America’s Toughest Mudder Northeast: I love you Endurance OCR, but Gosh Darn it, I’m Tired!

“THIS IS MY RIFLE, THERE ARE MANY LIKE IT BUT THIS ONE IS MINE. MY RIFLE IS MY BEST FRIEND. IT IS MY LIFE. I MUST MASTER IT AS I MASTER MY LIFE. WITHOUT ME IT IS USELESS, WITHOUT MY RIFLE I AM USELESS.” -Full Metal Jacket

I was thinking about this quote the other day as I reflected on my journey through obstacle racing. I remember my first Tough Mudder like a distant fading memory. The rush was exhilarating and I wanted more…right away. I wanted to mainline adrenaline. A funny thing happened, though….the second wasn’t the same…nor the third. So thing’s escalated to bigger, badder, and longer (Michael Scott) events. I fell into the Endurance OCR trap. Specifically, World’s Toughest Mudder.

World’s Toughest Mudder consumed me. The training, planning, budgeting, talking, and social media-ing consumed me. So much so that it began to define me. I wore it like a badge of honor leading up to my first WTM, and I was most likely an asshole about it. Oh, you ran a Spartan Sprint up a mountain and got 5th in your age group? That sounds really fun and all but I’m here to train for a 24 HOUR event (pats self on back). You should try it too; it’s super mega ultra elite badass! I even distance shamed my fake internet HVAC nemesis Hobie Call about it, as if in some magical place me competing in a 24 Hour Tough Mudder elevated me anywhere near his athletic ability. The good news is that I eventually got over it. After actually doing the event, it “literally” took me to the brink of the most cliche thing that I could type here. I didn’t find “myself,” but I definitely found something within myself and will always remember walking alone in the dark up a hill talking to myself and repeating my wife’s and childrens’ names so I could continue to push on.  I did that for two more years, and much like my first Tough Mudder, my second and third World’s Toughest Mudders didn’t quite feel the same. After 2016, I figured I might actually take the advice that Sean Corvelle gives at the start of every Tough Mudder and “try something for the first time” and maybe even escape the ordinary. This year, instead of chasing something, I’d like to experience something new and help a first time World’s Toughest Mudder by being his pit crew (what’s up Garfield). I’ve heard great things from previous competitors like Yancy Culp, Miguel Medina, and Joshua Gustin Grant about pitting and would like to experience the event from a different perspective. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Oh, by the way, Tough Mudder then decided to announce an 8-hour Toughest series with multiple locations. I guess we will see if I’m full of shit or not…

Truth be told, I almost didn’t make it to the highway to drive up to Toughest last week. I took a new job in New York roughly 2 months ago and have been working there and traveling back to see my wife and children in Virginia every weekend. When I committed to the event, I hadn’t even interviewed for the New York job yet; so, needless to say, we were making it work. I am averaging around 16 hours of driving from Friday to Sunday and last weekend was only slightly different. I made it down earlier than usual Friday and left 4 hours before the kids’ bedtimes on Saturday so I could arrive with some time to rest in Philadelphia before the midnight start of Toughest. Enter my son, Chase. A few hours before my departure, I took him for a ride with me to The Home Depot to buy some wood. I told him how much I missed him and he responded, “Daddy if you miss me so much just stay.” Shocked, I responded, “you will all be moving to New York as soon as your school ends in a few weeks, buddy. I promise.” Now, Chase was referring to our current living situation, but it struck a chord with me and made it much harder to leave this weekend than weekends before. Did I make the wrong call leaving earlier to do an event? I don’t know, but it sure felt that way. Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee in hand, I was on to Philadelphia.

