I learned a few lessons this past year.  As I recovered from ACL surgery, I found out just how hard comebacks are.  I had to train harder than before.  Run longer.  Lift heavier.  Push past previous limits.  If I wanted to reach my goal at my first race, this is what it took.  And while it felt great to accomplish all that last Saturday, I still can’t get the voice of the current champion out of my head.  That’s a good thing.  That’s the kind of training that keeps him on top.  I’m not comparing myself to Hunter, just telling you that what he does to win works.

At the race I hung out with Robert Killian for a while.  Funny thing seeing him on this episode.  Killian took out the Sheriff two weeks ago at Tahoe.  Did he do it again tonight?

The first challenge was Rip Off with a new twist.  Warriors had to rip off both bands then also ring a bell.  This was a lot of good fights.

Killian was up first against an older guy who wanted to take on an Army Ranger.  Killian got both bands first but then Kevin got both.  It was a wrestling match to get to a bell.  Killian fought the 47-year-old and won.  Kevin was proud to go out against the Ranger.

The next round started in a submission hold and then both men, Derek and Miles, got both bands real fast.  They both lunged for the bell and Mile’s reach was just inches ahead to win.

The next two started with grappling and then a massive takedown but no bands came off.  Victor broke through and took the bell.

Shawn and Fred finished out round one and went right to the dirt.  They went for leg sweeps and hammered down.  Fred, another Army veteran flew like Superman to ring the last bell.

Hoisted is Herc Hoist on a year’s supply of steroids.  Some of these barrels outweigh the men.  Robert and Miles went first.  Even though the barrels progressively lost weight (they had small holes in the bottoms) the drain was slow on the barrel but really fast on the men.  Killian’s power took him to victory.

Victor and Fred pulled next.  Victor took a small lead after the first barrel.  He did it again on the second set.  Fortunately, the ropes were on cam locks so that the barrels would not slip back down.  But that did not take away from the fact that they were massive.  Victor kept the advantage to win.

Robert and Victor, both pro OCR athletes, went to round three in the Pit.  Tire Change was an obstacle of three huge tires, flipped down the course, then up a ramp, and into a cage.  This was no Spartan two flips.  This would not be about who took the early lead since given enough time, both men would likely meet in the Pit.  Victor finished first.  Robert entered the Pit with 0:42 to go.  The fight was over quickly as Victor tossed Robert.

I have not followed Victor this season so I do not know what he is capable of.  Like thousands of others, he’s just another OCR fanatic friend on Facebook.  While I’ve heard his name in the ranks of the elites, his time on the air is right now.  So I wished him well for what was about to come on the Skullbuster.

Hunter taunted Victor with $100 if he breaks seven minutes so he could get a soda pop on the way home.  Classic McIntyre.  Victor looked nervous.  His Backbreaker run was a rapid stutter step and his time was on target as he reached the rope swing.  Framed was no problem.  His stutter steps were full drive as he pushed the 17,000-pound trailer for a circuit.  He handled the pads without problem but slowed down a bit in the first water obstacle.  He slipped on the second set of tires and emerged to Heartbreak Hill on all fours the entire way.  That’s probably where he may have lost the race.  But Hunter looked genuinely concerned.  He even admitted it.  Then it was truth time.  Victor’s time was an impressive 6:56.

The men are chipping away at that 6:01 mark.  Keep training harder, faster, and heavier men.