I was very pleased with the new venue for the Las Vegas super this year. The course had a mix of sandy sections with a nice river run. Then the second half the course got out of the sand and moved into some cattle fields and up into some foothills. Then the course ended in a motorcross arena.
The spear throw was early in the race and a small group arrived at about the same time. 3 of us nailed this obstacle and 3 missed. That was where Glenn, Chad, and I pulled away. As we were nearing mile 3 I knew I needed to pull away but both Chad and Glen were running well. So I started to move out a little but I quickly lost my lead when my plate drag was caught on a clump of grass and wouldn’t budge. Thats always a little frustrating. I got through the obstacle with about a 10 foot lead – this was somewhere around the 4.5 mile mark.
At this moment I felt a great urgency to break away so that’s what I attempted to do. Glenn was holding on strong and didn’t give much ground but by mile 5.5 I had gotten over 100 meters lead. I knew it wasn’t near enough in an obstacle race so I continued to push the pace. The last 2 miles was stacked pretty good with some tough obstacles. It went from sand bag carry to a double barb-wire crawl, then bucket carry to rig, and on to the traverse rope, rope climb, to Herculean hoist and on to the fire jump and finish. I remained unscathed through this gauntlet of obstacles and ended up winning with a time of 1:00.56. I’d like to thank Spartan Race for a great venue and inov-8 for the shoes.
I had a pretty fun race weekend with family and friends in Arizona. Great race between Hunter McIntyre and myself. We switched leads throughout the 4.5 mile course. I knew it was going to be an interesting finish when neither one of us could pull away with 400 meters to go. He threw the spear 1 second before I did. But I figured I could pass him on the rig. I did take the lead for a second but I did a 360 on the last ring and lost a couple steps. Those steps were the race decider. We stayed dead even on the z-walls, tunnels, dunk wall, ramp, and fire jump. And there you have it- Great race Hunter McIntyre! Ryan Kent put in a courageous effort after missing the start of the race. They started the race a few minutes early.
Coming into the OCR World Championships I felt as unprepared as I did running my first Spartan race. I knew that there would be quite a few obstacles that I knew from Spartan races but I also knew there would be some that I had never seen before.
The race started fast, faster than I wanted to go at the beginning of a 10 mile course with 53 obstacles. So Ryan and John started out fast and I didn’t follow them like I should have. You’d think I would have learned my lesson by now to let two athletes of that ability get away, but I did. Looking back now, I don’t know if it would have mattered much. Their obstacle proficiency was clearly better than mine. Hopefully next time, I will be more at their level of obstacle proficiency.
In the first 5-6 miles Hobie Call and I were back and forth. I would pass him on the hills and he would pass me on the obstacles. It was very discouraging to see myself losing that much ground on the obstacles but at least I know what I need to improve on. As the race progressed I did solidly pull into 3rd place behind Ryan Atkins but I could see several foreign racers close behind and I knew that in order to stay in 3rd I would have to shoot for 2nd. So I tried to focus on Ryan and not those who were coming on strong from behind.
There were several obstacles that if it weren’t for the help of spectators I may not have passed. I was trying to go up the Monkey bar hill faced forward just using my arms. I had no idea until someone yelled at me that I needed to turn around and use my legs. If it wasn’t for Brakken Krakker telling me how to do the “Tip of the Spear” I may not have stayed in 3rd place. I was going to go over the wall, I didn’t realize that I had to traverse across the the wall with the ropes. Call me stupid for not knowing how to do all the obstacles but remember, there were 53! And I had never seen a “Tip of the Spear” obstacle before. I guess I learned the importance of researching different obstacles and how to do them, I just didn’t spend my time doing that.
The last 200 meters were probably the scariest of all. There was a slick, frosted ramp wall that I tried and slipped off the first time. The 2nd time I slipped again and I could see Conner from the UK coming quickly and I knew I had to get it now or lose my podium spot. I sprinted for all that I was worth and jumped and caught the wall just as he was approaching. With two more obstacle to go, I pushed hard and finished in 3rd place. This was probably the happiest I’ve ever been taking 3rd place.
