* From: Stephen Rodericks
* Event Details
parking was really close by, i heard 2 miles away, and that sounds about right, a few minuets away, and i did not wait for a shuttle, just in line to get on one. They had plenty of vendors there with some good looking food, i did not buy any, but they had good options, taco stand, pigs being roasted, giant pretzels. typical spartan swag, medal, headband, beer, the usual.
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the race was awesome! It was about 8.5 miles, and it felt like it was all up the mountain. obstacles were placed so that the fun stuff was all at the bottom, rope climb, traverse wall, bucket brigade, spear throw, sand bag carry. great for spectators as usual. they know how to line up the tuff stuff so that they burn out body parts like arms (sand bag carry, bucket brigade, traverse wall, rope climb, spear throw) all close to each other. I definitely think that the mountain was one of the harder obstacles. this was a hard one, but rewarding as well! (my first super so i can not compare to any others) And Finally, yes due to threat of a thunder storm we were held on course, has to be brought up. the emloyees held the race for about 15 min, and shut down a bunch of obstacles, it stinks but hey they did not want to add any risk, to a risky race, understandable. i was annoyed because i can not compare my time to that of my friends who were just ahead of me, and would have been mu
ch closer to a finishing time. but i know what my time was, had a blast, concurred the super with a big grin on my face, and happy as hell that i got to play on another spartan race
* From: Nate DeMontigny
* Event Details
As I drove up to the venue, it was obvious where the VIP parking was. There were no markings, right away, that the non-VIP had to keep going. After a little distance though there were a couple signs and I found the Sandy Hill lot. The bus was already waiting, I hopped on and less than ten minutes it pulled back into the VIP lot I had seen.
Registration was simple and was moving fluid, they’ve got this down by now so no need to harp on anything here. I do have to say, if I were a volunteer there would definitely be times I was crazy after hearing the same questions over and over and over… But, they signed up for it! 🙂
Vendors were typical of Spartan nowadays. There was Reebok, Core Power, etc. That said, there was a local food vendor that had some eclectic offerings. There were open pit pigs, huge pretzels and other things you don’t typically see. Even though I don’t eat pig I thought it was an interesting touch.
Schwag? Well it was Sunday and usually they are sold out of stuff. It seemed like they had a good stock though. I didn’t spend much, if any, time at the schwag booth though.
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This was my first Super. I was a little nervous to be honest. But, having the biggest team tent to rub elbows with fellow Spahtens made it all the better.
The course was pretty brutal. Sitting here 24 hours after getting home the DOMS are setting in and my knees and toenails are putting a sever hating on me! The trails were super technical most of the way. The hills and ascension of said hills made most of those I saw, walk! Hell, some of the hill descends were downright sadistic as well. I loved that it was not easy, if you want that than find one of the shtick races that cater to fun. This was a challenge from the get go. Heck, the starting line was on a hill! Not at the bottom but up the hill, and it kept going, and going… There is a reason these guys are one of the leaders in OCR, they pull no punches and make you work.
The obstacles were typical of Spartan, but some I didn’t see in the shorter Sprint in Amesbury were the atlas stone carry, the log hop, log carry and water crossing. I think there might have been one or two more but these one’s stuck out. The layout of some of the walls was treacherous, as the were on an angle and made the leap up a bit more difficult. I nailed some things I normally don’t and failed some things I normally do. I think that’s all up to how they lay out the course, and how they tax your muscle groups.
Difficulty… now I can’t say this is a newbie race, but if you started out in a wave very early, you could do the course by nightfall. It was challenging and you definitely should get a sprint or two under your belt. If it is your first OCR, than good job!
I loved the race, just hoping a super is closer to home next year!
* From: MA Velez
* Event Details
Parking: I parked VIP & it was perfect
Facilities: good water pressure this year at the showers.
Vendors: didn’t get to any
Biggest tent was a big haven for us!
* Race Details
The course was well thought out. The first mile sucked with the heat & incline but every few obstacles was met with a water obstacle that was refreshing & brought a relief from the heat. I appreciated the ample water breaks & was able to top off my camelbak (anyone who races without a water source just isn’t thinking smart if you are not an elite athlete who finishes in under 2 hours… Seriously always use something to get you through!)
The cess pool wade was disgusting & gross. I have no idea why that would be considered a good obstacle with a major pipe under water & it looked like it was full of poop (consider it was right next to a horse farm). But every other obstacle on there was awesome, challenging & doable with or without assistance if you could do it. I would have liked to have seen the Tarzan rope obstacle like at Amesbury. I took this course nice & slow as I was using this to prep for the beast. Great course. Loved it.
Kids Course: challenging for the kids. Gave a great variety of obstacles with a nice sample of what the adults go through. It was more challenging than Amesbury according to my kids team. They were happy & muddy.
* From: michael downey
* Event Details
parking was the same as last year about 2 miles north of the venue and a 5 mins bus ride to registration. nothing really exciting for vendors and the schwag is the same as all other events this season with the exception of the venue specific shirt
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this venue is very nice offers some great up and down hill trails as well as some good flat land areas i give the venue and trails a A+ . where my low marks come in are the obstacles themselves. if you have run one spartan you know what your going to see they almost never mix it up and they had a few new obstacles this year but only have been at one north east venue. so without them switching things up of you you did the spartan in amesbury in aug you got the same obstacles just more spread out. also was not a fan of how shallow the under mud wall was at the barbed wire crawl i am used to it being chest/ neck deep this one was waist deep at best, also thought the atlas stone could have been placed better and not on a slope and in my time in that zone saw a few stones roll down the hill a bit and once a 100lb stone gets going there not exactly easy to stop. also one other other bit id like to address was the weather and the apprent shutting down of the course, my group must ha
ve fallen just inbetween a odd spot where we cleared through a zone (rolling mud) and no warning of a closure or issues and by the time we reached the water stop before the swim zone we could hear a lot of thunder and could catch glimpses of the skygetting darker but by the time we reached the water stop the stoppage was lifted and only water obstacles were shut down still. i think with them full well knowing the advance weather report it might have been wise in those longer trail sections with no real staff maybe create a maned station so if the weather did turn there would be a better chance to guide and assist racers.
