Thursday, September 4, 2014

Badass Dash

Pre-race at the Midwest Vikings tent
There are generally two types of OCRs, the kind that have no mud and the kind that has so much mud you're still finding remnants of it in your shoes for years to come. (note: if you've never done a mud run be sure to rinse everything as soon as possible...the stench can be quite potent and miscellaneous plant matter will begin to sprout from your shoes) Typically the mud runs have far better obstacles and the trails offer more of a challenge. Then there's the Badass Dash that blazes its own path among the OCR crowd bringing a mix of tough obstacles, hilly terrain and lots of water. They have two different Chicagoland races, this is a recap of the one in Rosemont. Next year I'll be running both hopefully.

Pre-race podium action
Packet pickup was on site and I barely waited to grab my gear. The timing chip gets zip tied to your shoe which is a nice bonus since so many other mud runs have done away with timing chips. Our team (Midwest Vikings) had our own tent set up so that made finding our group super easy. We took the obligatory pre-race pictures then headed to the start line. Earlier in the morning there wasn't much of a wait but by the time we got in line it was starting to get crowded. We all started the race together in the same heat but quickly broke into groups according to pace.
action shot coming down from the stair climb
I knew I had to conserve energy for my half marathon the next day so I stayed towards the back with Tata who is making her post-surgery debut. When it comes to obstacles, this race does not disappoint. There's a wide variety as well as multiple challenges per mile giving you the most bang for your buck. We did lots of climbing, minimal crawling and even some sliding.  My favorite were the hills.  While they were super challenging I love the burn you feel when you know your muscles are putting in work and it really engaged your core.  Another highlight was the potato sack race.  I guess it wasn't really meant to be a race per say, but there were 2 guys in front of me and as I approached the first one his friend started yelling "speed it up! Are you really gonna let that girl pass you up?".  He may not have meant anything by it, but I'm pretty competitive so naturally I took that as a challenge and passed them both up. 

Bling Sweaty Selfie, always a must
Just when the heat was really starting to set in we reached the highlight of the race, water!  This obstacle has you cross a pond, balancing on plastic barrels rigged together.  A few steps in and I wanted to swim so I hopped off the obstacle to take a leisurely swim.  I reached the bank and started cheering on the rest of my teammates.  I realized the last of our group to cross was the one who would probably need the most help so I kept an eye out for her.  She doesn't know how to swim and the water was too deep to cross by walking so I was nervous about her falling in.  Sure enough a few steps in she met that fate and began to panic.  I ignored the volunteer yelling at me not to go back in and swam to reach my friend.  Thankfully I was able to calm her down enough so that I could carry her as I swam across the pond.  It was a good reminder that not everyone can swim and I need to start reaching out more to help new swimmers.

post race smiles & medals
When all was said and done I think we covered around 30 obstacles over a 7k course.  It was one of the best races I've done and I enjoyed myself tremendously.  Our team's elite runners finished the course and came back to finish the race with us which gave us an extra little boost.  As we approached the finish line we all grouped together to finish as one.  Yeah, we're kinda cheesy like that but those moments are really uplifting to the spirit. 
The Team - Midwest Vikings

Together we conquer, no one gets left behind

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know you're a Viking! Awesome! I'm bummed I didn't get to do this one, maybe next year!