Badass Dash Las Vegas Race Recap

This past weekend I ran the Badass Dash for the first time at Sam Boyd Stadium.  I ran 2 other Badass Dashes a few years ago, both were at Silverton Casino and they were lots, so I was looking forward to checking this race out.  I ran with a team of 4 others, 2 girls and 2 boys, plus me! The Badass Dash is a 7K (4.4 mile) obstacle course adventure race.  

We had a 9am start time and by then it was pretty warm outside and we were ready to get started.  Unfortunately, they don't stagger wave start times the way Spartan Races or larger marathon events do.  So, there were hundreds of people lined up for the 9am start.  They couldn't let all hundreds of us go at the same time since that would cause major congestion on course, so they let us go about 50 at a time every 5 minutes. It worked out great because there was no bottlenecking at obstacles however we waiting in the sun for almost an hour and that was no fun. I would suggest they give us staggering or wave start times, so we don't have to just wait in line for so long! That would help us prepare a lot better and we wouldn't have to wait an hour in line! 

The Badass Dash is not intended to be a super intense race like the Spartan Races or Tough Mudders.  They are geared towards having fun and are a great introduction to obstacle course races.  They have over 40 obstacles, from super easy to difficult, throughout the course which is nice! I felt like the walls were challenging but also achievable for most, so that was a big plus!  Being in a stadium, I was totally expecting the stairs to be part of the race, and boy did I feel the burn on those! Once we got through the up and down of pretty much the entire stadium stairs + all the ones outside, they set up the last 10 or so obstacles in the middle of the field.  I really thought that was pretty neat and totally different for me, since I haven't ran a Spartan Stadium Sprint yet.  Lastly, they cooled us off with a fun car wash/spider web obstacle before crossing the finish! 

Once my team was finished, it was then time for the kiddos to race! They were running with their friends which made it super fun for them.  Both Diego and Elysse did the 2K (1.2 mile) Kid Dash.  Remember those killer stairs I mentioned? This was also part of their race and I am so proud that they pushed through on those! The rest of the kid obstacles were also all in the middle of the stadium.  They did most of the same last 10+ obstacles we had during our race as well.  All 4 of them finished strong and had a great time, even if they did complain a bit about the heat! 

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I would totally recommend this race if you're new to obstacle course racing and even if you are an OCR junkie! It's challenging and fun :) Go out there and give it a try.  You just might surprise yourself :) 

 

4 Tips for Getting Kids Active

All kids are different and have their own unique personalities with very specific likes and dislikes.  Some will gravitate towards athletics or have a natural ability for a sport, others prefer to read a good book, or can have a natural ability for math or science.  Whatever your child's natural ability or focus is, as parents, of course we want to encourage our kids to follow their dreams.  

As parents, we also want the best for our kids and we want them to be healthy.  We all know that too much time in front of a screen creates a sedentary lifestyle and we don't want that for them or for us! So what can we do to encourage our kids to be more active, without making them hate us for it?  

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When I started running half marathons and obstacle course races, my kids became curious.  Why was I coming home drenched in sweat while they were barely waking up? Why did we suddenly have a big tractor tire in our backyard? What was a PR? Why did I need something called GU (gross!)? So, I showed them.  They come to most of my races and are my biggest cheer group! They come to boot camps and sometimes they join in on some of it.  I got them involved in my new found passion for running and my excitement became contagious.  Soon, they were joining me on short runs around the block.  They were setting goals for themselves to beat, their own Personal Records.  We made up little boot camp style workouts for them in the backyard and eventually we signed them up for some of their own races and then they had to "train"! Then came race day and they were stocked to receive their own medals and see all their hard work pay off.  


Tips for Getting Kids Active

  1. Lead by example.  Show excitement about going for a run or working out.  If you complain about having to workout, there's no way they're going to want to join you.  As the saying goes, you don't have to workout, you get to workout! Keep a positive mindset for your own activities because those little ones are always watching us :)
  2. Get them involved.  Ask them to join you for a run, if running is your thing.  Get yoga DVDs that are kid-friendly and do them together.  Go to the park and play basketball together.  Plan hikes as a family.  Whatever gets them excited about being active!  
  3. Reward them.  Set goals together and when they reach them, give them a reward.  It doesn't have to be anything outrageous, just something that will keep them motivated to keep going.  
  4. No pressure! Don't make it a chore for them.  It should never be about punishment, but rather something they look forward to regularly.  Keep it fun, change it up a bit, and go with the flow.  