* From: Josh Chace
* Event Details
This past weekend was the Bosto… I mean, Tri-State Super that will be the keystone in a lot of NE Spahten’s trifecta for 2014 and that little blue piece of the pie will be felt long after your last step on the 8.5 mile course @ Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon, NJ.
The Tri-State Super has become a staple in the team’s race calendar, some making this their third trek to upstate New Jersey (which, I must say, is quite beautiful compared to other parts of the state). This was my first venture to the venue and while it was very different than other’s I’ve attended, it had both good and bad sides to it.
The day for me began early. Race day jitters kept me up all night so I decided to head over to the venue first thing that morning. I wanted to once again see the Elite Men and Women get underway and hear the rumblings of what they thought of the course, etc. I managed to grab parking on site for the standard $10 fee and was guided to the back of the field next door to the race site. Quite a long walk from the car to the registration tent which going in wasn’t bad, but leaving made sure you felt every aching step. The parking area was also utilized for waivers, bib number postings, and registration which filtered you right across the street to the ski lodge that acted as the buffer between the parking and festival area. The biggest thing I noticed first was the layout. It was a smaller area than most races have but Spartan utilized each inch as best they could. They had showers and bathrooms off to the side out of the way. They crammed vendors, merch, DJ stage, the Biggest T
eam Tent (once again claimed by the New England Spahtens) all into a small alleyway that ran adjacent to several obstacles. Spectators could get excellent views of several obstacles like the Bucket Brigade, Traverse Wall, Rope Climb, Spear Throw, Tractor Pull, Fire Jump and Finish Line. Not a bad set up all things considered but the lack of grass on the ground made for a “dust bowl” effect as you walked around the festival area. My Inov-8’s were already quite dirty and I hadn’t even crossed the start line yet!
The course itself was sprawled across 8.5 miles of the mountains and through the wilderness of the resort. The starting coral was situated on the side of a hill that was a test just to get to in and of itself. After the start the uphill climb continued, literally. The over-under was the only thing in the way before getting to the top of the mountain where a 6 foot wall hid your first foray into the mud. What had to be a good 100-yd crawl ensured that you weren’t going to start or end this day clean. Also, the typical “plunge” under the barbed wall was at the beginning of the race, which actually was a welcome thing considering we were looking at race time temperatures of 90+ degrees and humidity that was off the charts. The obstacles came quickly after that as well. The Monkey Bars were next, where Spartan continues to use the offset bars where you’re reaching further up and out to get to each of the next few bars. As if the plain old schoolyard monkey bars aren’t h
ard enough! The Hercules Hoist, always a favorite of mine, was next followed by a few big mud pools and then a handful of walls, but straight and inverted. Atop the mountain there was a lake that Spartan guided us through which was a great break amongst the blazing afternoon sun. You had to wade into the water, climb onto the dock in the middle and then jump off the other side and swim to the other beach. Spartan had life jackets for us non-aqua living individuals and life guards on hand across the pond. Thanks for that! After you cooled down with a dip in the lake, you were greeted with a 28% grade climb where you were given logs to carry up and down the trail, followed by a quarter mile sandbag carry, and a few more walls. All of this was just a warm-up for what was ahead though. After running, err, tumbling to the bottom of the mountain you came back to the festival area where the Bucket Brigade was waiting to (puts on Ivan Drago mask) “break you!” The carry wasn’t
long by any means but the combination of the incline, the heat, and the humidity made this a killer. There were folks sitting atop their buckets gasping for air, piles of rocks from buckets gone astray from their handler, and even more individuals who gladly opted for the route of the Burpee, in lieu of carrying these God forsaken buckets. After that you were immediately met by the traverse wall, rope climb, and spear throw back-to-back. Think it’s easy to throw a spear? Sure. Try it when your body is shaking from relentless upper and lower body torture minutes before. After these handful of obstacles you were greeted with one final death march. Another scaling of the mountain broken up only by a tire drag and log jump, before you were in the home stretch. The Tractor Pull was a short uphill loop and then a short sprint to the bear crawl, slick wall, and final fire jump before you get to claim your glorious reward… BANANAS! I mean.. your Finisher Medal! All in all it wa
s a great course, relentless unforgiving elevation and mileage and the weather made for a day that I am still feeling now as I type this.
Course – A-
Spartan made great use of Mountain Creek Resort’s terrain; from the moment you approached the start line your legs were screaming for mercy and the views from atop the mountain made you long to be back at the bottom, beer in hand, banana in belly.
Organization – B
Spartan is moving more towards making these events spectator friendly but their alley of Bucket Brigade, Traverse Wall, Rope Climb and Spear Throw made for a very crowded area which was difficult to navigate while people were attempting their obstacles.
Festival area was smaller than most areas but organized well and of course the team tent perk is always a plus especially when noontime temperatures were beating down on us.
Atmosphere – A+
Spectators definitely got in on the show. The Rope Climb was a favorite for them to enjoy and encourage their favorite racer or random athlete who needed that little extra motivation. You could hear the festival area cheering from halfway up the hill.
Overall – A-
Spartan is a staple in Jersey for the Super and they’ve done a great job utilizing the space they’re given for the event. They could have done a better job spreading some obstacles out to avoid bottlenecking runners but this may have only been an issue here because they wanted TV to get some good footage of obstacle after obstacle.
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