Traversing the casino floor of the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa in the early morning hours, thousands of racers ignore the bells, whistles, and lights of the slot machines and enter the Equestrian Arena prepared to race. This unlikely locale for an obstacle course race has much to deliver. Unlike other obstacle course races that utilize extensive hiking trails and outdoor areas, the BADASS Dash Las Vegas is relegated to an indoor equestrian arena and adjacent parking lots – a tall order to fill and enchant OCR enthusiasts – but fill the order they did…and then some!
Packet pick-up was relatively simple and void of long lines. Those who enjoy vendor tents in the festival area were disappointed…this race is about the race and little effort is put into providing any other distractions. Then again, the race is taking place in a casino, so if someone wants entertainment outside the race…it’s certainly available. Spectators can sit in the middle of the action in the arena grandstands and literally have racers running all around them or have easy access to outdoor obstacles for viewing and entertainment pleasure. A true obstacle course race, the Badass Dash Las Vegas had around 40 obstacles in a 4+ mile course, depending on how you count obstacles.
With limited available terrain, the course designer made good use of available floor space to build the 4+ mile course. Racers loop through the horse stalls in the underbelly of the arena, up stairs to the roof of the 7-story parking garage, up and down stairs in the arena grandstands, and back and forth across an outdoor parking lot. Typical OCR obstacles like monkey bars, low cargo crawls, push ups, and pull ups are present, as well as a sandbag slug, some sand swells, and not-so-hellacious hurdles …but who wants to hear about those. You want to know what makes the BADASS DASH so BADASS?!
Badass Obstacle #1 – WALLS OF DOOM (at least – that’s what I call this beast of an obstacle). Trust me when I say every racer questioned their countenance on this one! Racers had to scale a seemingly endless row of 8’ tall cinderblock walls in succession. I don’t remember exactly how many there were…I think 7, but I was thankful when I turned the corner and the remaining 6 or so walls had tables to assist with the climb. The open recreational heats did not have to scale the full complement of walls – that was a treat reserved for the elite racers.
Badass Obstacle #2 – STEROID STAIR CLIMB. STAIRS…LOTS OF STAIRS! Up and down the arena seating…did I mention stairs? All the way around the arena. Great opportunity for a little competition with fellow racers as the calves and thighs ignite with lactic acid. Feel the burn!
Badass Obstacle #3 – AUSTRALIAN BACK CRAWL. Racers climb under an incline cargo net on their backs…up, down and up again for elite racers – just up for open recreational heats…all while a friendly but somewhat sadistic volunteer sprays water in their faces.
Badass Obstacle #4 – MOUNT WEDGE-MORE. A very tall, very steep plywood A-frame with ropes for assistance. The rope on the descent was short…too short for the taste of most racers, and the fear of heights had to be overcome by many. There was a very helpful volunteer who spent his day talking people down off the ledge as it were.
Badass Obstacle #5 – HUMAN CAR WASH. This relatively dry course is suddenly a spiderweb car wash for humans…LOVED IT! Racers lingered here a bit to cool off from the heat and wash away dirt.
Badass Obstacle #6 – STEEP SLIDE. An inflatable slide that racers ascend using a cargo net that begins 4’ from the ground…made getting started tricky. Felt like a kid again zipping down the slide racing my friends.
Badass Obstacle #7 – CORRAL GATE CLIMB. Racers climbed tubular steel gates that weren’t too challenging thanks to the construction of the gates, but quantity made up for it. In excess of a dozen of these. Great opportunity at the end of the race to pass competitors who were slowed by the constant climbing.
The signature Sedan Stack…a tidy collection of junkyard cars to be scaled and jumped on…was just before the finish line. Ask any racer how they liked the course and the response was a resounding, “That was Badass!” It was Badass! Lots of obstacles in a short distance equals FUN…FUN…FUN, while at the same time challenging the fittest of athletes.
Photo Credts: Jennifer Willis and ORM
Bonus: Our killer video from this race can be found on our Youtube page. Check out the footage here.
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Great article “Phoebinator”! I especially enjoyed reading the “friendly but somewhat sadistic volunteer sprays water in their faces” comment – funny! I’ve done several BADASS Dash races & had a great time at them all.
Thanks Shenoa! Badass Dash puts on a quality race and I’m glad you enjoy their offerings. RACE ON!
Great article, Phoebe. Agree with you about those never-ending 8′ walls! Enjoyed (?) following you up and down the Aussie Crawl. And the endless corrals for me were a chore cause I was by myself during them. Can’t wait to do it all again with you in 2015!
Kona…can’t wait to run it again in 2015 myself! The folks at Badass Dash always have something great up their sleeves!
Show is really a small further down the Strip than a
number of the different lodges and thus may also be a little less hectic traveling specifically facing
the lodge, when it comes to pedestrians.
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