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Savage Race Review

Central Florida based Savage Race ran their flagship event at a gorgeous ranch in Dade City, FL on October 20, 2012.  It appears to be their third event since inception.  I arrived at the Little Steeplechase ranch after a four hour drive from my home in Boca Raton.  One of the many aspects of obstacle course racing I enjoy is traveling to new places to see the local terrain, flora and fauna.  I was pleased to see sprawling green grounds dotted with live oaks and cypress trees draped in moss.  The sky was blue and my respiratory system welcomed the arrival of fall in Florida with warm dry air.   After five oppressive months, humidity was nowhere to be found.  Onsite parking was $10 and very smooth, however there was no re-entry into the festival area, which limited the convenience of vehicle access.

Check in was fast and simple.  The festival area was rather typical for obstacle course races, gear check ($5), food & beverages, merchandise, sponsor tents, and a bank of vile porta potties scented with human waste were all represented.  I completed my final pre-race prep of hydration, trademark eye black and stretching routine, then headed to the starting line.

The Savage Rave claims that they need no more than 5-6 miles to kick your ass as well as more obstacles per mile with less jogging than comparable events.  Approximately two dozen obstacles were peppered throughout the very fun and occasionally challenging six mile course.  Three water stations were on the course and finishers were greeted with a medal, t-shirt and a bottle of water.   Here are some of the obstacle highlights:

The ice bath plunge called “Shriveled Richard” was very early in the course and literally took my breath away, but required no special skills.   Significant shrinkage was unavoidable.  The monkey bars were terrific.  In a saw tooth profile, Savages climbed up, then down, then back up, and finally down again to complete the bars.  Grip and concentration were critical for success.

In addition, there was plenty of crawling, lots  mud, diversified terrain, various walls to conquer, giant mud hills to navigate, a balance beam, several water crossings, log carry, “shocking” wire crawl, giant hay mountain, and a floppy cargo net.  I’ve never run a Tough Mudder (registered 12/1/2012 Sarasota FL), but having researched TM, the Savage Race felt like a half of a TM.  The obstacles were not only similar, they were nearly identical.  However, I could care less.  I’m there to challenge myself with a fun and dirty adventure.  The companies can duke it out in the legal system.

There was only one negative aspect of my experience, which was a rather lengthy wait at two obstacles.  A ten minute wait preceded the balance beam and a 30 minute wait was experienced prior to the “Colossus Wall”.   The wall was a large 1/4 pipe in which you had to run up the pipe, grab a dangling rope and pull yourself to the top.  Savage staff assisted participants when necessary.  It took me 2:05 to finish the course including the 40 minutes of idle time.

In conclusion, the event was well run with ample and friendly staff.  Savages were clearly having a rad time throughout the course.   The obstacles were plentiful and some required impressive construction.  Furthermore, spectators were allowed to walk the course, which was very cool in my opinion.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Savage Race and would recommend fellow obstacle course race enthusiasts to indulge in the Savage Race experience.  Your ass may not be kicked as promised,  but you’ll have a great time doing what we love in a burpree-free filthy fit environment.  In 2013 the Savage Race will be coming to Dallas, Atlanta, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina.  The official schedule can be found at www.savagerace.com

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What’s Going On This Weekend

I am not racing this weekend. This Spahten Chick (see what I did there?) is still healing up for Fenway, which is only a few weeks away!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or you are just new around here, you are fully aware this weekend is the Chicago Super. A number of our friends, and fellow Spahtens, are heading west to participate! For some, this is just a Super, but for others, this is a Trifecta! Having earned my first Trifecta just under 5 weeks ago, that feeling of honor and satisfaction still hangs with me. Good Luck friends! Stay warm and have a freaking blast!

Are there any races happening this weekend nearby? Comment below!

Also, if you are anywhere in the neighborhood, there is a Flash WOD scheduled for tomorrow. Check in with Mercedes and Keith for all the details or just show up at Quincy Market around 11 – look for a mass of people wearing SR swag. (I think they will easily be found!)

