So, by now it’s no secret that I overloaded myself this past summer. So many people believed in me and my message that I was inundated with opportunities to get out there and show people you can do it. Now that my wedding, the summer, and my race season is over, it’s time to catch up. This is the first of many long-overdue race recaps and product reviews from the past year.
TODAY…I’m stoked. TODAY I revisit a GREAT obstacle race. My wife’s very first OCR…
BoldrDash On The Beach was a GREAT OCR!
Boldrdash was a great example of what a top notch local race can be. Any Joe out there can put on a decent 5K road race, but it takes a special kind of Race Director to organize a great local obstacle race – Lynn Hall of BoldrDash has done just that.
Let me start by saying I’m 10x as happy that this OCR was as good as it was because it was my wife’s first obstacle race. We both had a great time, ever since running she understands the sport and my obsession with it, and she was encouraged to run more! I’m sure she wasn’t the only first-timer out there and I’m sure their experience was similar. That said…my rating (how the rating works):
The Course: 9/10
Overall: 47/50 – A solid “A” rating!
From sign-up to show-up to climb-up to clean-up, BoldrDash on the Beach just does it right. This is an excellent Obstacle Course Race for the whole family – participants of all ages and skill levels will have fun here, find a challenge, and be able to succeed – even the kids! Is this a back-breaking extreme-endurance challenge like The Beast? No. It’s not trying to be and it doesn’t need to be. It’s everything it’s advertised to be and more, and you certainly won’t regret signing up.
So let’s break that down:
BoldrDash really just knocks it out of the park in the pre-race department. I mean, damn, look at that! OUTSTANDING! Nevermind giving you a registration confirmation & a pre-race info packet…BoldrDash takes it 10 steps beyond. Lynn really makes sure to keep you up-to-date on everything that’s happening as soon as it happens.
Not only that, there’s plenty offered to participants free of charge before race-day. How do you find out? All those pre-race emails are full-fledged newsletters complete with events, news, and community updates. Packet pick-up? Child’s play. BoldrDash kicks it into overdrive working with their sponsors/vendors/partners offering injury prevention clinics, free workouts, and community outreach events. BoldrDash has your pre-race needs covered. You’ll feel like part of the family by the time race day hits.
SPEAKING OF RACE DAY…they’ve got that on lock-down too. There was ample parking (which was FREE, by the way), and we were easily able to find a comfy spot and finish getting our gear on in the parking lot. Parking was pretty darn close to the festival/registration area, and it wasn’t very challenging to see where we needed to go. Waiting in line for packets, t-shirt, port-o-john and marking station were all a breeze, and there was more than plenty of room to hang out, stretch, and prepare. From there, starting corral was super easy to spot – with an L.E.D. timing clock right there it was pretty darn hard to miss your start time, too.
The Course: 9
The course was AWESOME. I have to say, a beach OCR sounds pretty daunting…sand is awful to run on, but man…that view! Also, the sand wasn’t as bad as I had expected – it was more of a 3 mile long obstacle! The actual obstacles were great; very well-constructed and challenging, but not impossible. There was certainly your typical OCR fare – wall climbs, over-unders, etc, but BoldrDash had plenty of unique offerings! Water carries straight from the ocean, a quarter-mile walk/run/climb/crawl along the jetty (tricky!) a couple of surprisingly-challenging balance obstacles and an inverted wall harder than Spartan Race’s really made this OCR stand out to me.
There were two reasons this category didn’t get full marks, and they’re relatively minor. 1.) There were a couple of points where we were confused on where to go and there either wasn’t clear marking or a volunteer readily available to point you in the right direction. A simple sign with an arrow would’ve sufficed. 2.) There was some back-up at the water carry – a temporary shortage of men’s buckets (women had smaller buckets) left my wife waiting a bit for me to finish the obstacle. Overall, though – the course was very well thought out, well-built, not impossible (read: discouraging) and most of all…FUN!
I sometimes feel like a spoiled brat rating this category, but the fact of the matter is…swag can be a deciding (or at least major) factor in race choice for many people, and that’s totally their right. Can you blame someone for wanting something memorable to take home to celebrate their accomplishment? I’ll admit, I’ve picked one half-marathon over another before because it had a better medal/shirt. That said: The BoldrDash t-shirt is kickass, and (*spoiled brat*) the medal is kind of average. Know what, though? That’s ok.
As far as “support” goes – BoldrDash did pretty darn good. There were a TON of volunteers on-course and in the festival area. Many of them were JROTC, and I love that Lynn / BoldrDash gave them the opportunity to help out (and probably get some service hours in?). There were also plenty of spectators and “other” volunteers throughout to cheer you on and help with morale! The volunteers were, overall, very knowledgeable, very helpful, and very friendly (except the “tough guys” at some obstacles, but they were just playing their role). There were maybe a couple of volunteers throughout our experience who seemed a little lost/confused…but that’ll happen.
There was a whole med trailer on-site, ATV’s rolling along the course (including Lynn herself!), plenty of water and, of course, ample port-o-johns available. They just plain had it covered across the board!
Nailed it. Seriously…a veritable mountain of KIND bars of every flavor plus Hint water and plain water available literally steps away from the finish chute. From there, the festival began. I don’t know that it really felt like a festival, but that could just be because all the little pop-up canopies were spaced so far apart. The free foam-rolling/KT Taping was available, Zico coconut water was there, etc. It was a decent little festival.
Bummer of the day – no alcohol allowed as Scarborough Beach is RI State property. However, this didn’t stop BoldrDash – they worked out a deal with a place about 5 minutes away to offer all participants a free beer! AWESOME! Downer that we couldn’t have it right there at the finish, but I certainly appreciate that they still made it happen.
Overall Impression –
What a great experience. Megan and I really had a blast – it was a great experience for her and I loved seeing her “get it” as we went along the course. We loved it so much and talked it up so much that my mom’s gonna go for it this year and is even recruiting a friend! It’ll be her first OCR too! Great for the whole family, too – There’s the 5K course (with elite heats available for those seeking a challenge), and a kids race too. Make a day out of it!
This year’s BoldrDash on the Beach is Saturday/Sunday May 2nd/3rd – THERE’S STILL TIME TO REGISTER!!! Which, by the way, I highly recommend you do! As with most OCR’s, the longer you wait, the more expensive it is. Tomorrow (March 6th) at midnight the price will jump up!
So, if you think this is a race you want to do, register ASAP, preferably before midnight 3/6/15! Use this link to register. Hopefully I’ll see you there 🙂