Last week was easily the most exciting episode of the season.  Every challenge round was brutal and hard fought.  There was a new lady’s Skullbuster champion.  But alas, the OCR season is winding down and I fear the same letdown will happen tonight.  However, it is the heavyweight night.  This posse of men as big as or bigger than Steve went at it for a chance at the Skullbuster.  Hunter ran it weighing in at around 200 pounds.  So is it possible for a guy bigger than that to beat the 6:01 mark?

Ian, the auto parts salesman came up against Brandon the Marine vet, Ken, the Grid pro athlete, and five others.  But who would be the chumps?  Steve wanted 120% and no chumps.  Summit was the first obstacle, a short version of Heartbreak Hill.

Caleb and Ian went first.  It was a tackle right off the line with a knock down drag out battle all the way to the top.  The first clash of the titans went to Ian.  Both men were totally exhausted by the battle on the hill of loose sand, muscle, and heat.

Brandon and Stephen were next.  Again, a tackle at the start left Brandon on top and Stephen holding on with a bear hug.  Brandon broke free and sprinted to the top for the bell.  Steve was loving the fights.

Arlen and Lucas faced off next in the sand.  Lucas dug it out and made it right to the top.

Finally, Ken and Zach took off and sprinted side by side.  They tackled each other near the top realizing some contact was needed to put one man down.  Zach got up and hit the bell first.

Round two put the men into Death Grip.  Brandon and Lucas faced off first.  They both expected a fast race.  Brandon blasted through it while Lucas had huge problems with the weights.  Brandon hit the bell with Lucas stranded at the top.

Ian and Zach finished off the round.  Ian was smaller and lighter than Zach.  They turned the yokes almost evenly but Ian stumbled a bit and lost the challenge.  He finished it anyway and went on down the road.

So, Zach (Mindset coach) and Brandon (retired Marine), the “freight train alpha males” headed to round three on the Peak.  A triple carry of three logs on increasingly higher rungs lay ahead.  Brandon, a few inches shorter but only out-weighed by five pounds by the 225 Zach, pounded out the carries dead even.  Same with ringing the bell.  They stalked to the Pit, dropped their shirts, and went in.  Brandon had the combat experience and Zach was concerned about that but it ended up no matter.  Brandon got tossed.

Zach, the biggest man on the show, made it to the Skullbuster.  He thought he would become the new Sheriff in town.  He showed up because it’s the toughest course in America.  Steve ate it up.  But would Zach end up getting chewed and spit out?

Hunter came out and sneered at Zach thinking he had no problems with this guy, a “big rock” that he expects will “sink like a rock.”  “Run fast and take chances,” was his final challenge.  Zach called out a five-minute finish.

He took off with the log and a long stride finishing in 1:40.  He needed to make up some time already.  At the Frame he started singing to himself, “Farmer in the dell.”  If anything, that messed with his breathing and slowed him down to a slow start on the cargo container push, finishing at 3:23.  He sailed through the landing pads and with that Hunter was impressed.

His long legs carried him quickly through the water carry and then into a huge leap right onto the tires.  He dug hard and stayed upright for most of Heartbreak Hill.  He slowed way down on the descent and that may have killed his time.  Rib Cage was no problem although he paused at the start.  Rope Burn was all that was left between him and completion.  He locked in with a good S-hook.  He was a foot from the bell, still locked in, and stopped.  And then down he went hard.  The medics scrambled right in.  They checked him for a concussion and spinal injury.  They collared him, got him on a backboard, and took him to the hospital.

Hunter was super-impressed with Zach’s hill climb, probably the fastest he had ever seen, probably faster than his own time.  But it was the total time that matters.  And Zach, unfortunately, was a DNF.