Rock climbing day before the race @ red rock open space
After taking the winter off to play and then doing 10 weeks of solid training (running 60 miles a week) I was ready to race. The Spartan Super on May 14 would be my intro to the 2016 obstacle season. My goal was to get my coin to Spartan World’s at Tahoe this year. Not so much to run the race for glory and TV, but mostly because I like Tahoe and want to go back. But let’s be honest, I would like to see how I stack against the best on a Beast course. Sprints and supers in my opinion are over too fast….Give me 5 more miles and I’ll start to shine
Anyway, Alisha and I picked the Fort Carson Spartan because it fit our busy schedule. I love the Colorado Springs area. It has great climbing, hiking, and beer, but the elevation was a turn off haha, it’s like 7,000 feet. Felt like 10,000. I would’ve loved to race Montana, but 2 races in a weekend is better than 1. It all paid off.
On to the race
Colorado always has nice weather but we drew the shit card and got 5 days of rain and 39 degree mornings. I was really hoping Robert Kilian was racing so I had an excuse for my planned poor performance, but the only recognizable face at the starting line was Isiah Vidal. Good enough I’ll take that.
My biggest debate the morning of the start was to race shirtless or in my long sleeve Columbia heat tech whatever shirt. This debate went on for the hour I sat in the car waiting for the start. I ended up pussing out and wearing the shirt during my warm up and into the starting corral, but after 1 guy took his off I couldn’t be outdone, so I did the same. Felt like a good decision at the time with all the man heat around, but once I got out there into the wind my hands froze up.
The race started with a really slow for me, which was planned. I realized that the same 5 guys are always on the podium and it doesn’t matter how fast you go out, it’s how fast you run in general, so there is no reason to red line in the first mile. Save that shit for later. So I ran comfortable for the first 4 miles. I let myself fall back to position 15 or 20 and ran relaxed. I knew I’d gain it back as time went. May 14 I decided to race the course, not the people.
The course was light on the obstacles heavy on the hills for the first 4-5 miles. There was a few walls and a weak sand bag carry. The Fort Carson signature obstacle was a ruck sack carry which I liked. They made it really heavy and I saw some guys struggling to get it up. I was bent over like a Sherpa carrying it. Trick is to sit down to get it up, Grunt 101.
At the end of the Ruck Carry I recognized and called out Miguel Medina. He didn’t know me but that didn’t stop him from running with me the rest of the race. Cool guy.
I was really nervous about the Multi Rig at mile 5 because my hands were cold and I couldn’t feel them. It was pretty easy with maybe 10 rope and ring holds but I psyched myself out and fell off before I really began. I had casually worked my way up to the top 10 by this time and was probably the first guy in the men’s elite to fail this. My honor J, Miguel cruised by and this mistake cost me 2 minutes and a few positions. I quickly re passed the guys and caught back up to Miguel. We chatted and ran the rest of the race together and I forgot it was a competition. The thought crossed my mind that I should take off and try to beat him, but to be honest I was running “my pace” and going any faster would’ve gassed me before the finish.
*The only reason my pace matched Miguel’s that day was he rolled his ankle.
The course continued up and down the grassy hills with all the usual obstacles. The bucket brigade (bucket carry) seems to be getting harder since I started focusing more on running rather than lifting, but that is small fry compared to the benefits I’ve seen from increased running. Finishing top 10 in this Spartan Super was a cake-walk compared to my top 10 finish in the SLC super. Running and covering ground is simply becoming easier.
The dunk wall sucked that day
Approaching the spear throw I knew I was going to miss it so I sprinted ahead of Miguel, threw the spear all limp wristed and shit, missed it as planned and went to get a head start on the burpee’s in case he hit his. He nailed it and my plan panned out because I had already finished 12, he had only a minute lead on me. With less than 1 mile to the finish I knew it was time to red line. Miguel disappeared over the finish line hill before me and I thought it was over, but when I arrived at the first of the obstacle of the finish line obstacle gauntlet, Miguel was doing burpees for missing the laser pistol shoot.
Alisha on the cargo net
Brakken Krakker (volunteering) handed me a loaded laser gun and I put that gay little laser beam right into the target. I crawled up the cargo net, flipped over, monkeyed over the bars, and hopped over the fire to an 8th place finish.
Alisha on the finish line monkey bars
Isiah Vidal, Matt Kempson, and Angel cancelled out the top 3 for coins so I was the last guy of 5 to receive a Championship coin. I was stoked I met my goal but too cold to hang around. I wanted to chit chat with Miguel more but opted to get warm instead so I sprinted to the car and changed clothes.
Once I was warm and dry I ran out to the finish line just in time to catch Alisha wrapping up 16th place for the women’s elite race. This was her first competitive Spartan race and as I assumed, she kicked ass.
Spartan Sprint Sunday
Same same, cold and wet, but running on tired legs. I met my goal and gotten a coin to the championships so I set my sights high and figured I’d try to get on the podium. I ran out fast and within the first 5 minutes I knew that podium was out of reach. I was dead tired and running on empty. So I slogged through the race, missed the spear throw again (0/7) and wrapped up 15th place overall. My first time finishing out of the top 10 in a Spartan. Whatever I had a good time. On to the next one….Terrain Race and BFX Portland