BoldrDash is a staple in the New England obstacle racing scene. Lynn Hall founded BoldrDash in January 2011 offering a local alternative to the racing scene. While some small races have come and gone BoldrDash has continued to thrive year after year.
Hall had the motivation to start BoldrDash after running one of the first Spartan Races at Amesbury Sports Park with about 50 people, they all got the bug. She wanted to do more and there was nothing out there in Rhode Island, so with the encouragement of friend and family she created her own race.
Throughout the years, Hall has continued to evolve and grow BoldrDash keeping with the core tenant of keeping the event family friendly. This year Hall expects 2000+ participants in 2018 plus our kids and family participants. Hall took the time to answer Mud Run Guide's questions.
What was the first event like?
Our first event had a little over 600 people. We held the event at Yawgoo Valley Ski and Sport, the only Ski Area still in business in Rhode Island. With not a lot of experience in trail making we did run up and the down the hills a bit and utilized the road for about 1/2 mile.
People were excited and curious, back in 2011 not many people knew what an obstacle course was. We had one mud pit. You went up a slanted wall then jumped it. People loved it! The atmosphere was made even better by having the National Guard on the course. If you didn’t get dirty enough, he made you do pushups in the pit. So many people crossed the finish line amazed at what they had just done, we saw smiles, tears, and even a wedding proposal.
What are some of your signature obstacles?
Our signature obstacle is definitely the BoldrDash. Running with a large rock. We have a few obstacles that people come back for. The Cargo Tube Crawl is a definite favorite as well – although because It is a labor intense and complex build it comes out only once a year. Runners climb up a 10-foot wall, into a circular cargo net and traverse across inside the net to the other side where they slide down a fireman’s pole.
We have a few obstacles that involve tires – our Tire Swing, and Tire Hurdles can be deceptively difficult, and our Tire Wall, which is a 12 foot framed wall of tires. We try to come up with a few new obstacles every year to keep things fresh. We’ve also improved on or added to many of the obstacles we have over the years to keep them fresh and to grow with our returning participants. At the close of 2018 we will have held 20 events, so we have quite a few obstacles in our arsenal.
We’ve had kids events since 2013, both stand-alone and along with adult events. In 2016 we started holding our Kids and Family Waves on approximately 1-1.5 miles of the adult course. This offers kids a chance to run on the same obstacles and alongside the adults. We offer ‘alternate’ obstacles where appropriate that mimic the larger scale ones that they can aspire to do as they grow. We hold these waves toward the end of event day so we don’t experience backups and overcrowding on the course.
With a long-standing belief that physical activity assists in overcoming personal barriers, I founded a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization in 2015 called Find Your Bold. The organization provides the place and financial help that may be needed for people overcome their personal obstacles by supporting them as they overcome physical ones. One way this is done is the Find Your Bold Team. The team runs in almost every BoldrDash event and has grown from one person in 2013 to almost 80 including a kids team at our last event in 2017.
Each Team Member is assigned a Mentor, who encourages them along the way and a Guide, which is an experienced OCR participant that can assist and teach technique along the course. We have supported Domestic Violence Survivors, Wounded Veterans, people with Social Anxieties and Phobias and individuals with Physical and Intellectual Challenges. Find Your Bold is not exclusive to OCR, as an organization we the believe that overcoming physical obstacles can mimic breaking through barriers in everyday life. BoldrDash partners and financially support the team at almost every event we hold.
How many events do you plan to run in 2018?
WinterDash on March 18 – St. Paddys Weekend, Exeter RI.
(Fundraiser for Find Your Bold.)
Color Me Bold on May 12 – Mother’s Day Weekend, Exeter RI.
BoldrDash on the Beach on September 22, Narragansett RI.
We return to the beach for the first time in 3 years. Obstacles span 1 mile of sand and fill adjacent fields and the rocky shore.
What are your top three reasons for someone to check out your event?
Since 2011 we have built our obstacles in two-three levels of difficulty whenever possible. This includes different heights, multiple options for completion and more to allow everyone to succeed. We strongly believe that building a course that challenges a more seasoned athlete should not discourage beginners from trying something new.
Kids and Family waves, by building our kids and family waves on the same course as the adults it is truly a family-friendly event. In the disconnected culture of the digital world, our kids now live in it is even more important to us to offer an atmosphere where a family of all ages and abilities can come together and enjoy a healthy, outdoor experience that is fun for all.
The atmosphere of encouraging and helping others on and off the Find Your Bold team is present throughout the course. We continually get positive feedback from our runners about the welcoming atmosphere on along the trails. So many of our runners gladly put their ‘time’ second to helping another participant on the course. If you are a seasoned athlete, joining the Find Your Bold Team is a wonderful way to combine the sport you love with giving back to someone who, without you, may not ever get the chance to experience OCR.
What sort of festival or swag do you offer participants?
All adults receive an event-specific medal at the finish line and a t-shirt exclusive to that event. Kids in the Kids and Family waves receive a Kids Medal and their event exclusive Kids t-shirt.
At the Festival area, you find many local vendors, many who have giveaways or contests, Our famous Giant Boulders for photo ops along with challenges and games. Our larger events have hosted human fuse ball and other team friendly games.
Do you have any new innovations for 2018 you are offering participants?
The B3 Series is our first, ever BoldrDash Trifecta. Our participants asked for it, and this year we were able to make it a reality. Complete all three events in 2018 and earn the first BoldrDash Trifecta Medal. The Color Me Bold event in and of itself is a unique offering. There is no other event in the area that combines these two event favorites.
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