Spartan put on another great World Championship this year located at Lake Tahoe California. On Saturday morning the weather was about as good as we could ask for at such a high elevation. Don’t get me wrong, I was plenty cold on the starting line and I knew the swim would be far from warm.
The race started with a wicked pace from several elite road racers. I did go faster than I wanted to in order to get into position but I kept the pace within reason. In the first mile, the monkey bars wreaked havoc on almost everyone in front of me. That was the most guys at one time I had ever seen fail the monkey bars. Probably because it was the hardest set of monkey bars I had ever done.
From that point it was myself, Robert Killian, and Ryan Atkins in the lead. I felt pretty good and we were headed for the top of the mountain. At this point I tried to relax a little and take in the scenery. The single track was awesome as it wound it’s way up the mountain. I was feeling pretty good and had started to open a little gap between myself and Robert Killian.
I was feeling more confident and ready to win a World championship. We were pressing near 4 miles when we came to the herculean hoist. I wasn’t the least bit concerned about this obstacle. I had passed it every time in the past summer and I knew I could do it without a problem. So it was with this mindset that I approached this obstacle and started to pull. It only took a couple tugs to realize that the rope was smaller and slicker than normal. I got the sandbags ¾ of the way and I couldn’t grip the rope. So rather than spend a lot of extra time I drop the sandbag and ran to the burpee box. I had finished my burpees just as Ryan Atkins had finished passing this obstacle and Robert Killian had a substantial lead. I sped past Ryan in attempt to catch back up to Robert but Robert wasn’t going to let me come back on him that easy it took from mile 4 to mile 9 to finally catch back up.
So here we were running together again but it was mostly down hill and I wasnt feeling nearly as sharp as I knew I should have been. We came into the swim together and he gained a little bit on this section of the course. Coming out of the water my body wasn’t working nearly as good as it was going in. I could feel my calves wanting to cramp and things just weren’t working right. Robert gained about 50 yards and I was starting to get concerned. I knew that I needed to eat or drink something soon because my energy was very low. I hadn’t eaten or drunk much of anything up to that point and I didn’t dare take the time to at that point. But as we approached the spear throw I started feeling better. I was gaining once again on Robert and knew that I would catch him at the atlas or traverse rope.
Sure enough Robert and I were neck and neck coming into the spear throw. Robert threw first and hit and I rushed my throw and missed. I knew after 30 more burpees my chance of coming back were pretty much gone. I finished my burpees still in 2nd place but my energy was gone. I knew it would only be a matter of time before Ryan Atkins would reel me in. The last 3 miles were all downhill and very fast and I knew he would be coming like a freight train. About a ½ mile from the finish line I came to the bucket carry and knew that this was where my 2nd place finish would fade. I normally love the bucket carry but not this day, I had nothing left! I actually had to set my bucket down! I have never had to set my bucket down in a carry but I guess there is a first time for everything. So Ryan Atkins goes on down to 2nd place and I wobble through the multi-rig to finish 3rd place.
I would like to thank my sponsors: Spartan for everything they do for the sport and their elite athletes. Inov 8 for my amazing shoes and Ultra Race 1 Hydration belt. Gnarly and Beet elite for the nutritional strength needed to compete at this level.
I also want to congratulate Robert Killian and Ryan Atkins for their amazing performances and thank them for pushing me to do my best!
I had a pretty great race in New Jersey this last weekend. There were some of the greatest obstacle racers in the world lined up to run this Jersey Super.
The race started tough, with about a mile and a half uphill. Robert Killian went out pretty fast in the first mile and the rest of the pack followed about 50 to 70 meters behind. I decided about 3/4 of a mile in that I needed to move up with Robert and get into the race. So at about 1.5 miles in, I had finally caught up with Robert and we ran together for a few minutes. Then I decided to push the pace and start to put a gap on everyone. I was very surprised at how well Robert was running – he wasn’t letting me get away.