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, enjoy the fall weather and make it count!

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No free Super for you!

At the 2012 New Jersey Super – there was a bit of a rain storm. Well, more like a tornado warning that shut the course down for some time. I was there, it was more than a little epic, and Spartan Race was forced to pull all volunteers off the mountain and herd any athlete they could into a safe and secure building until it passed.

Not everyone was so lucky, of course – being an 11 mile event, there were athletes strung out all over the place with no way to know what was going on (other than the sky went black, the rains came and the winds tried to blow them off) – and many found obstacles with no volunteers to tell them to stop and wait. As a result, a whole pile of folks were effectively caught crossing the finish lines with no timing mats, or bussed off the mountain when they hit aid stops, because it was too dangerous to continue.

A lot of folks didn’t finish, through no fault of their own.

Spartan did right by them, and offered them a free Hurricane Heat that night, a free race the next day, *and* a free entry to the 2013 event.

The coupon for this free 2013 event got circulated, and the internet being the internet, it’s original intent and intention was lost, and far more folks made use of it than Spartan intended, resulting in a huge number of free 2013 NJ Super signups – and Spartan issuing an announcement that they would fix things.

They did – all entries that used the coupon have been revoked. I can’t be mad about it (yes, I used it too) – while I was at the event, I wasn’t impacted too severely by it, and I did finish – so now it’s on me to figure out my Super for next years trifecta medal.

So, what are your options?

Buy a registration (if you click on a banner on this site, we’ll get some kick back), or throw one of many coupon codes in (EXTOLE15 is a good one)

Wait for a groupon / living social or other discount (these tend to happen closer to the event date, and are used to drum up inerest in quiet heats or days)

Volunteer (most volunteer spots are rewarded with a free race entry – they’ll happily let you volunteer for a minimum amount of time, then pay you in a free race in the volunteer heat)

I’ve not decided how I’ll handle my own registration yet – but one thing is sure, I’ll see you there!

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Epic Racing Arena

Several months ago, I was lurking in a Facebook group when the spitballing and general chatter became something more … “wouldn’t it be cool if …” turned into “well, we could do it like this – and the direction became more focused and more … serious. They took the conversation off the group, and several months later, they were back as Epic Racing Arena.

http://epicracingarena.com/

What the heck is it?

It looks, well, epic. The venue is a stadium in Vegas. A 20+ obstacle, 3 mile course means this isn’t going to be a long endurance race (although they do have some kind of 10k, obstacles optional race going on at the same time) – but what is making this unique is the elite and citizens races.

Elite Race – this is going to be a race putting the best of the best – hand selected athletes, big cash prizes – Junyong Pak, a local racer for MA, is part of the event staff, and not only designing this course, but will also be logging a fast lap and a sub challenge will be to beat him – this is going to be really *really* interesting to watch as it goes down – the excitement levels from watching these elite, world class athletes compete? Amazing.

Even cooler? Citizens Elect is giving regular folks the chance to apply – Epic asked people to film themselves during a set workout – then the general public gets to vote to elect these athletes into the Elite waves! You can check the auditions out here

http://epicracingarena.com/citizens-elect/

More importantly, check out our very own Andrew Hostetler – and vote for him!

http://epicracingarena.com/project/andrew-hostetler/

They are also doing some open races too for us regular citizens too – it’s not all super elite athletes.

So – what does all this mean? This sport of OCR – it’s getting big. Events like this are buying stadium space, and attracting Olympic level athletes. We’ve all been running Spartan Race and Tough Mudders for a few years now – and Epic is promising something different, something bigger. They won’t be touring, they don’t plan on bringing this show on the road – they want to be a one time a year, mega event, that is brought to you by television and media channels. Whether they succeed or not will depend on the support they get from this community, and I, for one, haven’t seen a more active, enthusiastic community …

This should be … epic!

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Poor races

This isn’t so much a race review for an event I hit up, but a general comment on poorly organized, potentially dangerous races in general – and how much support the OCR community is giving them.

