Well, I managed to complete the Badass Dash in Ottawa on 19th July 2014. I have always wanted to do an obstacle race. I chose this race as, although daunting, it did not seem as messy/muddy as the others. Also there wasn’t going to be fire jumps or electric shocks. I was excited for the weeks run up to the day, until the Badass Facebook page posted a pic of one of the actual obstacles at the Ottawa course. It all became real, then the nerves kicked in! I hadn’t been this nervous before a race for a long time now!
For the first time, I was not running alone. A friend from work said she wanted to do this race too! It’s a very welcome change for me, as I am used to attending races on my own. Race morning came and we had arranged to meet about an hour before our wave was to start. We messaged each other with nerves and excitement on our way there. It was going to be at Wesley clover parks, I have run a couple of 5ks here, so it was interesting to see how it would be set up. I live closer, so arrived much earlier, and bagged a parking spot very close to the entrance. It was still a bit of a walk up though. The setup was totally different. You could see close up some of the obstacles, and the start and finish area was huge in comparison. To be expected for this kind of race, more money goes into it, due to higher registration fees. But the transformation was amazing.
My friend, Tobi, her son and her partner, Rob, then joined me shortly afterward. It was really great to have other people to hangout with whilst waiting to start. Rob was our “official photographer” for the day! He did a great job, and has kindly allowed me to share some of the pictures with you, thanks Rob! They really turned out great, and capture the moments throughout the course.
When I arrived the elite racers were already on the course and the first of the recreational runners were waiting to start. 2 waves kicked off, and the elite winner came through in around 47 minutes … I think.
There wasn’t the crowds I was expecting and as it turns out we could have started in an earlier wave. But 10 o’clock rolled around pretty quickly. We got to the front of our group and chatted and danced a little, while the MC was psyching us up. He had music blaring from his iPod and also explained some of the race rules!
The count down began and then we were off! I had my Nike+ watch on, to track everything, and noticed we were running at a 5 min/km pace! That was way too fast for me, but I kept up as much as I could for only a few minutes. The first obstacle was 15 push ups, I did 10 full in a row, a quick pause then finished off the last 5. I would not have been able to do that 6 months ago :). Next came the somersaults or roly-polys (I call them) – 10 altogether but that made me dizzy! Then a little more running, and I was already beat! It’s so strange how just running, I would be fine, but the other things in the way and the fast start just had me regretting the whole thing! I kept saying to Tobi, you go ahead I’ll meet you at the finish! She’s much fitter than me, and does cross fit, and she was raring to go. I didn’t want to hold her back! But she said no, we’re doing this together! Thanks Tobi for keeping me upbeat! The next was the net crawl. It was quicker to roll but I still felt dizzy so started with a crawl. Then realized that it would be better to roll, so I did the second half of it that way. You had to turn to the side to be rolling in the right direction. And it was quicker yes, but I was dizzier too. The next was a zig-zag run between two sets of trees…. Ending with the first water stop, so the first mile was done.
After this, I can’ t remember the exact order of the obstacles but I’ll do the best I can.
The Feared Float, was fun, they had set the floating path across a real pond! I had a good rhythm going and thought I was going to cross with no problem. I started to speed up, which was a mistake, and so I lost my balance, and whilst bringing it back the other way, I just went in on the other side. It was funny, but stunk!
I think the next was the Australian Back Crawl. This was the obstacle that was posted on Facebook the day before, and that started my nerves going.
It was hard to do. But once you got the right technique it was a little more straight forward. You had to lift the net up, then set your legs like you are climbing a ladder and then use your arms to pull up. Meanwhile we were being sprayed with freezing cold water!
The Crazy Cargo Climb; I thought I would be a little more scared with this one, due to the height! But this was fun too, and I can even say easier than I thought!
The same goes for the Little Ladder Wall, this could be one of the easiest: You are just climbing a wall, that is a ladder, in affect. The other easier obstacles were things that you had to jump over, or roll under!
The Mud Mayhem was crawling through a muddy bath! You had to make sure that you didn’t touch the flags, which were very low. So you had no choice but to crawl. This is the muddiest we got! I got mud caked in my watch, but it was a good under water test… my watch is still going strong!
Thankfully the next obstacle was the Human Car Wash. It was the most enjoyable for me – the water was ice cold though, but the weather was super hot. So this was the perfect way to cool off and clean off all the mud we had to crawl through. It did a pretty good job of it! I would love a shower at home like this, with warmer water of course!
Other obstacles were a trail run, pushing a large tyre, running carrying a heavy sand bag, climbing over/jumping off stacked pallets, climbing over a stacked roof high hay bale,balancing along logs, running through tyres. In no particular order.
The Mount wedge-more which was a wall climb was hard to do after coming out of the car wash, the bottom of my shoes were still wet so a little slippery! One of the event guys gave me a good shove to get me to the top 🙂
The only obstacles I didn’t complete were the monkey bars – which I did attempt but failed miserably – so had to do 30 sit-ups and the pull-up bars which I knew I wouldn’t be able to do so did 30 second side plank.
The last obstacle was the Steep slide – which was a cargo net climb up and then a steep slide down into a pool of water. That was fun too.
Then there was a final run to the finish line, we ran through it hand in hand!
Here we are with our finishers medals!
And a close up of me with mine… it’s official now, I am Badass!!