2015 Spartan World Championship – Lake Tahoe
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!