Firstly, check this review out –

http://travlete.com/2012/10/16/review-sqwish-sqwash-challenge-tampa-florida/

The Sqwish Sqwash Challenge in Florida was universally panned as terrible – from the organization of the event, to the actual event itself. I mean, check out the video of the monkey bars …. or rather, the ladder strung up on a wobbly frame, with a step ladder to get up … *REALLY*?

It would be easy to shrug off as a one time deal – but this is their third event. They have appeared on the Matt B Davis podcast, and made some big promises. Even worse – they are not the only race series doing this.

If you read into the comments, and on their website – this is compared to the much bigger Rebel Race – they have an event in MA coming up soon. The Renegade Playground Challenge, a NH race with plenty of experience behind it just had a terrible event – running out of water, having obstacles collapse and not get repaired.

It’s one thing to attend an event and find it too easy or lacking a challenge, it’s another for the event itself to be downright dangerous.

So, question for the NE Spahtens – what does it take to stop the OCR community from supporting these guys? Why do we keep signing up for every OCR event on the market? It’s not like they are cheap days out … and those medical bills afterwards are even more costly …

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DNF: Ultra Aftermath.

I originally pictured the finish line as a goal.  But the real finish is so much further than the finish line.  Its at the Pickle Barrel for the after party.  Its Sunday when those racers take the field.  Its next month when people are still asking “Well how bad was it?  Really.”  Its next year at the Amesbury Sprint.  The NJ Super and at the Death Race.  The finish will be every single day after the race, whether its training for another race or just having a run.  It will be that sense of pride when I talk with these other crazy Spartans and we smile at the word “Crazy”.  The finish line is so much more than an inflated arch.  Its that accomplishment of completing the task, what ever the task maybe.”

The danger of writing something down is reflection.  I may or may not have created my own destiny.  Made a self-fulfilling prophesy, or simply slapped that bitch Karma one to many times on her ass.  For what ever reason I played till the chips were down, the house wasn’t dealing anymore cards, and they were calling in their marker.  They say you have to know when to hold ’em, fold ’em, walk away or run.  Well I didn’t hold, fold or walk.  They just wouldn’t let me run any more.  The Ugly lights got turned on and the race director Mike Morris said “Sorry folks the parks closed.  The Moose at the front should have told you

But the end never reflects the effort.  Even now in my head my mind is still running that course.  My body is in a battered state, yet I know if I could just throw on a pair of shoes I could drag myself back into a moving state. So where am I, what has happened, where to I go now.  Well the smart man goes to Google.  A smart woman taught me that.

Here’s what I found:  Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  These are the 5 accepted stages of grief and loss.  “Although presented in a set order, they are not necessarily experienced in that order. In addition, most people cycle through each stage multiple times.”  

Denial even my own initial reaction of telling myself “I am not denying this, I accept that I didn’t finish” is in fact the denial.  Its denying myself the pain of the not finishing, to try to jump over to acceptance and move on.  There’s nothing healthy about that.

Anger is easy I am full of it!  But what I am not full of is blame.  There is only one person responsible for me not finishing:  ME.  Not the course, I had the endurance to continue, even on a faster pace than my first lap.  Not Spartan Race;  they had a rule they enforced it, I fell on the wrong side of it.  I do not blame my friends who I freely chose to stay with, staying with them may have been the reason I had that second wind and the energy to go on.  No, blame is a selfish emotion, it finds fault in others and absolves the self of wrong.

Bargaining, I’ll be going through this little hell for a while.  Oddly enough not on the course.  When I started that second lap I damn well knew it was a “suicide run”  I had no idea how long I was going to be able to go, but I had a pretty good idea they weren’t going to let me get far.  I went anyway because that is what I came to do.

Depression.  Do I really need to delve into this one?  If your not up to speed on my thoughts on this by now read on it becomes self apparent.

Acceptance.  I accepted this long before I should have and this why I am writing.  I have accepted my DNF graciously.  And that is not the right way.  I do not and will not accept this as a defeat, as quitting, or as failing.  I simply ran but oddly enough ran out of time.

