In case you missed it, recently at the Spartan World Championship, Spartan made (what I viewed) as a big deal about having United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) at their event. Instead of drug testing, like I expected them to, they were there just to inform all the elite athletes of the rules. A definite step in the right direction, although I think I would have preferred informing and testing all in one move.
Last week Mud Run Guide posted this article - Big Trouble in (Little China) Agoge 003 - written by former Agoge finisher Chris Cow. He was troubled after this personal experience didn't resemble the same event that he wrote two glowing articles about - Inside the Spartan Agoge Class 002 - and - On Leadership and Endurance. Something didn't add up in his mind.
With the 2016 OCR World Championships (OCRWC) complete athletes are already reflecting on their performances and planning on how to improve for 2017. Several comments have appeared on Facebook reflecting on which races to do to prepare for OCRWC next year. This raises the question, which race series should you fill your calendar with for 2017? That depends on your performance and areas of weakness in 2016.
There are many different events out there, and sometimes things don't go according to plan. If Agoge 003 was a glitch that suffered from bad decision making on the ground or an overabundance of ego, then Spartan Race and the Agoge directors need to own up to that, work to make it right, and ensure that future events don't follow a similar path.
It has been about a year since Warrior Dash held their 2nd (and last) Warrior Dash World Championship (WDWC). The event was a standard Warrior Dash (WD) course but on harder terrain and for insane cash prizes. In 2014 it was held in Southern California and in 2015 it was held in Tennessee. Each year they gave away $100,000 (split between the top five men and top five women). A 5k with a purse that big is pretty much unheard of. But after only two years the event was put out to pasture by WD, focusing instead on their normal array of weekend races.
May 31st, 2003 Salt Lake City Classic 10k road race: I had won this race the year before, along with the Utah road racing circuit, and all the sacrifice and hard work was about to pay off. I had been out of college for 6 years now. 6 long years of sacrificing job advancements and career opportunities to chase the dream of being a professional runner. This was going to be the race where I turned heads and ran fast enough to catch sponsors attention. I had trained harder than ever over the winter and I was anxious to prove myself.
A new rivalry is budding in the sport of OCR and is in part it is due to the Battlefrog Series removing its weekend races. That has caused a lot of races to move their primary series to Spartan races. With that move, a very athletic and fast group is moving to Spartan Race, the Masters Division. This past Saturday at the Spartan Super at the Wintergreen Resort (The Vertical Mile Monster) was a debut to showcase just what the Battlefrog Master division will be bringing to Spartan in 2017.
As has been written numerous times before, obstacle course racing for many has transcended a simple activity they do on the weekends. The industry has a way of sticking around, like that mud behind your ear still there a week after you raced. The sport permeates your life, and you find your entire lifestyle changing, bedtimes are earlier, training is scheduled into your calendar, weekends become an excuse for an extended excursion in the woods or crazy long session in the gym. Not sure if you are a real OCR Racing Fanatic, read on and see if you have these five symptoms?
The sport of obstacle course racing (OCR) basically prides itself on the races being sufferfests. Heck Scott Keneally’s new documentary about the sport is even titled Rise of the Sufferfests. Some of the most memorable scenes in this movie are the visuals of the participants battling hypothermia after completing the events.
Just got back from a Spartan Race in Pala, California. Brutal heat, unforgiving climbs (starting with a whopper 5-mile mountain climb for warm-ups…), no shade or wind…all around Beast and 12 miles of it! I learned my lesson a year and a half ago racing a Spartan near Vegas. Desert conditions, a mountain climb to start, and I wasn’t nutritioned up enough for the job. The real culprit for me was salt, oddly enough. I blacked out briefly several times. Didn’t feel stable until a few hours post race. And it was only an 8-mile competition.