There were many things to separate this race from my previous races. The longest timed race to date, the furthest from home, and the first running with a team. The team aspect changed the logistics a bit, and rather than starting from the warm-up pen, my race started 2 steps out side of the port-o-john. “Crap, we’re going. GAME ON!!”
I became separated from the rest of the team almost immediately, and basically ran it as a solo race (or as close to one as I ever run, there is always the looking out for the racer next to you). I could give reasons for why I performed as I did for this race, but as reasons often morph into excuses I will leave them out. I decided early on, I think within the first mile, that I would walk most of the course and save the running for where it was most needed.
I failed 3 obstacles (monkey bars, water crossing and the rope climb) and was punished with a total of 60 burpees and a longer path around the water I was supposed to cross. That being said, there were a few obstacles that I freaking owned. This is different from last time, where there were just the obstacles that I didn’t suck at.
The tractor pull, where you drag a concrete block behind you, was one of the few places where I was passing most of those around me. We came to a bit of a bottleneck where two young ladies were having trouble dragging them up a steep incline. I did my best to encourage them (they were embraced and apologizing for slowing us down) and eventually had enough room to come alongside and help the weaker of the two with hers. She asked to do the last 5 yards on her own, so I dropped the chain and went on with mine. I have to give her credit, she was likely pulling 40% of her own body weight.
The wall clearing was probably my proudest moment of the race. There were steps (sort or, 2x material nailed to the face of the wall) on the sides of the 8′ wall, and lines forming at them to have an easier time getting over. I decided to skip the steps and jumped up at the middle of the walls. I got myself mostly to the top of the first one and someone below boosted me the rest of the way over. On the second someone stepped forward to boost but then saw that I was getting over on my own and stepped back.
The Hercules hoist was another one that many were struggling at and I freaking nailed. This was oddly a lot like Budo, use your body weight and the large muscle groups rather than trying to do it all with your arms.
The rope climb was after a long stretch of running (or fast power walking), and I knew I did not have the strength left so I just went straight to my burpees.
Overall the race was a great time and a serious challenge, and the team was a great group of people.
Things to learn from this race: While my strengths are getting stronger, many of my weaknesses are holding steady. I am going back to basics for a bit to see if I can strengthen up the foundation and make me an overall better athlete. I have downloaded the Mayo Clinic C25K program, and finally put in the $15 to buy Race Day Domination from Hybrid Athlete. You can look for reviews to come. I start that journey tonight.
I think the most fitting image I can give of this race was taken by our carpool’s driver (thanks again for the ride Pat!) about an hour after hitting the road. It appears I was not the only one who was pushed to the limit by this course.