I was accepted to undertake a great challenge.  An experience for a life time.  In an activity that I truly love, I, me, the little runner that couldn’t was given the opportunity to bite off as much as I could, and choke on my own hubris.  The names I was set next to.  Athletes of the highest caliber.  Training regimes which rival Olympic athletes, even Olympic Athletes!  And me.  Chugga chugga pokey pokey 30 minute 5k. What the hell was I thinking.  26 miles over a mountain!  I really thought I could do it.  I prepared a little, had some quality equipment and my little bucket of round 2 items.

I’m not in the mood for writing a recap.  I will say when we started I felt like ass.  And I knew the initial accent would be tough.  I didn’t speculate that it would be as tough as it was.  But that first glorious down hill portion set the pace in my mind.  I was going to finish!  My character had other plans.  I fell back onto my personal training and habits, which is to place others first and myself second.  It wasn’t until it was too late did I make the hard choice to leave. It was personally my lowest moment.  After that I made a unbelievable accent to the summit, across it and then flew like a damn dive bombing eagle down the back side.  People complained how bad it was but I couldn’t tell you,   For myself I never saw it.  I looked at the ground for milliseconds at a time: Enough to decide if the foot hold would support 50% of my weight or less.  Yes Jesus walked on water but I was doing my damnedest to run over mud and stay clean.  My shoe and shirts swap at the Start/Finish zone ate some time, and I ate too.  Everything that was left in my pack and more.  I washed it down with warm PBR.  I looked on stunned at other runners who pulled the plug.  And I saw one undefeated soul.  We knew it was hopeless but out we went.  What took me hours earlier took less than 2 on my second lap.  We could have gone faster still but had linked up with yet another forlorn group.  It was all for not however.  Arguing with rules is not my style.  Being pulled was not a surprise or anything, we knew there would be time hacks.  That’s life.  Shit happens.

I only want one thing and one thing only.  Another shot at it.  In my personal life this is going to be twice as hard.  But I am a blessed man.  I am thankful for all that is set before me.  Challenges and rewards alike.  I just want a chance to fix my choices and be able to put the 100% at it again.  If I get some flak about that.  Than I might enter back into Anger.

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Ultra Beast: A few final thoughts before the Ultra.

I thought I wanted to blog about this coming weekend.  But couldn’t muster the energy.  I searched inspirational quotes.  Went over some old blogs.  Looked at other peoples blogs.  I noticed that a melancholy sense of apathy has set in.  My bin is packed.  Bags are packed.  Everything is prepped and waiting.  GPS is set.  Time to leave is set.  Emergency numbers and contact numbers programed.  Fridays events lined up.  Alarm set for Saturday.  Last “training” run has been done.  Rest period is in motion.  1 year of preparation, anticipation and aggravation is done.

At this time tomorrow I plan on sitting on my tail gate in the parking lot above the course, just like I did last year.  The Start and Finish line at the bottom of a very steep hill, will lay in front of me.  There will be an air of frantic energy as people put the final touches on the race.  The trick will be to not buy into that frenetic chaos. Later on at the Outback, there will be an all to familiar fraternity of racers boasting and retelling stories.  It will be wonderful. Hurricane Heaters, Trifecta Tribe members, those looking to complete the Trifecta, Beast Veterans and first timers.

On Saturday morning I will take my usual position at the back of the heat.  In front of me will be Championship racers and Ultra Beast Individual runners.  Behind me Team Ultra Beast Members will be waiting to fill that stockyard like pen behind the starting arch.  Every race is different.  Every race is the same.  Forward until its over.  This one will be holding the unique challenge of ending; only to start again and do it twice.  I have never done any race like this before.  I have never run this distance before.  I have however faced many challenges that will be replicated in this race.  I haven’t quit on them and have no plans to quit on Saturday.  If for nothing else to say yes, I did do that.

