What a weekend!!! For those of you that attended great job! This event had a 34% knockout rate this year so it was absolutely designed to be a burner. That being said this was hands down one of the most beautiful venues I have ever raced. If you have an opportunity next year to race this venue I highly recommend it as the scenery will help you forget about the grueling 14.5 miles you are about to venture.
Part of the fun for this race was the fact that I am finishing my Spartan SGX certification and apart of that is creating a race week plan with nutrition as well as a pack list. This is the time I will say that consistency in races would not happen without what is by far my favorite race day supplement and that is Oral IV! This product delivers the electrolytes you need without all the junk that sports drinks have and in just a 2oz bottle its easy to store and does not take long to drink! You can go to www.oraliv.com to order a sample or use code “SS20” for a 20% off your order coupon!
Now for the good stuff! As the sun was rising the elite females and males were taking to the course and my 30-39 Qualified Age group was entering the corral ready for a showdown. This race was the best of Mexico, Canada, and the USA so there was some awesome talent there competing to toe the start line at Spartan World Championships in Lake Tahoe. The competition did not disappoint at all as this field was stacked. From the start this was going to be a battle as we were pushed into a near single track trail full of brush and thorn bushes. Once out we were able to spread out a bit as the first few miles traversed the beautiful terrain of Summit Bechtel Reserve with the over walls, 6ft walls, hurdles, over walls on this path. Our first real taste of what we knew would be a long day of ascending and descending this course came when we had the Cargo Cliff Climb that was up into the trails topping out at about 70% grade incline! With as much ascent and descent that we experienced there was a significant amount of flat running as well. This course was a great mix to challenge all. As we were almost an hour into the race I decided it was time to mix in my endurance supplement to keep my glucose levels up! I decided to take a couple min at the water station to get this taken care of as I did not want to start the race taking this supplement. Once filled it was back off to our first grip obstacle the not so forgiving Twister. Fortunately with only two sections of helix shaped handles to traverse most were able to move through this pretty smoothly! Back into the trails we went as we approached a reasonably long yet flat log carry that led into the Swim. Life vest being a required piece for this was more of an obstacle than the actual swim as most including myself did not stop to adjust the vest therefore they were moving around a lot and how thoughtful of Spartan to put a photographer at the end…. I was a bit annoyed at this one as you can see.
Finally after a little more trail and few obstacles including Inverted wall and vertical cargo we were making our way back to the festival area! Herc Hoist was up first and the bags were feeling light this weekend as most were able to pull the hoist in a few short pulls. A reasonably long uphill barbwire crawl followed before the Rope climb. Once up the rope we made our way up the the obstacle that caused some controversy in the Elite Qualified race the Spear Throw! I unfortunately fell victim to this obstacle today as I threw my spear just right of the target and headed to the burpee pit. This seems to be the moment the proverbial “wheels fell off” as I completed my burpees and headed back up the mountain. We had a short sandbag carry and then back to festival area again for the “Darn Tough Slip Wall” consisting of a slip wall that seemed a bit longer than the average and one glaring difference were the very small ropes at the top. Normally the ropes hang halfway if not further down and you grab them and walk your way up the wall but this time you had to run up the wall and at the last second grab said short rope to get yourself over. This was obviously challenging the more vertically challenged racers due to the short length on the rope. This part of the race is where you really had to dig deep as you began heading away from the festival knowing that it would be a bit before the return. This is also the part that changed my race. I was fading as the endurance supplement I was using was really starting to make my stomach turn. After a couple obstacles I did not feel right so on a downhill sprint which I normally love to attack I pulled over and within seconds got sick. After a few deep breaths… it happened again. I knew that though this was out of my stomach and I felt much better I was now immediately behind the 8-ball with hydration as a lot of fluid was lost. I was able to immediately start climbing back up in positions as we headed into the final mile and half on the back of the course. At the same time I could feel the fatigue setting in and that feeling was hitting me knowing the cramps were coming. When we got to tire flip I was excited to get a tire that had room under to grab. I was able to flip the tire fairly easy though as soon as I flipped the first time my calf seized up and I dropped to the ground. I worked the cramp out and was able to flip the 420lb tire one final time! Bucket carry was on its way and I was confident this would give me a fit as mentally I struggle with this obstacle and with the fatigue I was dealing with. I was happy with my ability to move through this with little issue and off I went pushing through any pain to finish strong. I was able to complete Olympus, the A-frame Cargo net and after a small hang up the Multi Rig before crossing that finish line!
Again as stated before… Well done to every person that crossed that finish line this weekend. It was brutal and really got the best of me. I was bummed to start about my finish position before thinking I just went to battle with the best Age Group athletes in 3 countries and that is nothing to be down about! Vermont is in 2 short weeks and that will be my opportunity to get back at it! Check out the album from this weekend especially if you enjoy looking at tons of puppy pictures!
Have a safe and happy labor day weekend!!