That thing was the Hot89.9 BADASS Dash. It's another obstacle course race. Apparently the Spartan Race taught me nothing.
I came away from the Spartan Race feeling defeated, angry at myself and frustrated. I came away from the BADASS Dash feeling strong, happy and content. The BADASS Dash was so much fun, while the Spartan Race was just tough.
The atmospheres were very different too. The Spartan Race felt serious and hyper-competitive. There were buff bodies and dudebros everywhere. The BADASS Dash, however, felt more like a small fête. A carousel would not have been out of place there.
The courses themselves were also vastly different. The Spartan Race had a huge focus on muscle strength - a whole lot of lifting stuff and shifting stuff around. They had separated the tasks according to gender (grrrr) so that, if she wished, a woman could take the easier option. The guys could not also take the easier option. This annoyed me about the Spartan Race. The BADASS Dash, on the other had, was focused much more on dexterity - there was more jumping, more crawling, more climbing, more swinging, and even some swimming. Somersaults. There were somersaults! Also, my favourite thing about the race, there was no gender segregation. All genders had to do the exact same thing. The only separation was between the recreational runners, and the elite runners. The elites had to do more push-ups, sit-ups, and climb higher stacks of wood than we did. It was not, thankfully, gender based.
The BADASS Dash gets it.
The BADASS Dash was also a lot more sheer fun. The atmosphere helped a huge amount. So did the competitors. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a gym and it's full of posturing meat-heads, and you end up feeling judged and small? Yeah... that was what the Spartan Race felt like. And then you know those gyms with a vast variance in attendees many of whom are grinning ear from ear and are welcoming and friendly? That's the BADASS Dash.
Even the volunteers for the BADASS Dash were miles different from the Spartan Race. They were bright and friendly and wildly encouraging, open to laughing and joking with the runners. Not so much in the Spartan Race. There was one guy at the Spartan Race (he sounded British, not that that means anything) who was friendly and smiley. The rest were like miserable drill sergeants.
Everywhere you went during the BADASS Dash, you were reminded that this was a fundraiser, earning money for Autism. Your finishing prize was a medal that was, admittedly, on the cheaper side. I love this about the BADASS Dash. I liked the cheaper medal. It meant the money was being spent on research instead of prizes. I'm a little sad I didn't get a shirt, but again, that means the money is being spent on charity instead of prizes. This made me really happy.
The Spartan Race's prize pack was way better. A solid medal that was actually cast with the Spartan Race Logo instead of being a generic round medal with a logo sticker in the centre. There was an admittedly really awesome finisher shirt you got at the end too. Guys, it's a fantastic shirt. I wore it for tennis... er mah gerd, I love this shirt. Anyway....
Unless you specifically go in with a charity you want to support, the Spartan Race really is only about the race.
The BADASS Dash had 39 odd obstacles along it's 7km route. The Spartan Race had maybe half that along it's length (also 7km? I can't remember now).
The Spartan Race is something I will do just to prove to myself that I can do it. I will do it maybe twice more to give me space to complete it to my satisfaction.
The BADASS Dash made me feel like a kid again. All the jumping, and the climbing, and the swinging, the burlap sack race... it was so, so much fun. This race I will happily do until I can no longer run... and then I might just grab a walker and haul my arthritic self all over that course.
I cannot wait to do this race again next year! If you want to join me next year, I'm thinking of dressing up...
On that note, I have Welsh to learn.