- Course was solid, over all. Challenging hills, and a good length.
- Australian back crawl was a great obstacle. The hill leading to it was an obstacle itself. Though I have good, strong legs, I had to work them hard to make it through this one. Challenging, and the risk factor was not too high for those who had to really struggle to do it.
- The long, uphill tubes were another challenge. I imagined I was Bishop in Alien as I crept/slid my way through them. Lots of upper body strength necessary to make it through this one. Definitely not for the claustrophobic or those with great big butts. I could see a large person getting good and wedged. I found it a tight squeeze.
- The long, twisting, uneven trail through the forest. This was my favourite part. The downside is the trail is narrow and it was a bottleneck point because there were few places where people could squeeze to the side to allow faster runners to pass. That being said, I found my way and sprinted through the woods, while the vast majority appeared to take it at a snail's pace.
- There was a fire pit close to the finish line where racers could get warmed up.
- We arrived in plenty of time for my 11 am heat, but the parking lot was full. We were told by the attendant to drive all the way back to Best Buy and park in that parking lot. Shuttles were leaving from there regularly. I thought this was weird. The parking lot at Best Buy is not huge, so overflow from Bad Ass Dash would surely take all their customer parking spaces. Still, we drove back and parked there. There were about ten of us waiting, in all. A couple of the guys had been there at least 15 minutes and had seen no shuttles. We waited at least a half hour and no shuttles came. Finally, one of the women drove us back to the site, because she didn't want her kids to miss their run or to see their Dad run. When we got back to the site, parking was available, but at $20. Emails told us parking was $10. Not cool. And no, shuttles were not being sent to Best Buy, but to a parking lot somewhere a few blocks behind Best Buy. We'd all been given incorrect information.
- The registration line was horrendously long, and being shunted into a building through a narrow doorway. We waited well over an hour to get my racing kit. They needed a LOT more people processing contestants.
- Several obstacles were removed by the time I ran. Some had no one there, and no explanation of what to do, so no one did them. One of the water stations had no water by the time I got there. Good thing it wasn't a hot day.
- I saw no places where people could shower or get hosed off.
- Post-race snacks included a giant tray of loose crackers. Uhh, everyone is COVERED in mud. No one wants to reach into crackers when covered in mud. This was a strange and bad choice for food.
I realize there's an element of danger in these races, but this is the first time I felt so paranoid of injury at an event. For this, I give this set of cons its own section.
- Pontoon bridge obstacle. This was problematic for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was the absolute worst bottleneck point in the entire race. I'm fairly sure I was stuck in line for this obstacle for a solid half hour. The reason there was such a bottleneck is because it was extremely unlikely anyone could do this obstacle quickly, and only two people could go at one time. Floating plastic cubes were tethered together in a very unstable bridge across a stream of unknown depth. I'm not sure even one person made it across on their feet. The chances of smashing your head off a pontoon while falling were high. The water appeared to be deep, and was so muddy that the bottom could not be seen. If anyone went under, no one would be able to see where they were. As I came up on my turn, I turned to a couple of the volunteers and asked, "How deep is the water?" They laughed and said, "Oh, 6 feet. No, thirty feet!" I said, "I ask because my asthma is bothering me, I cannot float, and water pressure on my chest often makes my asthma flare up suddenly."
That's when they realized I was asking for a damned good reason. But they still didn't know how deep it was.
I looked at it again, and figured I could probably belly creep my way across, and if I fell, I had to fall to the left where I could see a rope I could pull myself with if necessary. Even belly creeping was difficult. I made it. Just
I don't think there was a life guard posted at this obstacle where there was a serious risk of drowning if someone fell off and bumped their head.
- Scaling wall with a rope. This sort of obstacle is normally one of my favourites. A rope hangs from the top of a tall wall. You grab the rope and walk up the side of the wall. The other side can be descended in a similar fashion. So I thought, "I've got this," and I walked on up the wall, piece of cake. On the other side, I slid my body down a bit, got a firm grab on the rope, and ... THE ROPE WAS NOT ATTACHED TO THE TOP. There was a lot of slack on that rope. I went into a straight fall down the wall, scraping the shit out of my elbow and giving my first-ever scream of terror at an obstacle race. Fortunately, I'm tall and hit the ground before the rope caught up suddenly. I kept my knees soft and landed ok. However, I heard someone else dislocated their shoulder on this obstacle. I'm not surprised. Someone shorter than me would've been caught up suddenly on that rope. Jebus.
- Mixed grouping of adults with children. For some bizarre reason, the 7-13 year old contestants had a shared course with the competitive adults. This was terribly dangerous, in my opinion. On some of the obstacles, a 200-lb adult falling, losing their grip, or losing control could result in pretty devastating injuries to another adult, let alone a 50-lb kid. The absolute worst was at the...
- Slip and Slide. When I saw kids were going down the same high speed slip and slide obstacle event as adults, I stopped and said, "ARE YOU SHITTING ME?" Of course, people weren't exactly taking turns and making sure the area was clear before jumping on. I moved to the side furthest away from the most kids and sat on my ass. At first, I didn't slide too well, but then the speed came from nowhere. It was like I'd been shot from a cannon. When I realized I'd lost all control, I immediately laid down on my back, arched my back up, and raised my head in an attempt to slow my speed, increase stability, and minimize damage to myself. I shot past the end of the tarps and kept going full speed for a good 30' or so. This was the second time I've screamed at an obstacle. There were people whizzing past me at high velocity. It was like a firing range where the guns are shooting out bullets made of soft muscle and breakable bones. knightky
had been watching this obstacle. He saw numerous injuries, some from people wiping out, but even more terrifying, some from people hitting big rocks at the end of the tarp.
I don't know what the injury tally would be at this event, but it had to have been high.
I saw a few people in slings. But worst of all, at the end of the race, I saw a pallid, dead-looking man being rushed to an ambulance on a gurney while paramedics administered CPR on the run. Someone else saw someone being rushed away on a gurney with an oxygen mask. I don't know what happened to them. Maybe a heart attack, which could happen at any time, really. But maybe they were lost in the mud water? I don't know.
I won't be doing this race again. The clusterfuck of the beginning was bad enough, but the unnecessarily dangerous obstacles are the clincher.
I sure hope those men are ok.