Atlas Race, Temecula Feb. 22, 2014
I knew coming into the Temecula Atlas race that with the stiff competition I would really have to race well. I knew I could come anywhere from 1st-10th place depending on how everything went in the race. This was the most competitive obstacle I had raced in to date and one of the shortest.
We had some good pre-race chats before the start of the race. Obstacle races become reunions with old friends almost as much as they are competitive races.
The race started out pretty fast. The first mile was quite steep rising above the valley floor. The first crawl was within 200 meters of the start. I knew I had to get out pretty fast in order to not get caught behind in this obstacle. So I took off in the top 3 and reached this obstacle with only a couple people ahead of me.
On the highest point there was a 15 foot wall with ropes and I reached this point in 4th place. After scaling this wall the course took a wicked dive back off the mountain. I opened up on the downhill and got back into position (3rd place) but Max King had taken the pace out fast and had about a 60 yard lead. I wasn’t very concerned at this point but after reaching the tire flip I wished I had gone out a little faster. I picked what I thought would be a good tire but I really struggled with this tire flip. The tire flip in the past has never been hard but for some reason this time I was struggling. In the process of flipping the tire I ripped my race chip off my wrist and had to stuff it down my sock. By the time I actually got done with the tire flip, I had gone from 3rd place to 8th place (very disappointing).
Hunter and Max were no longer in sight. At this point I started to panic a little bit. I knew the race was somewhere between 3-5 miles and we were at around mile 2-3. So deep down, I was a little concerned. I was running on one of those mental breaking points where you wonder if you are out of the race and whether it’s even possible to get back onto the podium. I tried to keep a positive attitude through the next couple obstacles. I was starting to gain on Matt Murphy which helped me push myself a little harder. But it wasn’t until the Sand bag carry that things started to go my way.
I felt very good when I grabbed the bag and much to my liking this obstacle was about a mile long. In that mile I was able to go from 8th place back to 3rd place. Max King and Hunter were now back in sight I knew I only had about a mile left and there wouldn’t be time to catch them but I had a battle of my own to deal with. Chad Trammel and I were neck and neck making a final mile dash to the finish. We pushed the pace pretty hard but lucky for me I was able to retain my 3rd place finish.