The Badass Dash held their first event in Minneapolis at the U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday. I live in Northern IL, so my husband and I took on the six-hour drive to the largest city in the state of Minnesota to compete in my first-ever obstacle course race Friday evening. I stayed at one of the many hotels near the U.S Bank Stadium Friday night. 

Being a Chicagoan, traffic, parking, porta potty stop, gear check and getting through crowds before a race can get hectic and takes a lot of time. Saturday morning I checked my GPS and it said my destination was only 11 minutes away; I made sure I got to the stadium just when packet pick up would start to have time to park. I arrived to the US Bank Stadium at 7:00 a.m. sharp and accessible parking was available a block away, at a reasonable price.  The line to pick up my packet was very short, since most participants had the opportunity to pick up their packet on Thursday and Friday. By 7:15 a.m., my chip was installed, I used the stadium’s clean bathrooms, checked in my gear and was ready for my wave to start. Thought to myself, why can’t all races be this easy?

The Badass Dash has five categories: Elite Division (three waves), Recreational Division 9 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. (40 participants max. per wave), Mini Kids Dash, Competitive Kids Dash and a K-9 Companion Division. Goodie bag includes: an arm sleeve, drawstring bag, silicone wristband (Elite Division Only) and finisher medal.

If you have never done an Obstacle Course Race (OCR) how do you pick the right division for you? I’m a triathlete and run marathons but have never competed in a OCR or lift weights. Therefore, when I did my research, the Elite division is a 7K course with 40 obstacles. They say “it’s challenging but achievable for well trained athletes that are looking for a big challenge”.  That’s me, so I thought how hard can it be? I want to be a #BADASS4LIFE! There’s one catch – The Elite participants compete on a chip-timed course and receive a silicone wristband; if you don’t complete an obstacle, they remove your wristband! 

The start and finish line were located on the outside of the stadium and the main obstacles were inside. Typical OCR obstacles like monkey bars, hurdles, push ups, and wall climbs were present, as well as a sandbag slug, and a human car wash but out of the 40, five of them really make you feel like a badass at completion.

Badass obstacle #1 Australian Back Crawl – This obstacle was on the outside of the stadium. Racers climb under an incline cargo net on their backs and had to pull their body up with arms.

Badass Obstacle #2 Stairs –  I am not a fan of the stair master but boy, a little training on it before this race would have helped! There was minimal running on this 4.4 mile race, most of it was up and down stairs in the arena grandstands, and back and forth across the outside of the stadium. You really get your heart rate up and your calves really burn!

Badass Obstacle #3 Claustrophobic Crawl – You really feel the pressure to get through this tight crawl with minimal space as quick as you can, you hear and feel racers behind you.  

Badass obstacle #4 Walls – Wall climbs can be one of the biggest challenges at obstacle course races. I was able to get over the Little ladder wall, and wicked walls but Mount Wedge More was the obstacle that took my wristband away. I took many chances at the wall but it was very high up and all I had was a rope to pull myself up.  This wall was at the very end and my arms, hands and legs were shaking.

Badass Obstacle #5 Steep Slide – This part of the race was the most fun! You pull yourself up a very high cargo net and let yourself drop down a slide, adrenaline rush!

The top 3 finishers in the Elite Division for Female and Male received plaques, and the 1st place male, Jeff Yanda received a $200 gift-certificate from their sponsor, DamnDog.

Top male finishers:

  1. Jeff Yanda 48:49
  2. Ryan ANderson 51:49
  3. Jon Jarosch 52:32

Top Female

  1. Lacey Bourgois 54:54
  2. Makayla Brainard 1:02:14
  3. Darla O’Connor 1:03:30

I finished the race in 1:52:08 placed overall 79th and most importantly, feel like a BADASS for life!

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Having three girls, a husband, and a full-time job kept Nancy constantly on-the-move, she never had much time for additional adventures until she discovered runningin 2010. Her original motivation was to lose weight, so she signed up for a 10k. This original challenge led to higher distances each year, until she reached a 50K. By 2014, Nancy had completed 50 races, three of them marathons, and her goal is to run 50 marathons by age 50.

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