America’s Toughest Mudder Northeast ran like a well-oiled machine. I think it was actually more organized than WTM with like 400 less participants. Here are some examples:

  1. I got to parking earlier than I was supposed to, and instead of being turned away, they let me in. That never happens. Score!
  2. Registration was set up alphabetically, and they let us line up early for that as well. It was a good opportunity to get some socializing out of the way and see everyone before it was go time. Once they opened up, it went quickly and smoothly. Smoother than a regular Tough Mudder.
  3. I found the pit set up to be simplistic and effective. While there were a few stragglers trying to sneak into my spot, for the most part, everyone was cool. I haven’t heard of anyone having anything stolen, so I’d say it was a success!
  4. There was grass to take a knee on instead of sand and rocks. This made taking a knee during Sean’s speech much more enjoyable
  5. Kris Mendoza.
  6. Matt B. Davis was in China (seriously).
  7. Hang time was a blast
  8. The design of these bibs is super dope.
  9. While one 5-mile Loop and one sprint lap instead of two reduced some mileage, it was nice not having to think about running a different course.
  10. Tough Mudder has really good big obstacles.
  11. Friends

Operationally, my only real critique is that there was no coffee vendor at the end of this thing. I had to drive 16 minutes to a Starbucks-like an hour after I finished. Please add a coffee vendor. It may be early, but they will clean up selling coffee to 700 people that have been up since midnight, I promise.

So what did I think of the event? I thought it was great. I really enjoyed myself for the first 3-4 hours, but as the temperatures started to drop and I stubbornly refused to add any wetsuit layers, I began to question why the hell I came. I didn’t question it because the event wasn’t good, but because mentally, I have so much other shit going on right now that suffering and pushing through at obstacle races has taken a backseat. I miss my kids. I miss my wife. I miss my dogs. I kind of miss my cat. I’m also going to really miss my house, which holds a lifetime of memories in 7 short years. This is what I was thinking about at 4:00am. At 8:00am I wasn’t thinking about how I now suddenly wanted to do WTM, but I confirmed that I need to take some time off from endurance OCR. I am tired. I want to have fun. One day I will feel the need to push my limits again, and I will certainly hop back on the pain train, but for now I just want to run a 2 hour race with my wife and get home to my kids after lunch as if we snuck out to brunch and a movie. For long enough, I’ve let OCR define too much of who I am, and all I want to prove right now are that There Are No Strings On Me.

Photo Credit: the author and Tough Mudder

Savage Race Maryland 2017 – You Can Be Whoever You Want To Be Today

Each year I task myself with the challenge of taking a new approach to race reviews to keep them fresh and new. I grow tired of reading straight up recaps and you probably do too. If you want to know how awesome parking, registration and other things were, Mike Natale probably already published one of those.  If not, you can check out these older gems: Savage PA 2015 Savage MD 2016  Savage Florida Sharkbait

If you, like the late great Tony Soprano, believe that “remember when is the lowest form of conversation” then don’t give Matt B. Davis and crew any more clicks on old shit and keep reading this bad girl right here. *

I’ve been running Savage Race since 2013 and EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I have a blast. My wife has a blast, my friends have a blast, the people around me have a blast, and people that use oxford commas have a blast.** It gets repetitive writing about having fun and how Savage Race does things right. Even when they get something wrong, like the Yuri situation in Georgia, they end up getting it right when they take responsibility for their decisions. They are the anti BattleFrog but with way better obstacles than people who pine for BattleFrog care to admit.

Ok, so Savage is great. Get it? Got it? Good.

Now, Matty T said something that stuck with me at the start line last week. He said, “You can be whoever you want to be today.” It got me thinking while I was in the tub (sans Matt B. Davis) that Savage Race truly offers everything to everyone. Seriously, think about it:

Do you want to take a large group of friends to their first event? I’ve done this.
Do you want to help your friend face her fears and show her she can do anything? I’ve done this too.
Do you want to qualify for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships? Check.
Do you want to meet a complete stranger on course and help them face their fears? It happens every time.
Do you want to win money? If you’ve got the stones, have at it Cowboy!

You can do ALL of these things. You can be WHOEVER you want to be today. Race for money. Race for fun. Race yourself. It’s your call.

At this point you may be asking yourself, “Does this guy work for Savage? He keeps saying how great they are and has given literally no insight as to why they are great or what made last weekend in Maryland so fucking great?” No, I do not, but if Sam and Lloyd want the most epic team up of dude’s who love 90’s hip hop and the Wu Tang Clan then I will certainly accept a position working with Matty T. Ok, I should probably say something about the race, but instead of just telling you we will play that silly 10 bands thing from facebook and apply it to Savage Race.

