Spartan Race – UT Beast 2014


* From: Bob Landman

* Event Details
( i hope you like reading War and Peace, or it seemed that long when i first started writing this) …A review at 39000 feet. Spartan Beast Salt Lake City Utah. Taking full advantage of our season passes and maximizing our Trifecta pursuits this yr, we followed Horace Greeley’s advice and went west. In reading the NES reviews of Ct, I’d say the decision was a good one. Being a non-runner( just a competitior) I always fear the longer races. The 2 additional things I feared were the heat and the elevation, maintaining hydration and not cramping up. Hoping the twice weekly visits to bikram yoga and occasional elevation mask use( not trying to spark a debate, just saying what we did) would help us adapt and be successful. Having a 45 min layover in denver last yr, i felt lightheaded walking around the airport there, hence the anxiety knowing , more or less what i had ahead of me. SLC too is about a mile up and the venue Soldier Hollow was actually 5800 feet , at th
e base…. im not a skier so the only time im at the top of a mountain more than 1000 ft up is when SR puts their course there.. Soldier Hollow was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Biathlon, and if you read the race day page on, they suggested you might be doing some shooting( i was even more excited than i was when i first saw the video in 2010 of hobie throwing a spear at this new thing called Spartan Race) We stayed in Provo and the venue was easy to find( mapquest was spot on). Got in a day early and even drove up to Mt.Timpanogos( elev 8060 ft) for a crash course in elevation…For those of you Ragnarians, there was a RR, that went through SH on Saturday,as we saw some of the runners,..Usual parking situation onsite, 1/4-1/2 mi to festival area. Time to register. SR tried something new, if your last name started with A-F, you got an email with a barcode which you needed printed out or on your smartphone, and would be assigned a bib onsite. So m
y check in took less than a minute, Cheryls about 15 minutes, Big time-suck, impacted prerace warmup…It was faster than raceday registration but still very slow, big fail imo.. Figuring this was a beast, maybe 5-6000 racers, so maybe 1000-1500 fell into this group and it was bad before 8 am, can you imagine trying this at Amesbury or Tuxedo, pandemonium would ensue., i think with this model you would need many more volunteers to be at reg. Venue had usual bag check, merch tent with some race specific shirts and swag( i should start getting some , to vary with all my finisher shirts) , builders bar, core power etc. Band playing music. We all do these for our own personal reasons, i always set time goals, My rule of thumb is 2H= double hobies time and you get mine,. He finished last yr in 90 min so i was hoping for 3-3.5 hrs.I realize SR always changes up aspects of the course, i use that as relative guidance. I was figuring it wouldnt be 7.5 hrs like the
Vt Beast last yr. Corral seemed a little more snug. TC got us going with Shipping up to Boston, which i havent heard at the start of an SR for the longest time…..So we are off, couple hundred yds in shoe sucking mud pit.. then up a little hill, OUOUOUT, with variations on the height of the wall and going under net vs under wall. Then they sent us up the mountain, more or less single track up another 700 ft. ( so we are at 6500 feet now) and even though we started at 8:45 , 4th wave of the day, there were times the line up the hill went so slow we had to stop ,probably 3/4 mi trip up the hill , past the 1 mi mark ( theyre sending off the 9 am racers, got here in 15 min im feeling good)…..Across the top and then downhill narrow single track, dry dusty dirt and smooth rocks . We would revisit this mountain 2 more times from different approaches later on in the day. then down the mountain lateral switchbacks ( please forgive me if i forget some obstacles).
.. standard 6 and 7 foot walls. At around 3 mi,( very obstacle heavy over the next mile) tractor pull, block considerably larger and heavier , maybe 100 yd loop . then atlas carry, felt lighter than previous, run down hill for rope climb, and even before this im noticing in the areas id run im not able.( cant seem to keep a pace) always feels good to ring the bell, then came the cargo net over water ring bell… netting was thinner than at tuxedo and i realized i was in trouble very quickly …. post burpee, herc hoist, again thinner rope, but no problem otherwise, then there was a tire hoist, 2 tires tied by a rope suspended over the side of a bridge, maybe 20 feet down, you had to pull them up so the tires even with toes and then reverse.. Spearman nailed and then off to more of ” i can’t believe im not running, ( even slowly)” . 8 foot wall, ( where i did my good deed and helped 2 other people over the wall) At this point im feeling 3 hrs wasnt going
