It was a long road to my first obstacle course race (OCR) this year. Back in 2018 I had dreams of grandure. I saw the possibilites and I signed up to attempt my first 70.3 race. I even went to my first triathlon camp in Clermont, FL. Then we moved back to MD. Then I busted my foot. My spring and summer races were cancelled per the doctor. I figured, as recommended, I would work on strength training. I signed up to join a couple of my friends at a Warrior Dash.
The months passed. I didn’t do any strength training. I planned to get through the warrior dash with some grace and humility. The week of the race arrived. Participants recieved emails that said, Warrior Dash has filed for bancruptcy and was shutting down immediately. There goes goal race number 2!
Thankfully, other OCR races stepped up and offered free entries. Including Savage Race. My friends warned me that this was definately harder than Warrior Dash. I had a month to prepare. I joined a crossfit box. I fell in love with getting stronger. The race arrived…
I can say without hesitation that I was HORRIBLY unprepared for this race. That’s not true. I was mentally prepare for obstacles. For water. For running. I was not prepared for the MUD! Nothing said, prepare for mud! My friends did the longer course the day before and when he joked about waist deep mud I couldn’t even picture it.
I participated in Savage Race Maryland. I did the blitz which is 3 (ish) miles. For comparison, I typically run a 40 minute 5K. It took 2 hours to finish this race. The hype up at the beginning was great. They put you in a great mindset and encourage commradarie. I get it! You are going to need it! As a newbie surviving alone would have been damn near impossible.
The blitz course had about 10 obstacles on it. At least that were marked. I believe I counted about 3-4 additional “non-marked” obstacles. These would be mud pits. There were 2 GIANT mud pits in the first mile. There was also a 30% inclined hill under barbed wire around the half mile mark. Guys, this might have been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I was excited to get to real obstacles and solid, grassy, areas!
I’m really glad I decided on a solid breakfast and lots of Gatorade Endurance pre-race! This was exhausting!
See that smile, I was glad to get some mud off. I mean, seriously, late-eighties movies did not prepare me for the quicksand like nature that is mud pits!
But you know what, I did it. I finally completed something that I set out to do in 2019. Was it hard? YES! Did I die? NOPE! Now, I don’t think I drank the OCR kool-aide as others have However, I am signed up for the Spartan Stadion in June at Nationals Park. The key there is…no mud!
I did learn a big lesson this year. All of the inability to really race. All of the setbacks and derailments have really “fueled my journey” for 2020! There are some nifty things in the plan that I’m sorting out now but I’m excited to see where it will take me! Stay tuned!
Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!