Here are 10 things Savage Race does to make the life of every Obstacle Racing Company Harder. 9 are True and 1 is False:

  1. They added 3 different colored Buffs to the merch table.
  2. They have a secret stash of Ecto Cooler and have a secret obstacle where you drink Ecto Cooler and watch all of the Ghostbusters movies.
  3. They added “Twirly Bird” to an already upper body heavy obstacle list
  4. The owner personally responded on my friend’s post when they handled a customer service complaint incorrectly.
  5. They had the stones to upgrade Sawtooth to metal and increase the pipe diameter to 2 inches in the tooth sections even though they probably knew people would miss the original look. #changeishard
  6. They added “Hangarang” as a kind of newer version of a balance beam while shouting out to Rufio and the Lost Boys. It also didn’t have the lines that balance beams get.
  7. The addition of “Mad Ladders”. Are they angry ladders? A lot of ladders? Are we talking in real words or slang? I don’t know, but “Mad Ladders” are fun.
  8. “Twin Peaks” is ANOTHER new obstacle. 4 new obstacles.
  9. The new shirt design is awesome and they upgraded the Syndicate Medal for year 2!
  10. That’s 9 new obstacles in 2 years and they already had great obstacles. You’ve got to spend money to make money, folks! #cantstopwontstopdontstop


 

That’s all I’ve got and I am dangerously close to my word limit. Holler at me in the comments if you have any questions. Seacrest out!

*I’m pretty sure I already used this quote in another review but I’m too lazy to go back and check. Consistency is key.

**Eat shit, Brilliant.

 

Should I bring my young children to spectate at an obstacle course race?

Rugged Kids

Why hello there. If you have clicked on this then odds are someone in your immediate family is trying to trick you into bringing your children to spectate at an Obstacle Course Race. Or maybe you’ve tried to do this to your husband or wife before. I know I have. The pitch is simple:

There is a festival area with fun stuff to do! It won’t take me long! The kids will love seeing me do the obstacles!!! It’s family friendly!

Don’t listen to a word that is coming out of that filthy liars mouth. It’s mostly a hopeful half truth. Shame on them.  How do I know this, you ask? Well, I recently decided to sit out and spectate my first race as my wife took on her first elite heat. I was excited to bring the kids and watch her. Yes, this was actually my own idea and I’ve had my wife do the same for me in the past on multiple occasions. Boy, was I an asshole. Thank you you for being supportive, honey, you are a real trooper! Kisses!

Ok, well we all know people are going to bring their kids. Since this is basically a given, I guess I will give you some helpful tips to make having your young children at an event slightly tolerable. Here goes.

  1. Bring shoes you don’t mind getting wet and prepare to walk– Your husband or wife has been prepping for this event by running in the rain, mud, and any puddle they can find. Maybe they bought special shoes and clothes after googling “what to wear at a mud run?“. The course will be muddy, but the spectator routes will surely be paved to enhance the spectator experience! Yeah, fat chance….. Little did you know as you walk through farm land, Motorsports Raceway minefield or any other unkempt grassy knoll you will be stepping in your fair share of mud and logging your fair share of miles. For reference, I GPS’d my festival walking today and logged 3.1 miles, which is basically the distance my wife ran during the event.  I’d recommend being prepared for this by wearing shoes you are comfortable getting Stinky and Dirty (love you Amazon Prime) and bringing a change of footwear and socks for the ride home. This also means your children will be getting muddy and wet as well, so bring a change of clothes for them too. Also, bring plastic bags to put your muddy shoes and socks in. TL;DR…. leave your Jordans at home and bring some flip flops and changes of clothes!
  2. Rugged Dirty Feet