to happen, and now my goal was to beat my Tx Beast time( 4:45) … More trail running at this point, interesting convos you come across, some guy was talking to a woman he knew, apparently he was on ANW, Venice Beach , and while he started 15 min after me i figured he would be blowing through the course( especially after hearing about the Spartan racers who havent made the cut for ANW) but i digress….Sent us up that stupid mountain a second time , felt steeper and slower. Down around mile 6 log hop. Bucket brigade, not as high as killington, and thankfully not the peagravel they had in Tx, which made it so much heavier… Sandbag carry,,… Around mile 7 traverse wall, half way through my hands were like , not having any more of this, almost surreal. while im doing burpees, notice a finisher , very muddy… Post burpee, tire flip, and back through the trails,( if you looked over to the right you could see the mile 12 marker) at mile 8 marker, i hear the 1
130 wave being sent out approx 2:45 may still have this… slight uphill trail, then the gamble., mudpit to the left or high knee through tire on the right with a longer run, i went right, some more open trail and then the mountain for the final and steepest time at some points close to 30 degree grade…..first time in my life i actually got to the side so other racers could pass me, felt their times shouldnt suffer because i am going slow as sin…..down the hill, this is where i should be running but my legs are not doing what my mind is telling them to. ….At mile 12 second rope climb, easy enough, made the first…grip said nope , the one time i should have put my gloves on mightve made it….post burpee, theres a mud pit and i can see the slippery wall ( knowing the promised land is just beyond) . The mudpit isnt very rocky or soupy mucky but wet and im quite sure there was crazy glue mixed in, and the barbed wire was higher than usual…..i was easily able t
o roll the first half without any problems, but i did notice my shoes are getting more and more caked , probably added half a pound of mud each. the slippery wall was by far the most difficult one i ever had to deal with. actually a volunteer, braced the back of my feet( without my asking, not complaining) ….. fire jump, cant believe i made it over barely, probably cleared log by 1 inch, and my first tri of the yr. 4:07, ( hobie finished 2:03 or 2:08 i believe. ) . The mud was ridiculous to get off, im sure hampton inn wont let us back not matter how we tried to clean the bathroom…… OK , what DIDNT they have….Shooting( bummer) , Memory challenge- realized that around mile 8, figured they wouldnt throw it in then , Tyrolean Traverse, Hobie Hop, Swimming.. There were i believe 5 hydration stations on the course, my pack was filled with 2 liters water with electrolytes, drank at every station,, got salt at 1 for good measure, and had 1 liter of my wa
ter, 2 GU’s, 2 mustard packets, gave away 1 mustard, to someone who was cramping….Only cramp i got was in mud pit 50 yds from end, really…. I will come back again, in better condition, did the altitude get to me , likely….i figured that it would hit me like a baseball bat, but rather it was more subtle , walked more than 50% of course, and not by choice….The course was very spectator friendly , only place didnt see any were on the woods/trails…I think next time make a vacation out of it, show up a week early ,sight see, train a little there so elevation is less a surprise, If you go, you need to go to Antelope Island and see the Bison….. Heard numerous racers claim it was tougher than last yrs, can neither confirm nor deny, including a TSA agent on the way out today… I always like finishing , and though i hate running, i wouldntve objected to it being longer or having more obstacles ( i guess the thin air hasnt totally left my system) See you
in Palmerton… ( wouldve gotten Excellent except for the registration experiment)

* Race Details

* Rating
Above Average

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