About 7 weeks ago a bunch of clients, friends, family and I met up at Neutaconkanut Hill Park in Providence in preparation for the Inagural Bold R Dash, a military style 5k at RI’s only operable ski resort, Yawgoo Valley. The details of the obstacles were mostly mysterious until just days before the event, so Team LbF (aka Neuty Pictures) did our best to prepare by using the hills and other surroundings at Neuty, the sand dunes, and Brown St Park. We spent a lot of time practicing our uphill running technique and several other skills we hoped would translate on “race” day.
The result – succcess! All 8 of us stuck together, helped each other when necessary, and ultimately conquered the challenge that was Bold R Dash! Here’s a quick run down:
For me, the day started off a little rocky since I forgot my gym bag that, on every day of the last year, has been a fixture in the back seat of my car. This was significant since it contained my footwear for the day! “Barefoot it is!” I proclaimed after searching for the bag on the ride to Yawgoo. There was no time for turning back and besides, I thought it was a sign that I was ready.
After meeting up with the team and running through a quick and easy warmup, the gun went off and so did we on the first leg of the course. It was a 1 mile run on the roads near Yawgoo that included football-style high knees through tires and then carrying a boulder for the second 1/2 mile back to the base of the mountain. Once we dropped off our temporary pet rocks, we crossed over a pond twice by foot or swim stroke (freestyle, backstroke, and doggy-paddle were all utilized by different members of the team). This early drenching was definitely welcome since our heat didn’t start until 11:15. We made our first ascent and encountered a little barrel crawl obstacle and a little bear crawling. We then headed down for the Hi Neighbor Surprise sponsored by Gansett, of which I have no memory! The second (of four) climbs to the top brought us off trail through some woods and a little rocky scramble. While at the summit we all teamed up to roll a telephone poll about 15-20′ back and forth with some Marines cheering us on. Then the real fun obstacles kicked in.
On our way down we hit two walls 8′ and 10′ respectively. These were good for climbing practice and teamwork. More climbing practice followed at the Clamber obstacle which involved a huge steep rock and a couple ropes to assist. Half way up our third trip to the top we came across a fun and probably the most challenging obstacle. It was a plywood ramp with a tarp over it that was constantly sprayed with soapy water. It was a little tricky and the mud pit we jumped in afterwards was decievingly shallow (follow link for pics). There were a few easier ones between the top of the 3rd and 4th climbs. After summiting the last time we hit by far the best part of any adventure race – the slip n slide! It was all downhill from there to the finish line where we all crossed safely and injury free! Congrats to all!