  3. “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”– Whatever your best case scenario for this experiment is lower your expectations immediately. I mean, it could work out and your kid could handle everything like a champ but why set yourself up for disappointment? Just assume they will be actual Rugged Maniacs and do everything in their arsenal of child doom to embarrass you and make the next 2 hours of your life a living hell. You want an apple? Here! You threw it in the feces laced mud after 2 bites and still want it? This is going to be a long day. Come to think of it, bring snacks. Lots. Of. Snacks. Don’t trust that your kid who loves Oreos won’t have a nervous breakdown when you try to feed him a delicious Deep Fried Oreo covered in powdered sugar. Have regular Oreos ready. It’s also way cheaper.Actual Rugged Maniac
  4. Find the loud music and stand by it– This elite tip is brought to you by screaming toddlers everywhere. The beauty of this tactic is that as your children scream bloody murder, songs like “This Is How You Remind Me” and “Hotline Bling” completely drown out the screams of death that were unleashed after your children saw their mom or dad run by after completing an obstacle and not stopping to chat. This tip is even more effective when the DJ plays music that is actually worse than children crying. This is not a given, but when it occurs people won’t even realize how bad your kids are behaving.
  5. Check to see if they have a kid’s race or a Bouncy Castle– This one is tricky because the ages for the Kid’s Races vary from company to company and I’ve only seen a bouncy castle at Rugged Maniac. Aside from the kids crying that they wanted to go in the bouncy castle right as their mom approached the last 5 obstacles of the race, they finally calmed the hell down and had some good old fashion fun in muddy puddles. Considering obstacle races are basically adults trying to relive being a kid for a few hours on the weekend it is pretty cool getting to watch kids be kids on things like bouncy castles in the mud. My daughter is clearly ready for World’s Toughest Mudder as she did 3 laps of the bouncy castle obstacle course. #UltraEliteBeastSydneyRugged

Conclusion:

At the end of the day even though my kids weren’t on their best behavior I still had a really good time watching and supporting my wife during her race. It was certainly messy with all of the rain and mud, but what fun would it be without it? By bringing a change of shoes, socks and clothes for everyone involved and being aware that we would be getting dirty it made the act of getting dirty easier to swallow. So go ahead and bring your kids! Unless of course you can secure a babysitter during the event…. totally do that instead.

Rugged Fun

Editor’s Note – The author’s wife, Kelly Allen, was the 3rd fastest female in this race. Keith was too distracted watching the kids and preparing this review to make note. Sorry Kelly, and congratulations!

 

Mudbandz Review

Mudbandz
2.5 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Features
Durability
Battery Life
GPS Accuracy
Used it before? Leave a review

When I first received my Mudbandz I was very excited to try the product. It is basically a neoprene arm band that is designed to wrap around and cover Fitbit devices to protect them from mud and water during races. Originally, and this is my own fault for not really reading the description, I wanted to use it to cover my Suunto GPS watch in the desert at World’s Toughest Mudder. This did not work as Mudbandz are currently designed to only fit Fitbit devices.

Mudbandz Features

100% device coverage including strap – If you properly wrap the Mudbandz on your Fitbit it will be completely covered. It’s basically a Fitbit burrito that has a complete impact, mud, and moisture barrier.

Mudbandz

Spongy 1.5mm “scuba grade” neoprene – Mudbanz are 100% waterproof and mud-proof. This will stop mud from getting in the cracks and crevices of your device. This will basically eliminate the need to clean your device post race.  Additionally, the band is four-way stretch and lined with a nylon blend with spandex edging. This makes for a comfortable wear. It is also easy to put on and take off.

Washable – Whether you rinse it off in the sink or throw it in the wash, it is quite small and easy to clean.

Mudbandz Open

Mudbandz Usage

I busted out my trusty old Fitbit (which was retired for having one of the buttons fall off) and hit the trails of Burke Lake Park so I could submerge it in water while being athletic. I wrapped the Mudbandz around the device, folded it over twice and stuck it in the water for about 45 seconds. The device only had a few small spots of moisture present and had I stuck it in a puddle of mud nothing would have made it inside. That being said, while the material is 100% waterproof water can get inside  since the edges are not sealed. You should always refer to your devices waterproof rating before you submerge it for longer than a few seconds.