It's not always easy for us.  One kiddo likes it better than the other.  They still fight and tease each other sometimes during our family runs.  They can be competitive, even with the almost 4 year age gap.  But, as parents we just keep encouraging them.  I keep inviting them on runs with me and sometimes they don't want to and I don't make them.  Other times they ask to join me on their own.  It's not perfection but they are more active than they used to be and now they are really understanding the importance of taking care of their bodies.  

Do you have any tips on how you got your kids excited about exercise? Let me know in the comments.  I'd love to hear them :) 

Raising Healthy Happy kids in Las Vegas | Let's Go! Fun Run

We've been living and raising our family in Las Vegas for 6 years already.  Last year I wrote how I l enjoy calling Las Vegas home.   Feel free to check out that post HERE!  Do I get weird looks when I tell people this? Absolutely.  And I always feel I have to defend Vegas.  One thing I hear a lot is how Vegas doesn't have a great public educational system.  If you look at the data, it's true, Nevada does not rank high in public education.  Does this change how I feel about raising my kiddos here? Not really, not right now.  I do wish kindergarten was full day, though!  Things might change as my kids grow up, but for now I like the elementary school they attend.  It's a four star school and my son is in the Gifted & Talented Program.  He's involved in a weekly morning art club, and he's in Instrument Ensemble, having music practice twice a week. He'll be participating in Battle of the Books (kinda like Jeopardy for Clark County schools based on 8 books they had to read and study).  He'll also be attending Astro Camp in May!  Their school principal and teachers communicate regularly with us, they put together fun activities throughout the year, and seem to really care about their students.  Staying involved with school activities has helped my son stay on top of his grades and reading and I'm sure it will be the same for my daughter too.  At least, I hope so ;)   

One such activity was the Let's Go! Fun Run!  For the past 3 years, the school has put together not only the traditional cookie dough selling fundraisers, but also a fun run.  I was so excited about it the first year and I'm so happy they have continued to have fun runs for the kids.  We're a pretty active family and anything that gets my kids out there and moving is a big plus!  With the Let's Go! Fun Run this year, they added the "color run" aspect to it, which made it especially fun for the kiddos.  I'd participated in the Color Run 5K a few years ago, so my kids knew what to expect, but the paperwork they sent home was very specific in explaining the color corn starch they used and even had an optional colorless fun run for those who didn't want to participate.  The fundraiser works by having the students ask donors to sponsor their run.  I really liked that this year there was no minimum donation required.  I think it made it easier for folks to donate what they were comfortable giving.  In the weeks leading to the race, they have The Go! Team visit the classrooms getting the students excited about fitness, healthy eating, and good manners.  

As a family, we "trained" for the fun run about 2 weeks before.  So, it really got them involved and having fun while running and exercising.  On the day of the run, I volunteered to serve the runners water and got to see my kiddos running and having fun.  It was a blast.  

My little Elysse insisted on fun knee high socks for the run.  She wanted to be like her mommy! Proud moment for me ;) 

Raising healthy, happy kids is a big priority for me as a parent and doing it in Las Vegas is no different than doing it most other places.  I also feel that it is my responsibility as a parent to take care of their educational needs too.  I'm not going to just have them in school and expect the teachers to do my job.  I expect my children to learn in school, yes, but it is my responsibility to teach them beyond the school system.  Children learn and thrive in a hands-on environment and I believe life-experiences and travels will do so much more for my kids in the long run than going to a top-notch school.  Don't get me wrong, would I want them to go to a top-notch school?  Absolutely!  But, I am also realistic and I intend on making the best of what we have and where we are.  I hope you do too!  Do you love or hate your child's school?  In your opinion, what makes the difference in public schools?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, especially if you're local to Las Vegas!