I had gained a small gap coming into the spear throw. I hit my target and took off. I didn’t realize Robert had missed but it didn’t matter, because I knew there would be some other great runners coming fast. It wasn’t until I hit the bucket that I was finally able to see the lead I had gotten. It wasn’t as big as I had hoped but it was a good start. I knew the hard obstacles were yet to come. I tried to keep in mind that even though we were 3/4 through, the race it had just begun.
The last 2 1/2 miles we had some great obstacles- the sand bag, followed by a log carry, followed by the hoist. At the end was the rig. I felt like the rig was a little tougher this race. The rings were slick and the spacing seemed wider than I remember – But I was able to make it without much of a problem.
Congratulations to all who finished this race! Brakken ended up in 2nd and Ryan 3rd. It’s a privilege to race with such great athletes. Thanks to all my great sponsors: Spartan Race, Inov-8, Gnarly Nutrition, and Beet Elite!
This race started with a bang! The pace was fast in the first mile, so I didn’t feel a need to push it. Toward the end of the first mile we hit a steep hill and I decided it was time to push the pace. I opened up on the down hills hoping to lose the competition, but Hobie and Brakken weren’t about to let me get away. I got a small gap, but the next thing I knew, Hobie and I were neck and neck.
Miles 2-3 were fast and intense as Hobie and I pushed through the sand bag carry, log carry, weight pull, and onto the spear throw. I had a small lead so I threw my spear first with a direct hit – Yes! As I was running to the Tyrolean Traverse I noticed Hobie was headed to the burpee box. What I didn’t realize was how close Brakken was to me. I thought I had a big lead but after only getting my bucket filled with gravel, there was Brakken already getting his bucket! This was a bit of a downer for me, just because I thought I had created a big lead and that I wouldn’t be challenged – but Brakken was there giving me all I could ask for.
With only ½ mile to go in the race I didn’t know if I was going to be able to hold him off (he is an 800m runner). But the gap stayed about the same..we had a steep muddy hill and when I reached the top with still a slight lead I knew the downhill that followed would give me an additional gap. So I went on to the Rig, Rope, Fire, and water jump and on to victory!
Thanks to all my supporters and sponsors: Spartan Race, Inov-8, Gnarly Nutrition, and Beet Elite!
The Roclite GTX 282 are incredibly light,comfortable,durable, and they have great traction. This summer I chose to bring only one pair of shoes on my back-packing trip for sake of weight. I wore the Roclites. On the first day of the trip I hiked an 80-90 pound pack 5 miles through several rivers and small streams. My feet were completely soaked. After setting up camp and getting a little fishing in, I decided it was time to get a mountain run. So without changing my shoes, I crossed a shallow portion of the lake and started my run. The run was 100% off trail through the woods. During the course of my run, I crossed several more streams and marshes, a large rockslide, and the rest of the time I was jumping fallen logs and rocks. These shoes never let me down- I never slipped, I didn’t receive so much as a blister from this workout. The run ended up being 8 miles across some of the roughest terrain I’ve run on. Throughout the course of this trip I did more hikes and more runs and my feet were great. It was after this weekend that I had to ask myself, “Is the Roclite GTX 282 all I really need?”
Utah Spartan Super Blog 2015
I have 4 good reasons why this year’s Utah Spartan race was the best ever.
Reason #1- I got to race with a lot of good friends and exceptional athletes today from all around the country and especially from right here in Utah. I was also able to see my family who came to support me
Reason #2- I ran a solid race and tried to focus on running my best instead of comparing myself with other athletes. I was also able to control my race pace early on and keep it under control when others were pushing the pace.
Reason #3- Spartan put together one of the best obstacle sections of the year and I felt strong, capable, and confident. And most importantly I was able to run a clean race.
Reason #4- A bunch of my Millard High School track athletes took a bunch of time out of their day to come and cheer an old coach on! It was a good surprise to hear them cheering me on during the race and I believe it made a difference. (Thanks again guys)
Congratulations to Matt (the Bear) for a great race. I believe the Bear is getting faster every year! Also a great job to Ian Hosek for a nice 3rd place finish.