Mudbandz Submerged

After dunking my arm in the water I proceeded to run the 4.5 mile loop around Burke Lake. I did not experience any discomfort or reaction to running with the neoprene on my wrist with a watch fastened inside of it. The only downside is since the device is fully covered I couldn’t easily check the Fitbit for any information.

 

Mudbandz Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Protects Fitbit devices from Mud and quick water submersions
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to clean
  • Inexpensive ($8)

Cons

  • Can only be worn with Fitbit devices
  • Covering your device makes it inconvenient to check your progress while wearing it
  • Can’t monitor heart rate

Mudbandz Conclusion

If you currently run with a Fitbit and are concerned with protecting it during a Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Savage Race or other mud runs then for $8 you really can’t go wrong. The only real downsides to this product are that it only works with Fitbits and can be a hassle to open and close of you want to check your device during an event. I have been advised that they are in the process of designing Mudbandz for other watch models as well as releasing more colors. If they ever come out with one that is sized to work with a Suunto Ambit3 I would definitely grab a Mudbandz.

Show what ya know...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

Keith Allen

Keith Allen is an Air Conditioning Salesman and an exhausted father of two. When not carrying his children around in Baby Bjorns he is often found cooking delicious homemade quesadillas to fuel his hunger from running OCR's

What people say... Used it before? Leave a review
Sort by:

Be the first to leave a review.

User Avatar
{{{ review.rating_title }}}
{{{review.rating_comment | nl2br}}}

Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}

 

 

 

 

 

Best Wetsuit For World’s Toughest Mudder

Editor’s Note: We asked ORM contributor Keith Allen to answer some FAQ about the best options for wetsuits for World’s Toughest Mudder. Keith completed 50 miles at the 2014 WTM, 55 miles at the 2015 WTM, and 60 in 2016.

image

Greetings! If you are reading this you are most likely interested in being a participant at World’s Toughest Mudder. Congratulations! This is a big decision, but I’ve got some unfortunate news for you, if you thought the entry ticket was expensive, just wait until you realize how much gear you need to purchase to make it through the night.

The gear list for World’s Toughest Mudder is extensive even if you merely settle on the bare essentials. Rather than writing Moby Dick 2: World’s Toughest Mudder Edition, I’m going to answer a few frequently asked questions about the best options for wetsuits for World’s Toughest Mudder.

What Do Those Numbers Even Mean?

Should I Buy New Or Used Gear?

Fullsuit or “Shorty”?

What About Layering?

What Do Those Numbers Even Mean?

The first number represents the thickness of the neoprene of the wetsuit in the torso area. The second number represents the thickness in the arms and legs of the wetsuit.

The whole deal here is balancing this question: How warm do I want to be versus how much mobility do I want?

Bigger numbers mean thicker, but less flexibility. Smaller numbers mean less warmth, but more flexibility. Make sense? Good. Let’s Mo Vaughn with the next question you probably have.

New Versus Used?

One way to save some money on your gear list is to scour the internets for used wetsuits at places like eBay or craigslist. There is one positive to buying used: Saving money.

Really, that’s about it. One positive.

The negatives to buying used are as follows:

  • When buying used it is rare to know the exact type of neoprene that the suit is made of. The stretchier the neoprene the easier it till be to run in and the less it will tax your system. I’ve had a random medium O’Neill 3/2mm that I grabbed on eBay for $32 that I promptly relisted on eBay as it was very uncomfortable. I have no idea what model or year it was from, but I do know that it did not work for me. For comparison sake, my medium 3/2mm Hyperflex Cyclone 2 suit fit me perfectly and the 100% super stretch neoprene was extremely comfortable.
  • People pee in wetsuits. People also clean wetsuits, but that is not a given.  If you want a suit that only you will pee in it is best to look at new options!

Worlds-Toughest-Mudder-Wetsuits-2

Should I go Full Suit or “Shorty”?

