I ran the 25km event a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The 25km event starts off with the 7.5km loop (which is the same as the Bad Ass loop except with an additional 1km loop tagged on at the beginning), then the 10km loop (which is my favourite parts of the Batawa trails, and then the 7.5km loop 1 more time.
This year, Altra joined on as a sponsor, so I definitely wanted to run it again. I was tossed up between doing the 25km again, and doing the Bad Ass. Initially I wasn't too excited about doing the 6.5km loop over and over again, but I decided that since I'm now in training for the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile, the Bad Ass would serve as a good training run.
It was a perfect day for a trail race- it was sunny, with minimal wind (well, maybe a bit more than minimal) and nice & cool. At the start (7:30am) it was just above freezing, and it warmed up to close to 10° by the end. As the race started, I took it nice and easy. Almost immediately the course winds up the side of the ski hill, and there was no way I was planning on running up that. I took off at a good hiking pace, and at the top of the first climb found I was in 3rd place. Being less than a km in to the race, I didn't really care about placement, but by the time we were halfway through the first loop, I pulled into 2nd, and then part way through the 2nd loop I caught up to the first place guy. He was another local guy that I knew of, but had never officially met, and we had a great time chatting and laughing over the next few loops.
I was really happy with how that went. Other than the slight stomach glitch, it went really well. My gear worked great, my feet felt fine, and my pace stayed pretty good. This race gave me a good confidence boost that my training is going well and makes me feel slightly less trepidatious about my lead up to my first 100 mile race.