Chad Trammell

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Chad Trammell talks with us about what he’s been up to since last year’s World’s Toughest Mudder, leading for 95% of the recent LA Toughest, plans for the rest of 2017 and more.

Todays Podcast is sponsored by:

Savage Race : New obstacles, new locations, new syndicate medal. Check them out at Savage Race.com.

BUFF® is offering 15% off your next purchase at buffusa.com. Just use the code “ORM”

Show Notes:

Little 5 Points

Mental Illness Happy Hour

 

Listen using the player below or the iTunes/Stitcher links at the top of this page. 

First Look at WTM 2016 w/ Nolan Kombol and Chad Trammell

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Tough Mudder announced several changes to this year’s team competition at World’s Toughest Mudder. We got Nolan Kombol on the phone as quickly as we could to get it all sorted out. Nolan’s been with Tough Mudder since July of 2010. His current title is Senior Director of Product, which means he and his team are responsible for your on-course experience and all of the obstacles that go with it.

We go into the new changes and answer some questions including:

  • What is the total payout for a winning team that crosses 100 miles?
  • Legionnaire status: Is it laps or event days?
  • Do two Tough Mudder Halves equal a Whole?

The second half of the episode has us sit down with WTM 2015 male champ Chad Trammell to talk about last year’s wild ride, what his plans are for this year, and some ideas he has that could make WTM much more interesting.

Today’s episode is sponsored by

BoneFrog Challenge – ORM10 gets you $10 off all 2016 races.
Rugged Maniac – $5 off when you use the code PODCAST.

Mud Hero – Mud Hero events are some of the best in Canada.  Code ORM16 saves $5 on all events.

You can use the player below to listen or use the iTunes or Stitcher buttons at the top of this post.

Spartan Race’s New “U.S. Championship Series”

Spartan Race are announcing a brand new “U.S. Championship Series” which will have payouts of $100,000 and coincide with all of the NBC televised races this year.

Here are the highlights. (Entire press release can be found at the end of this article).

  • Spartan are essentially creating a “mini season” with 5 televised races.
  • They have chosen to give each of the 5 races a cool sounding name.
  • Each race in the Series will pay the first 5 places a larger payout than regular races.
  • Overall Series payouts will pay down to 20 places
  • You must race 4 of the 5 races to qualify as Series Champion.
  • There will still be a separate “*Spartan World Champion” crowned at the Beast in Tahoe. To qualify for the Tahoe Championship, athletes need a coin to participate, just as they did in 2015. Read all about earning your 2016 coin here.

*This once a year race has been how Spartan have determined champions since 2011. It was held in Glen Rose, Texas in 2011, Killington, Vermont from 2012-2014, and Tahoe in 2015.

Here is the lineup for this first ever Championship Series.

Event: Montana Sprint   Name: Big Sky Sprint

Race Date: May 8    TV Date: July 20

Montana Spartan

Event: Monterey Super   Name: Golden State Classic

Race Date: June 4    TV Date: August 23

Monterey Spartan

Event: Pennsylvania Super   Name: Blue Mountain Challenge

Race Date: July 16    TV Date: August 23

Palmerton Spartan Race

Event: Asheville Super   Name: Southeast Showdown

Race Date: August 6   TV Date: September 27

Asheville Spartan Super

Event: Breckenridge Beast   Name: The Summit

Race Date: August 27  TV Date: October 11

Spartan Breckenridge

We reached out to several top racers for their reactions.

Amelia Boone, Spartan Pro Team. WTM Champ 2012, 2013, 2015 and Spartan Points Champion 2015 told us:

I’m stoked! I also appreciate Spartan’s attempt to make each race into a WWE pay-per-view. I hope it comes with entrance music for each competitor.