Once again I’d like to thank my sponsors- Spartan for a great course today and all they do for the Spartan team. Inov-8 for the shoes that carried me through X-Talon 190. And for Gnarly and Beet elite for all the nutritional help that they give me to carry me through my training and races.
This last weekend I had the opportunity to run with some of the best Obstacle Racers in the World. Spartan put this race on in Breckenridge, Colorado. NBC covered the race and it will soon be shown on Television.
With an elevation of over 10,000 feet, I knew this race was going to be tough.
Going into the race, I was lacking a little confidence. Whether it was the fact that I hadn’t run a race since March or whether it was the quality of competition, I’m not sure. But I had more nerves than I’ve had in a long time. I knew it would take a very solid race to win.
The race started out about like I wanted it too. It was just fast enough to drop the majority of runners within the first mile or two. I could feel the elevation but I knew that my body should be more accustomed to it than most of my competition. I knew that if I was feeling it, those from lower elevations would surely be feeling it.
Like I had hoped, the elevation had taken its toll on the competition. I was leading the race and Hobie Call was right behind me. We were creating a gap on the rest of the field. As the race continued, I had hoped to put some distance on Hobie Call as well but he was running solid and strong. I jumped out to a 30 meter lead but as soon as I’d start thinking that I was going to get a break on him, he’d some how make up the distance and be back in front. So for 2-4 miles of this 5 mile race Hobie Call and myself traded off leading the race, each hoping to somehow pull away. We had created a substantial lead on the competition and it was down to the two of us. At about mile 4 the obstacles got harder and they were close together. I’ll have to admit during this part Hobie took a slight lead but I was clearly within striking distance.
We came to the spear throw and Hobie threw first. I watched as his spear flew wide. This was my chance, this was the break I had been waiting for! I took my time, I knew all I had to do was hit the mark and the race would be mine. I let my spear go and it flew just off to the left of the hay. It struck the edge of the hay and broke out. I knew it was going to be pretty hard to win now. I was wishing I hadn’t taken my time on the spear throw because Hobie had about a 5-10 burpee lead. With less than a mile to go I knew I was in trouble. I finished my burpees and Hobie was well ahead by now. As I headed towards the finish, I just tried to enjoy the moment and the mountains of Colorado. I ended up taking 2nd place. It was a great opportunity and I would like to thank all my sponsors for everything. Spartan for putting on such a great event. Inov-8 for the use of the X-Talon 190’s, Gnarly and Beetelite for helping me feel my best.
The race began with myself, Hunter, and Glenn all up front with one or two guys leading the way. Within the first 800 meters I found myself leading the race. I knew that with racing athletes of the caliber of Hunter and Glenn that I would need to create a gap throughout the running sections of the race. But in the first 2 miles neither Hunter nor Glen were willing to let me get away.
Going into mile 3 I had finally created a small gap on Hunter who was followed closely by Glen. My goal was to keep pushing the pace and lengthening the gap. I knew that there were some heavy obstacle later in the race and I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere near Hunter when we came to those obstacles. So about mile 4 I had stretched my lead out to 20-30 seconds. This was about where the spear throw was. I came into the spear area, picked up my spear and hit. I took off running not looking back but my curiosity got the best of me and I sneaked a peak over my shoulder to see if my gap was any better or if anyone had missed the spear. Much to my surprise Hunter was no where in sight but I could see Glenn. At this point I knew that Hunter had missed the spear throw.
The rest of the race was a blur, the miles clicked over quickly and before I knew it I was within 2 miles of the finish. I was concerned with a couple heavy obstacles near the end of the race. I could see behind me that Hunter was coming on strong and if I missed an obstacle, I may not have given myself a big enough gap to still win. So I started to get a little nervous but things turned out okay. I passed all the obstacles and ended up winning the race with a time of 57:39. Hunter made a strong comeback finishing ahead of Glenn by about 30 seconds.
Thanks so much to Reebok Spartan Race for another fine venue! Also thanks to my sponsors: Reebok Spartan Race, Inov-8, and Gnarly Nutrition!