I originally pictured the finish line as a goal.  But the real finish is so much further than the finish line.  Its at the Pickle Barrel for the after party.  Its Sunday when those racers take the field.  Its next month when people are still asking “Well how bad was it?  Really.”  Its next year at the Amesbury Sprint.  The NJ Super and at the Death Race.  The finish will be every single day after the race, whether its training for another race or just having a run.  It will be that sense of pride when I talk with these other crazy Spartans and we smile at the word “Crazy”.  The finish line is so much more than an inflated arch.  Its that accomplishment of completing the task, what ever the task maybe.

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Dispatches from the Storm Front: HH-016 Amesbury, MA.

Zero dark thirty.  A parking lot somewhere or nowhere.  The air is damp.  Remnants of the previous evenings deluge still hangs off tree and person alike.  A black technical (thats a pickup truck for you non-military types) marks the make shift rally point.  Tommy Mac and his staff greet each HH’er collecting waivers and directing them to put excess gear into the back of the Technical.  This is the Hurricane Heat.  A team oriented pre-race heat for Spartan racers who need an extra adrenaline push before they start their race day.

HH-016 was special.  It marked the 1st anniversary of the original HH brought on by Hurricane Irene.  Where hearty souls took up Joe D’s challenge to run into the storm.  So successful was that first HH in 2011 that Spartan Race has run 16 more.  Yet again setting a standard for separating themselves from their competition.  By listening to their racers their Spartans most importantly their family.  All Spartan Racers are family.  HH’ers are like that awe inspiring Aunt or Uncle.  The one that shows up at birthday parties and holidays with strange gifts and stories from exotic places.  Their stories seep into your imagination until one day you decide you too need to go on an adventure too.  HH-016 was just that adventure for so, so many.

When Spartan Race says 0530 sharp with a start time of 0600 they mean it.  I learned on my first HH, HH-007, that you do not want to be late!  Not wanting to be that guy, I also learned being early is no prize.  Now I have just given in to the fact that early or late your going to be doing burpees, lots of burpees.

Along the dirt trail which makes up a nice piece of downhill on the course HHer’s were assembling. Breaking off into groups.  Strangers, pairs, small groups, Spartan veterans and previous HH’ers.  For me it was an internet reunion.  I couldn’t turn around without seeing someone I have ran with at a Spartan Race, HH, met at training camps, volunteered with at the DR, handed out flyers at an expo with, or met in Spartan FB pages.  Former co-workers, Fire Academy graduates.  This was like a small version of “This is your life 2011-2012”  Yeah I was more than happy.

Typical of every HH the forming of groups is paramount.  And staying with that group is the goal.  To work together.  Out of the 22 persons on team “Lost” I knew 4 prior to starting.  Because I am terrible with names I tend to characterize by apparel.  And Spartan did a great job of killing that for me by making everyone wear black.  I know now Dom was wearing his signature Orange hat.  Keith a blue back pack,  the 2 wonderful ladies from Canada who did not speak to much english, which didn’t slow team “Lost” in anyway, and Mikel who translated.  Sandy protected the eggs, Brig had a k-9 eaten Tough Mudder shirt, someone had a pack with the Zelda logo on it, Devin more hair on his face than on his head.  Steve all the way in from AZ who I was with at HH-007.  Our Team Captain with the epic left arm sleeve tattoo.  Lisa another DR racer, over coming injury to run.  Some other heavily accented Gents who could scale walls like Spiderman.  This partial list is brought to you by Aricept.  For those I can’t immediately recall my most sincere apologies.  Because Team LOST was, to date, my favorite team to have been a part of.  Micha Arnoulds team in AZ was hard to beat.  And Storm Chasers IN was a classy group.

Team Lost immediately grasped the concepts of team work and accountability.  Together we pushed, pulled, carried and motivated each other.  This is what the HH is all about.  Whether carrying a tire over water pits, assisting each other over walls or up ropes. Team Lost always put the mission first, never accepted defeat, never quit and never a left a fallen comrade.  I have read posts from those on Team Warrior, Team Ninja and The Storm Chasers.  The Warrior Ethos was plainly in use on every team.  Even “bleedover” teams were people got confused, and lost their original team.  They were quickly absorbed into another.  This is how the HH works because in the end we are all one team.

