The fact that this race took place in AUGUST, in NEVADA, had the word BEATDWOWN in the name, and had a distance that climbed 2,000 FEET is enough information for the running company, Desert Dash, to bring out all the trail lunatics. AND, of course, I was happy to be one of the lunatics toeing the line on August 8th.
First, let me say that Desert Dash is run by a phenomenal family that pays attention to every detail. I have had the privilege of running and volunteering at many of their events. They get the whole big famdamily involved, and I can totally relate to them with my nine siblings! Dad and Mom are organizing, setting up, breaking down, and cheering on the runners, right along with owners, Rob and Ryan, various siblings, and nieces and nephews. They put a lot of work into each of their events, and it shows.
Triple Dare Running Company set up our tent at the start/finish line and provided music and snow cones to the runners and volunteers. Those snow cones tasted DE-licous after the challenging run. The bees seemed to appreciate the sticky syrup as well, as our table was swarming with bees, causing at least one runner to get stung right in the armpit…sorry Donny!
The Bootleg Beatdown took place at Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, Nevada. There was a 5K, 5 mile, and 10 mile run. Finishers were awarded an “I Survived the Bootleg Beatdown” water canteen.
The run was absolutely gorgeous! I’m pretty familiar with Bootleg Canyon, but during the ten mile race, I was taken to areas I have never run before. The toughest climb was up Ginger. Much of the climbing was done on hands and knees. It was rocky, steep, and beautiful. Rob, from Desert Dash, said that if we got lost on Ginger to just keep climbing up, and we would end up in the right place. That’s what I did! It was a little tricky to see some of the small marking flags through the rocky mountain trails, even though the trail was very thoroughly marked. The views of the Las Vegas Strip and all the caves, rock formations, and interesting vegetation made it an unforgettable experience!
I have earned some pretty gnarly scars during my many trail runs and races. This race was no different. The downhills on this course were just as technical as the uphills. I fell and cut my leg on one of the sandy hills and then fell again pretty hard a few miles after that. The second fall went on forever, and I was pretty sure I was either going to break a bone or crack my head. I had so much momentum as I flew down the hill that I couldn’t stop myself. I could feel things either jamming up or ripping in my hamstrings. Each step of the run was pretty painful after that.
I manage to get lost during EVERY single trail race I run. I had a group of runners behind me, and then I accidentally veered off course for 1.2 miles. I caught up to the group of runners as they headed up the side of the mountain on the switchbacks. I had such a great time talking to two of the runners, that I got into the groove and just enjoyed the conversation up the killer switchbacks.
Marisa Jenkins is a mom from Arizona that came out with a friend for the event. Marisa is a former dancer and seems to dance gracefully over all the jagged rocks and boulders. She had a blog to document her adventures at skippingoverrocks.com. Another interesting runner I met during the race is named Donny Warmus. Donny weighed 350 pounds in 2012. By the time he was trained up enough to run his first half marathon, he was down to 242 pounds by following a meal plan and exercise routine that he designed for himself. In 2013, he ran six half marathons. He started adding obstacle racing in 2014, and he will finish this year with 58 or so races. It’s meeting runners like this that keep the events exciting!
We ran through the finish line with music in the background and the cheers of the race directors from the sides. The race is one I would recommend to any seasoned trail runner. I never even had to put on my headphones because I was entertained every second of this race! My pictures capture the joy of the run on my face, and one of them is even the one that was selected to use as the “race picture” for the Bootleg Beatdown. So…if you are in the mood for some very fun pain with gorgeous views and bragging rights, this is definitely the race for you! Just make sure to take pictures to document the experience to friends that will never believe you did it!