If you are going to bring one wetsuit to World’s Toughest Mudder then that wetsuit should be a fullsuit. The water isn’t extraordinarily cold (in Vegas), but there is no humidity in the desert and it gets chilly, especially if you aren’t moving quickly, which most people aren’t during night ops.

A shorty can be a good early evening option if you can maintain a fast enough pace that allows your body to generate heat to stay warm. You can layer over or under a shorty to make it warmer, but unless you are a really strong competitor you will most likely wish you had a fullsuit at some point.

In short, if you can afford multiple options then get multiple options, but if you can only afford one, go with a full suit. Here are some examples of reasonably priced comfortable suits that you can buy.

My Very Favorite And First Choice :

Best Wetsuit For World's Toughest Mudder

I fell in love with this wetsuit last year after a recommendation from Ryan Cray. I previously used a 5/3/1.5 Xterra Vortex TriSuit in 2014, but I felt too too restricted and it took too much damage from the Vegas terrain for someone as OCD about equipment as me. This particular suit is made of 100% 4-way Stretch Quantum Foam construction, which translated into:

“Holy smokes this thing is comfortable. Is this really a 3/2? The 3/2 I bought on eBay was waaaaay more restrictive!?! This is really comfortable”

Additionally, it it has knee pads which provided extra protection against the rocky Vegas terrain. I was ecstatic when the event ended last year and there were no holes in it. Last but not least, I felt like the sealed seams allowed me to stay warmed  and get away with wearing a 3/2mm suit instead of going thicker, which many World’s Toughest Mudder participants recommend.

For those that feel more comfortable going thicker, here are the links for the 4/3mm and 5/4mm versions of the suit, along with women’s options.

The thicker suits have the same features as the 3/2, just with thicker neoprene, and they are not sealed.

Men 

My choice:  3/2mm

Thicker choices:

4/3mm Wetsuit

5/4mm Wetsuit

Women

My choice:  3/2mm

Thicker choices:

4/3mm Wetsuit

5/4mm Wetsuit

Why/How Should I Layer?

Personally, I prefer using layering options to add warmth as opposed to buying a thicker suit. Using the 3/2mm as my base and adding one piece layers on top gives me more flexibility than if I was in a thicker suit.

World's Toughest Mudder Layers 2
This also allows me to quickly adjust my layers as I get colder or warmer without having to do a full suit changeout (which is very time consuming).
Unfortunately, these layers do not have a unisex or women’s option but if one becomes available I will add the links. However, if you look at the Men’s size chart and fit within the sizes then I would definitely pull the trigger on these layering options.

Here are my favorite two pieces of layering gear:

Hyperfelx Polyolefin 50/50 Top Longsleeve 
This top is extremely versatile as you can layer it over a shorty or full suit while also using it by itself over a regular running top. The chest section is made of 1.5 mm neoprene and the arms are made of polyolefin. Polyolefin has the highest insulating capacity of any fiber, natural or man made, which makes this top a good option for creating more warmth. The fit is tight in the arms and looser in the chest, as it does not fit like compression gear or a wetsuit would. I’ve used this top in both 2014 and 2015 World’s Toughest Mudder and plan on using it again this year.Wetsuit For Worlds Toughest Mudder Layers

These polyolefin bottoms can be used as a baselayer under or a layer above a wetsuit. They do fit tight, however they are not as tight as compression pants. These add a layer of warmth without restricting movement. I wore these above my 3/2mm full suit last year and as a layer over a shorty in 2014 and was very pleased. The only wear on them is slight scuffing on one of the knees. Another plus is that these are a great base layer for snow shoveling in the winter.
Well, there you have it. A few of the many pieces of gear that you will need to embark on the 24 hour journey that is World’s Toughest Mudder.

Keep an eye out for some other lists including gloves, headlamps and other goodies.Seacrest OUT!

Spartan Race Palmerton Sprint: Fun in the Sun – Spartan Style!

