Leading up to this race, I had never heard of Badass Dash. I only found out about it from a Facebook post in an OCR group of someone selling their VIP registration. Being the obstacle racing addict I am, I could not pass up the opportunity to experience a Badass Dash. I was really happy the company was able to accommodate a registration transfer the Wednesday before the event.
Registration & Pre-Race
The event was in a really rural area with some farm land. I did not see any mountains in the distance, so I figured this would be on a farm or park with little to no elevation. I was very mistaken; this was, in fact, a small ski mountain. I parked in the VIP lot, which was at the base of the ski mountain behind the lodge. The general parking lot was about a 1/4 mile up the road with a nice little trail walk to get to the registration area. Registration was relatively quick, tickets for the event were done through Eventbrite, so if you did not have a physical copy of your registration they were able to look it up for you. There were no bibs given out and no beer wristbands either (I don’t ever use mine, so feel free to ask for mine). You were only given a timing chip with 2 zip ties to attached to your shoes. My least favorite type of time chip! Also, I received a shirt, a drawstring bag, and a Badass Dash towel. The festival area consisted of a food truck, which was reasonably priced and had a delicious pulled pork sandwich. There was also a state farm tent and a couple other vendors. I saw rock tape products offered at one of the tents.
The thermometer in my truck read 46 degrees when I pulled into the lot at 7am. The elite wave was set to go off at 8am, It did not warm up much in that hour in-between. There were 3 different courses (Elite, Recreational and K9). The course had 3 distinct directional arrows to signify which route to take for each of the different heats. The elite course had a 15 burpee penalty for a missed obstacle. The recreational course had no penalty and a few easier variants of some obstacles. The course began at the base of the mountain and continued up the bunny slope then back down to the first obstacle, 25 Pushups. We continued back to the base where there were 3 wooden pallet walls to climb over followed by an elastic band spider web.
The course then shot into a trail run across the mountain which eventually lead to a shallow river crossing about a mile and a half into the course. Some of the obstacles prior to the river crossing were the cargo net climb, ladder wall, hurdles and a trailer hitch ball wall traverse. This was followed by a relatively steep death march up to the peak of the mountain. At the peak was a rig where you had to perform 10 pull-ups, then a double tire roll up and down an incline followed by a pretty long double sandbag carry. The tire roll was a little awkward, I would have rather carried them.
The sandbags probably weighed 30lbs each. The course went back down to the bottom of the ski trail then back up towards the peak again. In this stretch of the course, there were multiple crawls under cargo nets and hurdles on the decline and incline. Once back at the top the course cut into the woods for the 2nd trail run. This was the longest, flattest stretch of the course which lead back toward the bunny hill section near the festival area. Once out of the 2nd trail run we went to the top of the bunny hill which had a potato sack hop around the chair lift. This was very awkward and a little annoying. From this point to the finish line the course was obstacle after obstacle. There was a lunge where you were required to hold a 2×4 piece of wood roughly 8-10ft long behind your head and lunge out then back. I really dislike lunges so this was extra fun. Then there were tires, tunnel crawl, a good sized slip and slide into ankle deep water, over and under, an elastic band spider web type rig with water jets spraying you while you navigate through it called “the human car wash”.
After the human car wash was an angled double sided rope wall followed by a long set of monkey bars which lead to the finish line. The rope wall was the most challenging part of the course due to the fact that you’re hands were completely wet after the car wash. The trailer hitch ball wall traverse was a close 2nd for obstacle difficulty. My Garmin Fenix 2 data had the course totals at 5.2 miles and 1,185 ft of elevation gain.
The course was marked pretty well. I only got a little confused at the end of the 2nd trail run, they could have used an extra arrow at a turn because the natural feel of the trail was to turn the opposite way. The obstacles overall were great. I really enjoyed the wall traverse that had trailer hitch balls to hold onto. The only modification I would do is removing the potato sack hop from the course and change the tire roll to a tire carry. A few people ran multiple laps which did not cost any extra. That was very convenient for people training for longer distance Spartan race, WTM and Battlefrog Xtreme. Badass Dash needs to work on advertising, the race was relatively empty as far as participants. They could have used a few more volunteers, a few obstacles had no volunteers at them to check penalties. Badass definitely needs more photographers on course; I was disappointed there were no photo opportunities during the first wave. I would without a doubt do the Badass Dash at Spring Mount PA again. I had a lot of fun on the course and really enjoyed it as a nice training run.