The BADASS Dash, a 7K obstacle race coming to Atlanta on March 15, reminds runners “If you risk nothing, you gain nothing.” Thankfully, the only risk involved here is the risk of an ungraceful wipeout—the fun is guaranteed!
This race offers four divisions to accommodate runners of all ages and fitness levels. The Elite Division is targeted at well-trained individuals who can overcome the obstacles and still race hard to the finish line. The Recreation Division is for all fitness levels who may not be trained in adventure races like these but still want to have a great time and make it to the end. If you want to get your four-legged friends involved, the K9 Companion Divison is for you. Anyone who is 14 and up, with a dog who’s at least one year old, can run a modified course designed specifically for your mixed-species team. Kids younger than 14 can stick to the Kids Dash Division, which is open to children four to 13 years old and features a mixture of adult and kids obstacles.
If none of these divisions feels right to you and you just want to watch, that’s encouraged too. Spectators can travel the course alongside the racers and cheer them on, as well as join in the post-race festival that features entertainment, a pet expo, a beer garden, an awards ceremony and other prize giveaways. You can also volunteer at the race, during either the morning or afternoon shifts, and you’ll receive snacks, drinks, and a BADASS Dash T-shirt and lunch or dinner depending on your shift.
The BADASS Dash in Atlanta expects around 2,000 runners this year, due to the huge success of its Atlanta debut last year. People will no doubt return to tackle their favorite obstacles like the Crazy Cargo Climb, Human Car Wash and the Raucus Rock Pile, which is the finish line constructed of stones from Stone Mountain itself. All told, the course contains 34 obstacles that, once you overcome them, will give you serious bragging rights.
In addition to bragging rights, it will also give you some perspective on a prevalent condition many Americans face: autism. The race’s charity partner is the organization Autism Speaks, and race director Brian Sharenow feels this partnership is a perfect fit. He explains, “Individuals within the autism spectrum often experience the daily stress of feeling like a square pegs trying to live in a world of round holes.” He likens that struggle to the struggle of overcoming the obstacles of the BADASS Dash. Sharenow says, “Although part of the thrill and excitement of the race is working toward conquering those obstacles, there’s a certain amount of relief that comes from knowing there’s a finish line. There’s an immense feeling of satisfaction knowing you completed that last obstacle and are headed toward the coveted finish line to celebrate. However, for individuals within the autism spectrum, the obstacles never end – there’s always one more. The focus of these events is to hopefully one day provide those with autism their finish line.”