Apehanger

Well Howdy frickin do Obstacle Diary? It’s been awhile since we last spoke and I’ve missed you so. Last weekend my lovely bride and I ran the Spartan Palmerton Sprint together, and we had oodles of fun! Here’s why:

That moment when Bae wakes you up with a cup of coffee in bed, only in OCR terms:

  1. The Gods of onsite parking blessed me with the gift of not having to park off site and take a shuttle. I don’t mind the 1/4 to 1/2 mile walk back to registration, that’s just a great way to get the blood flowing to the extremities after a long car ride. I honestly thought it was shuttle time. This was an unexpected and welcomed surprise. Danke Schoen.
  2. Even though I signed up last minute (Thursday night) there was still an 8:45am start wave bracelet given to me. Thanks late sleepers!
  3. Five Words: Reasonably Priced Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak. It sounds as good as it tasted. 9 bucks with fries. GET SOME.

Ok, I’ll review the actual Obstacle Race……
Suunto

  1. My Suunto clocked this race at 4.89 miles with 2,477 feet of elevation gain and 2,543 feet of descent. Add in a humid 89 degrees and an initial climb up the ski mountain and you have a recipe for a difficult course. If you are signing up for a Spartan at a ski resort you should expect a lesson in the pain principle as it pertains to walking up and down mountains. Oh and you will most likely carry heavy things.
  2. So you said you had fun in the sun but you keep talking about pain principles and mountains, what gives? Well, the Sprint had 24 Obstacles over 4.89 miles. Compare that to the 9 mile Super the day before with only 8 more obstacles and the Sprint is much more obstacle dense. If you know me, you know that I like obstacles and this made Spartan much more enjoyable for me. image Photo Credit: Erica Michele
  3. If you are a die-hard follower of this Obstacle Diary, you know that Jon Snow is alive, I like obstacles, and McCauley Kraker is my mailbag hero. Which leads me to the top image of this review. A new non-heavy carry obstacle from Spartan Race! This rare unicorn named “Apehanger” had you rope climb up a small 3/4 inch thick rope while waist deep in water. At the top, you reach aluminum monkey bars that were strung together like a ladder that you see hanging from rescue helicopters (I actually think it’s the same ladder that they have used at the Tyrolean Traverse a few times this year). As you put your weight on them, they shifted down as you went across, which made it difficult to use momentum. This was a fun, creative and fresh take on regular monkey bars. It was by far my favorite obstacle. Once again, Danke Schoen.

Things I need to mention that are ultimately inconsequential in the grand scheme of things:

  1. Water stations. If you were at the race, you know about this. Apparently during Saturday’s Super, people were not very “Super Nice Club” to the volunteers at the water stations because Spartan instructed them that hydration packs were not to be filled as there was a potential water shortage. People got heated and got all Regina George up on the mountain. Overall not a really good look for anyone. In my previous two Spartan Races (Super and Beast), we were allowed to fill our packs at a specific section of the water station so it did not interfere with folks with cups. I only mention this because it is inconsistent with what people expected and are used to versus what Spartan announced mid-race on Saturday. On Sunday, they announced at the start line that no packs would be filled, and from what I saw, there were no issues as everyone was on the same page from the start (literally!). But guys, don’t be jerks to volunteers…. they don’t get paid and don’t work for Spartan.
  2. I noticed more porta potties on this mountain than I did at the Jersey Beast. This made me see fewer people without pants on squatting in the woods.
  3. The volunteers at the Water Stations on Sunday did an exceptional job of stacking the cups at the garbages and there was visibly less garbage on the ground than a typical Spartan. Well done.

Wifey’s Take:
“This is the first Spartan that I really had a lot of fun at! There were more obstacles grouped together and it made for a much better experience.”

PalmertonPainPrinciple

Final Thoughts:

I agree with Wifey. I had a lot of fun. I know from listening to Joe on the ORM Podcast that Spartan isn’t really focused on obstacle innovation, but Apehanger was a great example of one creative new obstacle spicing up a race.  In the end, Spartan does what it does best, which is send you up and down the mountain hoping to have you dig deep inside of yourself. Mission accomplished.


Tell us what you think of Spartan Race, leave a Review Here.

Or sign up for a Spartan Race now with codes:
ORM15 for 15% off
or
SPEAR10 for $10 off