Spartan Race – Killington Beast 2015

* From: Christine sylvester
* Event: Killington beast
* Date: 2015-09-19

* Event Details
Parking: same old 10 bucks to park. We ended up parking in the lot near where the fair grounds were last year which was slightly unfortunate because it was futter away but it wasn’t too bad because it gave us a warm up before the race.

Vendors: didn’t see many of the vendors because we showed up late to our initial heat so we booked it to get into the next running heat. Was glad to see the phat Italian trucks was there though. Great food from them!

Facilities: registration went pretty smoothly, they moved bag check inside one of the killington ski resort buildings and had you place you bag and then retrieve it later, which I definitely liked. Made things a bit easier in my mind.

Schwag: nice new killington specific medals were awesome! Standard beast finishers shirt.

* Race Details
I was initially very excited going into this race. It would be my 5th time running it, and it being a founders race it had to be great and interesting right? Turns out to be not the case. This may have been my least favorite killington course of the 5 (since 2011) and was definitely the most boring and disappointing. They boasted it was going to be “so much harder and challenging than 2014” but they really didn’t compare. Yes the terrain was challenging but the obstacles were very lackluster to me. If I wanted to go hike rugged steep single track terrain all day I wouldn’t have paid a fee and I would’ve just stayed home and hiked or gone to the white mountains or something.

Course: typical “13+” mile course up and down the steep sections of killington. We started the race essentially going up the extremely steep hill under the ski lifts that was our death march around mile 9 last year, which in a way I almost sickly enjoyed. Most of the rest of the courses up and down hills were through the woods which I loved, because let’s be serious, no one likes hiking up open ski slopes. However bottle neck ing was a very big issue with the single track terrain. Many people didn’t want to wait and would try to either barrel people down or scout their own path which got to be dangerous.
Obstacles were as usual spaced either too much apart where you’d go miles without seeing one or they were all clumped together.
Water stations were awful and extremely disorganized. We were being told we couldn’t fill up our packs at certain ones and when we got to the said “pack filling stations” they ran out of water. Racers were without water for a lot of this course which is kinda dangerous. Why tell us to bring packs if we can’t even use them? Yes in the past this course was unsupported and there would only be 2 or 3 stations but those were there so you could fill your pack, not give out a millions cups.

I was extremely disappointed in these obstacles. To me the whole “founders race” thing just seemed like code for “we don’t have much of a budget for this race because we are spending it all on tahoe, here’s all the old shitty walls we don’t use anymore, oh and a bunch of logs and barbed wire.” There were lots of heavy carries which was to be expected but to me it was just boring. Many of the walls were very shaky and didn’t seem sturdy climbing over them. Barbed wire crawls were very long which just got boring. Both rope climbs were basically a joke. It looked like they didn’t dig anything and had pretty much no mud and suprisingly no water obstacles. Was the hottest killington race and they only had us go in the water at the end as a “trudge”. All and all a very lackluster set of obstacles, I wasn’t impressed and hone st ly just found myself getting bored, frustrated and annoyed.

Overall: Ive said it multiple times in this review, I was so disappointed with this race. Killington has always had the reputation of being a tough course that sets out to challenge and break you mentally and physically. This had to be the worst killington course I’d ever run. Between the disorganization and no creativity with the course or obstacles, it was just boring and annoying. Just because the world championship isn’t there anymore doesn’t mean the course quality should drop that dramatically. They spent so many years giving killington such a reputation and now it just seems a shadow of its former self.

* Rating
Below Average


* From: michael downey
* Event: spartan race – killington beast
* Date: 2015-09-19

* Event Details
parking is easy since there are so many lots on the mountain so the earlier you arrived the better your spot was.

going into the next section for most of 2015 i have been seeing and feeling that Spartan Race has really been trying to save money and make cuts here and there and some of them really feel like there cutting corners at the customers expense
facilities is where i am going to say there were somewhat decent in areas to flat out sucked. Yet again there were issues with the showers, at the Barre sprint a month ago on Saturday they ran out of water for a while and then on sunday they couldent keep the pressure of the showers for more than 30 seconds at a time. So once again this past weekend they ran out of fuel for the generators for the showers for for atleast a part of the afternoon they were not working yet again, not sure why they keep having problems in what should be a simple area to run.

