my three very tired children home.  It was a great day.  We created a cool event, we raised some money for the local schools.   As far as I was concerned it was the coolest thing ever!  Soon, the emails began.  People were sharing stories of their success and what the BoldrDash event meant to them.  I was humbled by so many of them.  Stories of success, stories of triumph.  Those participant emails and stories are what made BoldrDash come back.  The following year we had 1200 runners and more stories of success.  In 2013, our third straight year of bringing events to RI, we added our beach event.  This first time event brought in over 1200 people to the sandy shore of Westerly RI.  We felt privileged to be a part of the effort to ‘Bring Back the Beach’ after the devastation of Super Storm Sandy.  Also in year three we, of course, returned to Exeter.   This time over 2000 people shared in the fun.  We created a our first ever BoldrDash Kids, with 8-16 obstacles for kids 4-12.  A great way to spend the day with the whole family.

What can racers expect at BoldrDash?  (obstacles, party, sponsors)

BoldrDash is known for it’s customer service.  Before/during and after the race, race director, Lynn Hall is always accessible.  Safety is always our highest priority.  You can expect a minimum of 20 well thought out and well built obstacles, usually closer to 30 on a 5K course.  Some of our obstacles are the regular wall climbs, cargo net and wire crawls.  You can also expect to see things that you have never seen before.  Our creative juices are flowing constantly.  We have some great beach themed obstacles at the beach race and all the mud you could ask for at mud event in the fall.  Our after party differs from venue to venue.  Yawgoo Valley, Ski and Sport in the Fall is the source for all food and beer.  We have venders like REI, local Chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists there for our runners with stretching stations and quick evals.  Last year we had free rock taping at both events for all runners.  Of course there is music and ALWAYS – BOULDERS!  We have our famous giant boulders that our racers LOVE to use to photograph themselves.  The beach race is different depending on State restrictions.  It is illegal in the State of RI to drink alcohol on the beach, so we try to work with the locals on that.

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How long is the race distance and how challenging would you rate the terrain? Is the May Beach race longer or shorter than the September trail race?

Currently, we are a 5K race at both events.  However, that could change.  (no hints)  The terrain in Exeter is pretty rough.  We work with the hills at Yawgoo Valley to ensure proper quad burn by the end of the day.  The beach on the other hand needs no assistance.  Running in the sand is an obstacle in itself.

What are your plans for BoldrDash going forward?

We plan to grow our kids event in 2014.  We tested it out for the first time this fall and over 450 kids had a blast.  Making an impact on childhood health issues is definitely important to us. Sending the message, movement and exercise can be FUN to a child is a huge step toward a healthier living style in their future.  So we will definitely be looking at growing the kids event.   For adults, at this time we plan to stick to our current standing of one beach and one mud event for 2014. Growth is in our future, but planned and careful growth is what we are looking for.  It’s more about quality than quantity in our minds.

Where do you see the sport of Obstacle Course Racing going in the future?

That’s a tough question.  We are in the infancy of OCR’s.  There are new races popping up all over, some good, some need more time to perfect their craft.  There’s lot’s of talk about standardizing the industry.  I am on the fence on that one.  I think people love OCR’s because they are different.  If you standardize too much, you loose that individuality that the runners are looking for.  On the flip side some standardization could help ensure safety.  I love to see new races and new ideas, but over-saturation and over-growth are issues that have affected many OCR’s recently and it is sad to see some of them go.  I love the big guys, they offer a great experience with lots of showmanship.  However, the more local races, I think, are going to be what keep the big guys in business.  Not all runners can follow a large series around the globe,  but sticking close to home and developing yourself in the local OCR world, then taking on the challenge of a larger, longer race is where it’s at for many.

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