This Valentine’s Day weekend at Lee Farms in Tualatin Oregon couples, families, and friends escaped the cliche and got down and dirty at the My Muddy Valentine 5k Mud Run hosted by Terrapin Events. Runner’s came out dressed head to toe in hearts, tutu’s, and even a few group costumes ready to take on the muddy terrain.
Recently the Spartan Race season got underway with a series of 4 events in Lake Elsinore, California: a Saturday Super, the 100th Hurricane Heat, the 27th 12-Hour Hurricane Heat, and a Sunday Sprint. As an avid endurance athlete, I got excited to start my year off with Steffen “Cookie” Cook, Kyoul Cha and Tony Matesi. I’ve finished 4 HH12HR’s previously, and I’ve learned that each one is unique. Here’s a recap of the journey that Cookie and Kyoul took us through on Saturday night/Sunday morning.
On my vacation trip to visit relatives and friends in Germany, I decided to take the first stop in England. The reason: I needed to go where the sport that we all love and practice so intensively was BORN and originated. Yes, the –so called- mecca of OCR: Tough Guy® – The Original; taking place on January 29 close to Wolverhampton in England.
The annual Blizzard Blast race has quickly become the unofficial start to the new OCR season in the New England area. Now in its fifth year, the winter-themed race, created by the local Smith Fest entertainment company, has consistently been highly regarded with fun and challenging obstacles. After spending the last couple years at a local golf course, they decided to move the race back to its original location at the Shedd Park and Fort Hill area of Lowell, MA.
Well, it seems this is becoming an annual charity event for our racing group. This is the third year we have ventured east, and it is always a new challenge when it comes to the weather. This night was no exception to that rule. Previous years were pouring rain or knee deep snow with frigid wind chills; this time brought us pea soup fog and a sprinkle of mild drizzle. Meaning the snow, was non-existent and icy patches dotted the trails adding an element of potential dread.
The Epic Series OCR challenge on December 17th was the final race of the year in San Diego. This would be my 3rd time this year competing in one of their events. This event was going to be the hardest one to date. For me, a master’s level competitor at 45yrs of age Epic series in 2016 has continued to offer an elite wave for anyone 40+ years of age for their open course challenge. This year I have had some success by reaching the podium three times on the two previous races.
As we are driving through very remote parts of Texas, the Y.O. Ranch entrance comes into view. The ranch encompasses massive amounts of acreage, where cattle and white-tailed deer roam freely. Ranch houses and picnic pavilions scatter the property. This is where the Green Beret Challenge: Behind Enemy Lines – Survival and Evasion took place.
Last weekend marked the last OCR of 2016 and the first run where almost all Dutch team RAM members showed up! We enlisted as a team to run the 13km OCR from origin Survival Run. The original Dutch Survival sport shows some similarities with OCR. The main difference is the immense complexity of the obstacles, with extremely long rigs, lots of ropes and demanding massive upper body strength and technique.
It turns out that as innovative and cool as they are, the biggest obstacles are rarely the ones on the course, even at an event like the World's Toughest Mudder. Instead, they're the physical and mental obstacles we bring with us. I am proud that I managed to conquer a few of these myself out there in the desert.
World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) is the championship event of the Tough Mudder series. It also is one of the rare ultra-obstacle course races (ultra-OCRs) because participants complete as many laps of a 5-mile course in 24 hours with an extra 1.5 hours to complete the lap the participant was on at 24 hours.