Down & Dirty at the Dirty Dash in Boise, ID

Two states down in two weekends? Not bad!

On our drive from Salt Lake City to Boise I did some investigating on local races in the area. We had it fairly easy this week, with events starting at noon, so Abe and I figured we could definitely make a race happen while in Boise. Abe has been talking about doing a mud run or obstacle course since we started the job and I couldn’t believe our luck when one was going on in town this very weekend!

The Dirty Dash is similar to the Warrior Dash, if you’re familiar with that type of run. This one was a bit longer, around five miles, but promised similar obstacles. I did the Warrior Dash about a year ago and my memory of that was still vivid – pain and suffering. I’m a slow, consistent, and steady runner and these obstacle courses are anything but!

Up for the challenge though, and peer pressured by both Abe and my own internal desire to check Idaho off the Race for 50 States, we signed up and snagged bibs for 9 a.m. on Sunday morning! When it came to race day though we were +1. We had convinced Alex, a friend we met while in town this week (wait for the Touristy Tuesday post for all the details!) to do the run with us! He must have been really excited about it because he got up at 6:45 this morning to join us!

I also ran into Heidi at the Dirty Dash, who I met at one of our events earlier in the week. She was doing the run with a group of moms and they were team Muddy Mommy!

The Dirty Dash was held at Bogus Basin, just outside of Boise. It’s a ski area in the winter, so that should already tell you to expect some serious hills on the course! Alex was able to sign up on race day and they outfitted us all with Dirty Dash temporary tattoos.

Anyone who knows me knows I have a penchant for convincing people to get tattoos. While I’ve encouraged some pretty outlandish ones over the years, I’ve never managed to convince a friend to get a neck tattoo. I got pretty close today and had Alex sporting a temporary Dirty Dash Piggy neck tattoo by the time we got to the starting line.

While we were waiting for the race to begin Abe and Alex were corralled into joining the Ford Dirt Team. They both got free t-shirts and bandanas out of it though, so not a bad gig. I guess them must have looked Ford Tough.

Alex may have added a t-shirt, but he was still running pretty minimalist – deciding to go sans-shoes. Since none of us had really planned on doing a mud run, none of us really came equipped with shoes to spare. Although Abe and I both resigned ourselves to retiring a pair of shoes, Alex decided to play the hardcore card and just go barefoot!

Abe – Built Tough

The race started off with your typically 100m dash of participants sprinting out of the gate. We soon passed them up on the hills. Our first obstacle consisted of hay bale jumping. Although I went for the lunging-jumps, I could tell the hay was going to do a number on me. Most of my battle wounds probably came from this first section. That hay just tears you up!

Once we cleared the hay bales, we continued through mud-filled pipes and down a few steep hills. That’s when the inclines came. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you we ran up them like champions – there may have been some walking…

Between the mountains we had to summit (ok, I might be exaggerating) we also did rope climbs, over-unders through a muddy pit with a firehouse on us, monkeybars, and wall jumps. (I haven’t done monkeybars since elementary school – dang, those were hard! I hope CrossFit helps with that! haha)

At the top of the course there was a beer/rootbeer chug. Since we drove the company car up we played it safe and did the rootbeer chug. The beer was Natty Light anyway and I’m pretty sure I graduated college earlier this year, thereby earning my right never to drink that again!

The race ended with a slip-n-slide down to the mudpit finish. That was a blast! The slip-n-slide was pretty long and I had to give myself a few pushes along the way, but I still gained pretty good speed!

We crawled our way out of the vat of mud at the end and headed straight for the shower – not that those really ever do much good! This was another day where Abe and I had to work after the race, so we took off as soon as we were able to clean the initial layer of caked on mud off.

Overall, a very fun race. We finished in just over an hour. They said it was five miles but I’m not sure I totally believe that – it might have been a little shorter than that. Also, there were no medals, which was kind of a bummer since we all know that’s 75% of why I choose and do races!

We’ll see about these obstacle mud runs though. After the Warrior Dash I didn’t think I’d do another one. Then I did this one which was two miles longer! At this rate I might end up doing a Tough Mudder one of these days!

Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash 2011

This race is so cool and no one wanted to run it with me! In all fairness, it was scheduled on the day of Mizzou’s 100th Homecoming, which is a big deal not only because it is the centennial, but also because the University of Missouri is the birthplace of homecoming!

So in September when I finally found someone to run it with me I was ecstatic! At my friend Heather’s birthday party, which was the day of my first triathlon, I met this guy Sean who had recently run his first marathon. Naturally, we had lots to talk about. Come to find out – he lives less than a mile away from me back home in Kansas City, and was stationed in San Diego – near where I lived – with the Marines. While we were talking about running I mentioned the Warrior Dash, and finally¬†got the reaction I was looking for. He was game to run! Even though I just met him, we signed up for it within the week!

We ended up camping out the night before. Pro Tip: Book your campsite in advance for this one. We had hoped to just be able to score a site at the state campground near the race site instead of paying for two nights in advance (we only needed one). Well, they filled up half an hour before we got there! Luckily we found a sketchy campsite nearby that still had openings.

While we were trying to find the place we decided to scope out the racesite. Bad call – some hillbilly blocked us in and almost called the cops on us! Yikes! We were just turning around, but this scary van (the no windows kind) pulled up and blocked the exit! This guy got out with no teeth and was on the phone yelling about catching some people down in the field. I checked for cameras because I thought I may have been in a horror film! He wouldn’t buy our story that we were just turning around, even though that’s clearly what we were doing! Luckily I was able to plead for our lives and it turned out OK. Yikes!

Camping was a blast! Since neither of us are campers we just showed up with a tent, sleeping bags, and Smore’s makings. It turned out alright for us! Success #1 – got the tent up, no real problems there! Success #2 – our neighbors had a campfire going already so we made friends with them! They were 5 guys from Southern Missouri who were also doing the Warrior Dash. Success #3 – Smores & PBR! I’ve been doing Weight Watchers so it was nice to take a break from that and really indulge!

The race itself was awesome! We were the first heat, which meant fresh mud! The trail itself was an obstacle! I had my eyes down almost the entire time trying to avoid tripping or twisting my ankle in all the nooks and crannies! The obstacles didn’t really pick up until a mile in, which was nice because it gave us a chance to warm up! There were some points I felt like I was on the reality show Wipe Out with all the obstacles! They saved jumping over fire and the mudpit for the end, so the best were last!

We finished in about 38 minutes. Not bad considering we scaled walls, crawled under barbed wire, hopped fences, and waded through mud! When you finish they give you a beer and we also got free Monster energy drinks. Create your own 4 Loko!