There are many exhaustive recaps of HH-016 online.  Very excellent recaps that cover each and every nuance of the course.  I love those recaps.  Mainly because I’m lucky if I can remember what I had for breakfast, so in reading their work I can relive moments which blew by me in a blur.  Those who can recall each obstacle and challenge certainly have superior memories to mine.  I don’t remember each challenge individually because my HH’s start the moment I try to sleep the night before, through the groggy sleep deprived drive to the Heat and then the awesomeness of the Heat itself.  I don’t take stock of the how many walls, pits, hills, ropes of burpees I did.  Much like a boxer doesn’t take inventory of the punches he threw or the hits he took.  He just keeps going till the bell rings or his gets bell rung.

Its time for you who have not done an HH to get off the fence.  There were so many first time Spartan first time HH’ers at HH-016.  You can do it.  I believe in you.  More than 150 people who turned out on Saturday believe in you.  You will never reach your limits if you don’t find out where they are.  To go further than you ever have you must first go to where you have never been.  Take the challenge run the Hurricane Heat.

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HH-011 Middle Ground

1800 hrs, 20 April 2012 Haspin Acres.  Laurel Indiana.  HH-011

Dispatches from the Storm Front.

Chasing a Storm can be a lot like chasing your tail.  Organizing runners is akin to herding cat’s.  Organizing Hurricane Heat Runners is like trying to herd cat’s while they are simultaneously trying to chase their tails, the wind, and each other.  Andy Weinberg, Joe DeSena and Tommy Mac definitely know this, and boy do they love the chaos.

HH-011 fit right in with the Founders race as a whole.  It was chaotic, dirty, wet and brutal.  The Chaos started right in the beginning and lasted right to the end.  Truth be told I have revised this blog many times.  At each revision it morphed into personal observations and internal issues.  That isn’t fair to those who participated in the HH or those who oversaw it.  I believe it was a success.  It was “fun” and as alway each person should have taken away something that will make them stay positive for a long time.

For me I tend to believe in the “Warrior Ethos”  which is the benchmark of the HH.

“I will always put the Mission first.”

“I will never admit defeat.”

“I will never quit.”

“I will never leave a fallen comrade”

These aren’t just words.  You don’t just say them.  You either believe them and act accordingly or you don’t say them at all.  In the small realm of the HH the “Mission” isn’t always apparent however there is always a primary directive in every HH which is also part of the ethos:  Finish the HH, never accept defeat, never quit.  Which brings us to the last part.  “Never leave a fallen comrade.”  This is where my blog has digressed numerous times.  It comes down to this.  A team is only as strong as its weakest link.  Or in these cases its slowest member.  Your job, as a team, is to encourage that person.  I’m not going to go into my tangent rant again. Just do it, stay together as a team.

It was a little difficult in this HH to keep the teams separated.  I’m not sure why but we seemed to be one massive swarm for the majority of the HH.  That was actually ok although personally I am more of a small group person.  It is easier for accountability, safety, and enjoyment.  Oddly enough those are my primary goals when I do anything.  Life is to short to get hurt while not having fun.

Going into details about what actually occurred during the HH isn’t really relevant.  HH’ters got wet, got dirty, climbed ropes, sat in nasty disgusting water.  And of course carried heavy objects and pushed the hell out of some ground.  If you are reading this and want insight into what to expect from an HH I will tell you this. Show up on time, with a smile.  Remember you chose to do this.  Be positive; always.  Leave your baggage at the door.  Be a team player, sacrifice for your team.  Chaos is an exponential factor:  Like a fire, chaos builds with the more air you give it so shut your mouth and open your ears.  Have fun.  If you can’t have fun by laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole thing, this really isn’t for you.  There are 3 types of fun.  There’s the type of fun you have while doing something and its fun to talk about after.  There’s fun that isn’t so much fun while your doing it but lots of fun talking about after.  Then there is the last type of fun.  Its not fun while your doing it and its not fun to talk about it after.  Keep your head in the game long enough to have the first 2 types of fun.  If your slipping into the third type.  Stop, take a breath, reassess the situation.  You might have missed something.

