“I’ll be puttin all the feelings in my backpack. Taking all the reasons off the wall.So what you lookin at, I’ll take it all. Backpack by Crazy Town.
You never sign up for a Spartan Ultra Beast on a whim or without acknowledging the sense of the impending work ahead. It’s too long, too hard, too brutal to not do work in preparation. Going in I had some good training starting in February at my training camps/adventure vacations in Spain (join us at: www.stronglikebulltraining.com ). By the time this race came I felt well equipped to handle the challenge ahead with impunity.
I had my normal breakfast of Purefit Bars and my own (yes I made this blend for racing myself! Boston Common Coffee, listening to my favorite songs en route. I arrived at the start line ready rock. However, the race was delayed so I had a gel. At this point, I am using Energy Burst gels because they are healthier source with being honey based and provide my body with good clean energy. The start line was a who’s-who of ultra Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). With only a handful of ultra distance OCRs as part of the series the talent pool is condensed and this race was STACKED. Top finishers from the toughest Spartan Ultra Beast World Championships and other ultra OCR events, made up the front row. As the gun fired a group of 5 went out HARD making it seem more like it was a “super” Spartan, not an ultra! Lap 1 was crazy, tons of climbing and the rig was brutally hard. I also had my spear hit the target but fell out as the hay was rain soaked. The rain added some drama to the hoist too! The terrain of the course of lap one going just through the woods and no trail being clear cut was making it more of an adventure in bushwhackin’ it with a host of swampy parts that felt like I was in Dagobah from Star Wars or the swamps of Kentucky. I was STOKED and grateful for the Warrior Pak calf sleeves that have a pad in them which helped deal with all the brush I ran through!
I ran hard to keep my target pace and started lap 2 in 7th, slowing only to grab my Warrior Pak race belt so wouldn’t have to stop in the pit area, this enabled me to gain 2-3 minutes over those that had been keeping pace with me. The course had thousands of people run it between the ultra laps and what had been deep leaves covering unseen rocks for lap one was now a more visible trail thus making lap 2 easier. However, not making lap 2 “easier” was that it was lap 2! I passed two people who took it out hard but I also got passed by two who didn’t. Ultra racing is all about pacing. They gave the leaders of the Ultra Beast green “pennies” for the second lap. It was such a cool motivational element to the second lap and we could spot the people we were racing. I was so reenergized by being able to run to the endless cheers of the athletes out there.
After 6 hours on the course, I was tired! The last mile was the hardest because of the worst bucket carry I have ever endured- Long, steep, and with poor footing. It took me forever. Like fffffffor-eve-errrrr. Worse, I had done it in lap 1, so I knew just how much it would suck! But with no one catching me and no one for me to beable to catch I just struggled through it. I had pains in my body that I had never experienced before and at times doubted if I would finish. But I silenced those voices, dug deeper and just did the work until it was over.
I was excited to finish and learn I was 7th overall out of the 1300 starters and top masters! Given the quality of the field I am super proud and elated.
Congrats to all the athletes that raced this weekend and thanks for all the cheers! Special thanks to Rudy Project for the sweet shades in the photo and the Block Island Sport Shop for everything else I need! Also thanks to Brooks for the Pure Grit shoes to race in and Warrior Pak, whos socks worked awesome! 7 hours of running and no blisters!