Schwag is another place i feel they swung and missed. Granted they had a new open side truck used as the merch booth where you could go in and browse and touch and size up the products and not have to keep bothering people. But to the surprise of really no one there was a big run on trifecta gear that day and a lot of the items were either sold out or odd sizes only. I would think who ever the merch / retail manager is should know that this race is a big weekend for people earning trifecta status and would be more in demand and might want to have more stock than normal. Also by late afternoon i was hearing from several people that they ran out of 2 and 3 x trifecta medals so you had some people coming in during the evening a little upset that they could not get there nice medal that day

* Race Details
ok so about 2 weeks before the race spartan announced this would be a ” founders race” . what that means normally is it more of a natural obstacle and trail style race. you wont see the giant structures for the rope climbs or the bridges and such. But i have a feeling that part of the reason this was a founders race was because the lack of obstacles available for use due to the Nj super taking place the weekend before about 300 miles south and the world championship also in 2 weeks. This race started over at ramshead and worked your way over to K1 doing O.U.T. and a over of a 5 ft log. once you got to k1 you started to head north ALL the way up to the peak to start off the race. this is a very long drawn out steep path to the top and will slow down even the best of people for a bit. once you reached the peak you saw your first obstacle a modified spear throw of one hale bay on the ground but with the added difficulty of a good 10-15mph wind cutting across the peak making it a bit harder to throw the spear. After that we got to the first obstacle back up ( A Common theme of the day) due to poor planing the sandbag carry, by the time we got there they were out of sand bags and we were in a line of atleast 50 deep waiting for people to come up and take there bag. After that you then proceeded to give back all that elevation you just gained and went all the way back down to the K1 base. By the time we made it to there it was about 10am and the water station looked like a bar at a popular night club and since they were already running low of water we could not refill our camel baks and that we could refill packs at the next water stop in a mile and a half ( something i was told by people who finished they were told a lot) . we are 4 miles in after doing over 2000ft of elevation climb so most people personal water supply was being used well i myself was under 50% . in between that mile and a half was some more up and down the mountain a 7ft wall and barbed wire crawl. By the time we made it to that stop they were only allowing people who were bone dry to refill there packs, so your about 5.5 miles in and only at the second water stop and most have not had a chance to refill there hydration packs and most people are only carrying 3l of fluid. I really do not know why it was 4 miles before the first stop and think in doing so that just caused a chain reaction of people taxing the water stations, i really dont know why a water station was not put at the peak that would have really taken some stress off the situation. This is also another area where spartan made changes this season and is just not working well for them. in previous years they had palets of 5 gallon jugs at each station for water but this year they have just had these large plastic containers for water.

Next up was the bucket carry. another place where bad planning showed. its about 1130-noon by the time we make it here and we could see a blue shirt ( SR staff member) cutting the path in half in order to speed up getting buckets back to people who are waiting for them, but from what people were telling me the blue shirt at the base was telling people ALL the way up and down and the blue shirt up there was telling people only take the half path so there seemed to be some confusion between staff and just upsetting runners.

By this point i was done and had tapped out and was just schuffling along to get myself to a access road so i could flag down a vehicle for getting me off that mountain. so from this point i am just going to include info i heard from other runners just to make sure it gets posted incase they do not do reviews. Reports i got from a friend were the obstacle back ups just got worse and worse and some of the lines were in excess of 30 mins to get there shot and that the water situation only got worse and came with very long lines and even one of the stops being bone dry and were told each time there is another stop a mile and a half away.

i am sure a lot of the back ups were caused by heat jumpers. as much work as spartan puts into avoid heat jumping in all reality it is not all that hard to pull off and for a race of this scale people are going to do what they can to give themselves a edge. i saw people all over the festival area with the rainbow collection of sharpies and fixing there time. two solutions to fix this, maybe offer a early AM start time of like 5-6am for open class runners. Or instead of bib numbers going alphabetical order have them go by time so elites get #1-400 and then the first open class gets 500-700 and so on

overall i think people really enjoyed this race but there were more than a few logistical issues with this race that if more time and thought gets put into thinking they could avert. i think maybe add a logistics director to work with the race director so when they put a course together the logistics person can make some adjustments to reduce issues

* Rating