Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bad Ass Dash Chicago - the craziest race I've done

Obstacle course races are all the rage lately. For adults who find plain old running boring, hurdling through mud, water, and even fire is a popular alternative. I don’t find running boring, but I admit I had been interested in doing an obstacle course race for some time. This Labor Day weekend I participated in the Chicago Bad Ass Dash held in Rosemont, IL. This was by far the craziest race I’ve done. There were 27 obstacles spread over 4 miles. It was yucky with plenty of obstacles that involved complete submersion in water followed by muddy hill climbs. I can’t forget the crawling, rolling, and running either.

photo credit: BADASS Dash Facebook page


My favorite obstacles involved climbing. I could climb a fence like a champ as a kid, and scaling the net walls in this race definitely brought those skills back to the surface. For me this obstacle was the toughest.

photo credit: BADASS Dash Facebook page


It involved crawling up a hill on your back using a net. You could not see how far you had to go to reach the top. You could not see who was ahead of you or below you. And oh yeah, you were randomly sprayed with water from a fire hose. When I saw it, I knew it would be trouble! But I made it to the top.

As in life, there is some room for improvement with this race. I will give them the benefit of the doubt. The race was originally supposed to be in Brookfield, IL, but very close to the race date the village decided against hosting the race. I’m sure the race directors were scrambling to find another location. So perhaps it was not the exact race they planned due to the location change.

By biggest suggestion, more volunteers. There were 1-2 volunteers at most of the obstacles. On the obstacles involving water, I felt there should have been more. At one of the first water obstacles a woman fell into this pond.

photo credit: BADASS Dash Facebook page


She called for help and the volunteer panicked and asked us, the race participants, to help pull the woman out. The water was only waist deep, but if the woman did not know how to swim or started to panic, it could have turned dangerous.

Two days after the race, I was incredibly sore! I mean sore ALL OVER. In strange place like my forearms. I had plenty of scratches and bumps too. But, I appreciated the all over body workout.



The time it took to complete 27 obstacles over 4 miles? One hour and 37 minutes. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. The winner finished in 30 minutes! I cannot even fathom how that happened. Each finisher got a medal and a post-race beer.



I’m not sure if I will do another obstacle course race. For now I’ve satisfied my curiosity.

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