Man, that was a rugged course.
The kind of course that makes you audibly yelp when the shower water hits your skin. Anywhere.
It was no real surprise I left a good deal of skin out there. The majority of the route involved following flags through knee high prickly brush. Brush that seemed to harbour angry gnomes with sharp whips.
I walked out looking like the exiled criminal in an old roman movie.
At first, when your skin was still intact, it stung. Later into the race, it felt like the last scene from Braveheart. Me summoning up the course to run through the lines of battle. Tears swelling in my eyes.
Apparently pants or compression socks would have been a good idea. Although few made it through the course in one piece. There were more than a few short liners finally getting their time in the sun at the finish line.
Outside of the terrain, the heavy stuff was super heavy as always. The Herc Hoist was built like a Montana steer and the logs were hefty enough to leave a lasting mark on the shoulders of most racers. Who needs fancy tattoos right?
The Tyrolean Traverse was replaced by a latter you had to crawl upside on. I’m not sure if I’m just the wrong size or it was just the wrong size but it had a way of accentuating my natural awkwardness. I was either stretched out or bunched up and I couldn’t get into a rhythm the way I can on the regular traverse.
At this point, I was barely hanging onto the lead runner through the technical terrain and the screaming downhills. And my shoes had come undone twice.
The spear came early, and thanks to huge help from Junyong Pak last season, I have been able to nail it more or less consistently. It took me years to discover that hitting the target is an awesome feeling. I get it now. I was actually happy to see that wonky looking like line of straw men staring at me from the crest of the hill.
If it wasn’t the brush that distinguished the race, it was barb wire roll. I heard estimates of 500m. I have no idea if that’s accurate but I do know it felt at least that long. No amount of switching sides could mitigate the sensation of hours-on-end of tequila shots and pin the tail on the donkey.
The bucket carry came near the end and just before the rig. Like the sandbag carry that came earlier on in the race, the distance was perfect. Just long enough to be hard without totally gassing you.
Which is good, since a cargo net into the rig was the final obstacle combination. You want always want a little extra gas in the tank for the rig.
I particularly loved the combo this weekend. After traversing a pole you could swing all the way through on rings without touching the tarzan ropes if you had a good swing going. And I do love a getting a good swing going.
I ran Sunday too just for fun and was elated to see that the trails had been beat down enough to be trails. They kept most of the key obstacles and the course favoured a good mix of skill and grit. I never did figure the timing out on the latter and the unremitting roll made me extra queasy and discombobulated, but the bucket actually seemed easier and I was picking up steam at the end. I caught two girls in the final few hundred meters and just breached the top ten.
Canadians really took it home on the weekend: Lindsey and Ryan won the NBC race with Faye Stenning coming a close second.
Austin Azar placed third Saturday and eleventh Sunday. Jessica Lemon came third Saturday. And I took the win Saturday and came tenth Sunday.
Photo Credit: Spartan Race
Allison has two young girls at home and devotes most her time to overcoming the obstacles of daily life with a couple of little cuties in tow. Allison has eleven Spartan Race wins including three UltraBeasts. She also came second in the World’s Toughest Mudder in 2014. These accomplishments all came after being hit by a truck on her bike at highway speed and having been put into a full body cast for six months, unable to even roll herself over in bed. She is left with a 24.5% permanent long term disability rating – and a desire to encourage others to explore the full potential of their bodies and hearts.
Her blog can be found at www.yomamasofit.com