Race Report: SHAPE Diva Dash Obstacle Run New York

Race Report: Shape Diva Dash New York

We’re ready to run! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Greetings from Minnesota! I’m here to take on the SHAPE Diva Dash, a 5K obstacle run for women.

Race Report: Shape Diva Dash New York

Legs in! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

SHAPE and EAS Sports Nutrition brought me on as a hired gun to share training tips for the 2014 races in the April and May issues of SHAPE Magazine. I had so much fun at the 2013 SHAPE Diva Dash that it was easy to say yes. Now I’m running the Twin Cities edition of the race on Saturday, May 31.

Now that race day is finally here, I thought I’d share my race report from the SHAPE Diva Dash New York that I did with a group of my friends last October. We rocked it New York style.

The Race and Course

SHAPE Diva Dash is a 5K obstacle run for women that’s light on mud and heavy on fun. Run in 10 cities around the U.S., each course is different and includes 10-12 obstacles meant to test strength, balance and agility.

SHAPE Diva Dash 5K Obstacle Race

Team “I ♥ NY” is ready to rock! (Photo: Cindy Gordon)

Most obstacles have easier and harder options. And you can skip challenges that you simply don’t want to do. So it’s as difficult or as easy as you want it to be.

Terrain might include paved roads, grassy fields, dirt trails and more. And you never know what obstacles or terrain to expect until you’re faced with them on race day.

Runners can choose from a “competitive” wave, where the first 10 finishers receive prizes, or any of the “non-competitive” waves that follow every 15 minutes. None of the waves are timed.

You’ll see lots of women running together in team running costumes and snapping photos along the way. The vibe is definitely more fun than fierce.

Race Report: Shape Diva Dash New York

My girls. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Team I ♥ NY

I rallied four of my friends to run with me in one of the non-competitive waves at the New York-New Jersey race in October 2013.

We donned neon I ♥ NY gear and giggled all the way. Among our ranks were a 4-hour marathoner, a reluctant 5K finisher and a range of runners in between. As our photos will attest, we had a blast.

It was the perfect antidote to a long and laborious marathon training season for me. The race was just two weeks before my big fall marathon, perfect timing for a taper fun run.

Race Report: Shape Diva Dash New York

Waiting for the race to start. (Photo: Cindy Gordon)

As we waited for our wave to start, a DJ blasted tunes and we were led through a light warm-up and stretch. Before long, our group was off.

We jogged easily and stayed together. Waits at most of the obstacles were no more than two or three people long. Often, we didn’t have to wait at all.

But rather than tell you about this race, I’ll show you. This is an event where the course can speak for itself. So here is Team I ♥ NY as we take on the SHAPE Diva Dash.

Here we go!

The Takeaway

My friends and I had a fantastic time at the SHAPE Diva Dash. We laughed, we ran, we swung, we climbed, and we did it all together. The entire event had a party-vibe that made it easy to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously.

Race Report: SHAPE Diva Dash New York Obstacle Run 5K

Fun times! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

It was a great way to spend a weekend morning with my girls, in lieu of yet another brunch. Friends, fitness and fun? Yes, please.

Now I’m ready to do it all again, this time in the competitive wave in Minneapolis. I’m going to run my hardest and try to blaze through those obstacles. Check me out in the April and May issues of SHAPE magazine, talking about how I’ll tackle the obstacle run.

Now it’s time for me to race!

SHAPE Diva Dash Discount Code

If you want to run any of the six remaining SHAPE Diva Dash races in 2014, be sure to use coupon code AXKB to get $10 off your registration fee. Get a group of friends together to run; share and use the code as many times as you like.

Race Report: SHAPE Diva Dash New York Obstacle Run 5K

The festival area. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

Remaining SHAPE Diva Dash 2014 Races

Charlotte, North Carolina
June 21, 2014

Chicago, Illinois
August 2, 2014

Washington, D.C.
August 16, 2014

Boston, Massachusetts
September 6, 2014

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
September 13, 2014

New York, New York
October 11, 2014

And if you’re looking for a training plan, look no further: Dominate Your Spring Obstacle Race with the Diva Dash Obstacle Race Training Plan.

As I mentioned above, SHAPE and EAS hired me to appear in SHAPE Magazine and on race day in Minneapolis, but not to post about it here. I’m doing that on my own. And my friends and I did the 2013 race on our own. As always, all opinions are truly mine. That’s not just some legalese.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


05 2014

14 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    That looks so fun! Like playing in a jungle gym :)
    Jojo @ RunFastEatLots recently posted..My Cross-Country Route and Mail DropsMy Profile

  2. 3

    That is AWESOME Karla! Whoa! I would love to do something like that!! Although I would probably get too competitive and end up falling on my face, but I love stuff like that :) Love how colorful you all were too :)
    Tina Muir recently posted..Final Training Update for the 2014 Spring SeasonMy Profile

  3. 5

    Definitely looks like a cute race to do with friends!
    Cheri @ Overactive Blogger recently posted..Body Attack in ReviewMy Profile

  4. 7

    Love the pics! The obstacles look like fun. I have to say that the fact that this race is light on mud makes me want to run it more! :0)
    Lauren @ Lauren’s Glass Slipper recently posted..June Fitness ChallengeMy Profile

  5. 9

    I’m always so scared of obstacle course because I don’t think I can handle any of the things they’ll have on the course, but this one looks really fun (and doable!). MAYBE I can find some friends to give it a try this year :)
    Kellie recently posted..Fuel, Fuel Everywhere, But Which One to Take?My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      The obstacles are TOTALLY doable! The hardest one is probably the Monkey Bars and there’s a side with footholds to help you out if you want them. If I end up doing NY again this year, I’ll let you know!
      Karla Bruning recently posted..91-Year-Old Runs Age Group World Record MarathonMy Profile

  6. 11

    Yowza!!! That’s a lot of race photos! But it looks like you had fun and were smiling the whole time! And as long as nobody got hurt – then success!!
    Scott recently posted..Fake Partner Yoga, Snakes on a Trail, & Sweaty RunsMy Profile

  7. 13

    I’ve never considered an obstacle-course type race (and considering all the lingering injuries would be worried to do so), but this looks way too fun. Hmmm…
    Diann_D recently posted..Study Finds Walking Boosts CreativityMy Profile