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Founders Race: Laurel, IN

 

Authors note:

I have about 80 different directions to approach this blog from.  I have narrowed it down to 3.  The next will be in:  Dispatches from the Storm HH-011 in http://maspahtens.wordpress.com and the third will either be in my personal blog or again here in MAspahtens.

CORN FED!!!

The founders race started from a couple of people hashing around on fb wanting a race, to getting Spartan Race to put their money where their mouth was, and bring a race to Indiana where it had been demanded.  For those of you sitting back and saying bring it to my state I give you this.  Its been said that if Moses won’t go to the mountain than the mountain has to go to Moses.  If your Moses and you think you can bring the mountain to you?   Good luck.  These Corn fed’s literally moved a mountain to get this race here.  It caused monumental strains on friendships, relationships and I think some Navy ships.  I could be wrong about the last part.  A warning to those of you who think Spartan race is just going to load up and bring their toys to your town.  You had better be ready to give every last drop of sweat, blood and tears to make it happen. And even if you are successful you will still have to measure up to the Corn Fed’s and that is one tall order.

FOUNDERS RACE

“Here is my take on it. I feel like people missunderstood what a Founder’s race was. Taking it back to the day when the Rad Dudes that thought up OCR. I imagine that there weren’t really any major obstacles expect nature. Nothing fancy. As the years have gone by, they have to up the anti and compete with the other OCRs and make it fancy. Since it’s my first one, I have no idea what it was like but I have a feeling I do now. It’s kinda like, “In the beginning….(insert biblical reference here)… there was cold shoe eating, slide on your butt, climb with your nails and lose a toe nail mud…and it was good.” This was a grass roots, a CORNFED Founder’s race. I didn’t do it for a medal (although it’s pretty), I did it for the accomplishment and I met some pretty darn good people along the way. Kinda restored my faith in mid-west culture.”

~ Melonie Judd  from the Cornfed!!! fb page 

There isn’t anything more to be said than what Melonie stated so eloquently.  This race was old school for sure.  They gave you a barbed wire crawl and two cargo net climbs.  After that it was old school kill you hills, dips, water pits, massive hay bales, pond swims, heavy log carrying. and straight forward nasty terrain. The weather alone should have turned people away.  Just barely in the 40’s over cast and windy enough to blow what little body heat you had into the next county.

There was no fan fare, no DJ not marketing flags strewn about making it look more like an amusement park than an OCR.  No Gladiators, no gimmicks or “signature” obstacles.  There was no inflatable finish line, shit the damn finish line was an obstacle. And this guy had to have his ass pushed over it!  The participants of this race were a special breed and they deserve all the accolades they can receive.  If you missed this race, you missed and epic weekend.   Don’t miss the next one.

POST RACE

This race is going to be the diamond of my race season.  Straight out of a kimberlite field still stuffed in quartz.  This diamond is more than in the rough it is still imbedded in rock.  No amount of polishing is going to make this rock shine, because it doesn’t need it.  If you can’t see this gem for its value you need to dig deeper within yourself.

At the end of the day I was privileged to meet many of who I can truly call my Corn Fed family.  Nathan Deaver and his wife Mary and their children.  Jonathan Nolan and wife Laura. Gary Cates 3rd place winner!   Storm Chaser Tim White and Mike from Syracuse.  Jason Moss, Christopher Kalfa, Denise Healy-Hall, Christie Berg-Nelson, all the Kendall’s.  Hobie Call as a person and not a name.  And of course many of the Spartan race staff.  Tommy Mac, Andy Weinberg, Jeremy and the uncrushable Todd Sedlack.  I am missing so many others I feel aweful not mentioning them.  Lastly I would like to thank my MASpahtens co-runners who drank the Corn syrup and came down with me Eric and Jeremy they made this happen for me because a 16 hour drive is not damn joke!