Pennsylvania Race Recap 2016
The Race began on the Blue Mountain Ski Resort near Palmerton, PA. I knew that this race would present the most competitive field of obstacle racers since World Championships. I felt physically and mentally better than ever. The race started up the mountain with some intense climbing. I felt pretty good in 3rd place behind John Albon and Robert Killian. But as we neared the top I found myself leading the pack. The first major obstacle was the spear throw on the top of the mountain. I threw and hit right on.
The next portion of the race was back down the mountainside. This section must have been the deadliest section of race I’ve ever seen. John Albon put on a quick downhill surge and I was determined to follow at this break neck pace along with Robert Killian. We hadn’t gone more than a half mile off the top when boom I was lying on the ground and my ankle was shot. I quickly got up and started running hoping that the pain would subside.
I had lost some major ground and I wasn’t gaining it back on the downhill. Matter of fact, I didn’t dare run fast at all. I kept telling myself I’d catch back up on an uphill somewhere after my ankle has recovered.
Soon the race leveled out and I began moving quickly again, Ryan Atkins had pulled up next to me and we ran together through the monkey bars and barb wire crawl. I got a little jump on him out of the wire and after another substantial climb I was back in 3rd. I knew the Double sand bag carry was coming. And it was everything I imagined it would be. I could see Robert moving well below me and John struggling with his sand bag. I thought here’s my chance. I passed John just as Ryan Atkins came down the hill like a bowling ball. This obstacle was so tough that I forgot about my bad ankle. The sand-bag wasn’t my best obstacle, now I was in 5th.
Next came one of the toughest obstacles immediately after a carry , the hoist. But I was able to pass without a problem and was on my way.
Unfortunately for me, another long ankle breaking downhill was next. I just couldn’t go at all. The ankle had taken a turn for the worse rather than the better. I knew any minute a tons of racers would pass me. But much to my surprise only John Albon was able to overtake me on this section of course. I could see the miles clicking by but I was just holding on to whatever I could hold onto. I just wondered who would pass me on the next downhill section. A quick glance behind me told me it would be Matt. I knew I couldn’t hold him off so I encouraged him as he jumped into the lake ahead of me. I will have to say the lake was the highlight of my race. Even though I could touch most of the way, I chose to swim just to prove to myself that I could really swim this year, not just doggy paddle.
There was a little more excitement as the race continued with a new obstacle and probably their hardest rig ever. Before I knew it, the race was over.
I can’t complain, I sprained my ankle and was able to finish in a respectable place. Now I just hope I can get better before Asheville. #spartan #spartanrace #spartanproteam #ocr #ocrdad #inov8
As a family we packed up the car and headed to Boise for what ended up being one of the most memorable races of the year. I had a good race but the best part was getting to do the race again with my daughter in the open heat. There’s nothing like doing hard things together (like a spartan race) to build relationships. My wife Leona @ocroilmom met us at the spear throw and all three of us finished the race together.
Another great part of the day was learning that Leona had actually reached a mile-stone in her racing career. She has worked so hard to make the podium and she did it! She finished 2nd in the women’s elite division. The only sad part was we missed the awards-we were so busy helping our little kids run the kids race that we didn’t hear the awards going on. Oh well, atleast we missed it for a good cause!
Thanks to @spartanrace for another great weekend and @inov_8 for great shoes to cruise in! #spartanrace #spartanproteam #spartan #inov8 #fitfam #familytime #roadtotahoe #whyirace
This picture is a small sample of the battle we had going on today. As you can see, today’s race was a dog fight between Ryan, Hunter, Robert, and myself. Unfortunately for me, I finished 4th! Which I shouldn’t complain because this picture doesn’t show the studs who finished behind me.
The Golden state championship took place at a fine venue near Monterey California. With the strongest field of athletes I think I’ve ever seen outside of the world championship.
I was surprised how fast this race began-sub 5 pace. Its the first time I’ve ever spent the first 2 miles out of the top 10. But I worked my way back to the front and by mile 3 the 4 athletes shown above broke away from the pack.
We all traded leads for atleast a moment for the next 3 miles. Hunter and Ryan pulled away on the down hills while Robert and I made our moves on the uphills. It was amazing how close we all were throughout the first 6 miles of the 8.5 mile course. At around mile 6 all 4 of us came to the plate drag at about the same time which ended up being my demise. I came to this obstacle feeling pretty strong and in the battle for gold and came out substantially behind.
We had about a 1 mile uphill section then it would be all downhill to the finish. I knew I needed to go like crazy to get back in the race. But I couldn’t seem to get myself to go- I just felt discouraged! So I didn’t put on the surge that I so desperately needed.
So from the top of the mountain down to the finish I ran fast but was a little more relaxed than I should have been. I hate to leave a race with regrets but I do have some. Hopefully it will make me hungrier for the next one.
Thank you spartan race for putting together such a great race and bringing the best together. Thanks inov-8 for my favorite racing shoes the x-talon 190s! The grip and the comfort were fantastic. Also great job to my wife Leona Moat for a fine 14th place finish.
#spartanrace #spartanproteam #inov8 #spartan #ocr
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?”