Lindsay Webster, BattleFrog Pro Team,  2nd in last year’s Tahoe Championship, 2015 OCRWC Champion said:

Elite athletes in OCR really appreciate Spartan’s efforts to grow and televise the sport, and it looks like they’ve come up with another great way to do it here. Not only does this give us some fantastic opportunities to go head-to-head with our top competitors on a regular basis throughout the season, but the televised coverage goes such a long way for us as athletes in gaining exposure for ourselves.

Chad Trammell, Spartan Pro Team, 2015 WTM Champ responded with:

This guarantees all the top guys will be at all the races! Last year it seemed like about half of the top racers would show up at a given TV race, but there won’t be any ducking the competition this year. I know this announcement already has me reconfiguring my summer schedule to attend all the TV races.

2105 Tahoe Championship Robert Killian added:

With training going well and a great start to the season, I’m pumped to hear that Spartan Race will put on the first National Championship series pitting Americans best against each other. This is what our sport needs to take it to the next level and I’m honored to be a part of it. I’ll be blunt, I want the title! Especially since the last race will be held in Breckenridge Colorado where I finished my first Spartan Race last year.

Spartan released a teaser video this afternoon.

$100,000+ in Prizes. 5 Races. 1 Champion. Introducing the Spartan U.S. Championship Series. Race it then watch on NBCSN. http://sprtn.im/ChampionshipSeries2016

Posted by Spartan Race on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Posted by Spartan Race on Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Some additional info can be found here.

The complete press release can be found here.

Five questions for World’s Toughest Mudder 2016

World's Toughest Mudder Black and White

Tough Mudder held its fifth annual “World’s Toughest Mudder” race last month. World’s Toughest Mudder is the final event on the Tough Mudder calendar and is widely known as the most difficult championship race in Obstacle Course Racing. It is a 24 hour race on a five mile looped course with 21 obstacles each lap. This years course was considered to be one of the most difficult Tough Mudder has held.

Following the victories by Chad Trammell, Amelia Boone, and Team Sinergy, and as we look forward to WTM 2016, here are five questions we would love to have answered.

1. Can Junyong Pak win another WTM? Can he FINISH another one?
Junyong Pak Is Cold

Junyong Pak became a bit of a legend in the Tough Mudder community by winning the first two WTM’s ever held and finishing second in year three to a rookie named Ryan Atkins.

However, in 2014, Pak had his first truly disappointing performance at a World’s Toughest Mudder. He finished with “only” 45 miles and his first WTM DNF. Atkins repeated as champion with 95 miles. 

For the 2015 race, Atkins and several other strong racers moved to the team division, leaving the perfect opportunity for Pak to reclaim his throne, but it would not happen this year. Pak had his second WTM DNF in a row, leaving with 50 miles.

We won’t know the answer to this question until November of 2016, but here’s a hint: This past December, Pak raced in the inaugural Viper 2 Four race in Malaysia. Viper 2 Four is the only 24-hour race in Asia. Pak won the race handily, completing 87 miles. The race was held during monsoon season in Malaysia and two hours were lost when they stopped the race because of lightning strikes.

The competition at WTM will be more intense and more skilled than Viper 2 Four, but I would never bet against Junyong Pak.

2. Will Amelia Boone 3-peat?
Amelia Boone Gutting It Out

Amelia Boone has won the past two WTM’s and three of the past four. In 2012, she was nine minutes shy of winning first place overall, narrowly losing to Junyong Pak. She is unquestionably the most dominant WTM racer in the women’s division and maybe overall. Tim Ferriss recently called her “The Michael Jordan of Obstacle Course Racing”. When they sell tickets to World’s Toughest Mudder, they have to pay royalties to Boone because she OWNS this race.

But for how long?

Lindsay Webster, the best female racer not named Amelia Boone, told Matt B. Davis in a recent interview that she’s going to compete for the first time at WTM 2016. Webster had an amazing 2015. She won both the independent OCR World Championship and the Battlefrog Championship. She also placed second in the Spartan Race World Championship, finishing one minute and change ahead of Boone. 

World’s Toughest Mudder 2016 will be a great race.

3. Will Ryan Atkins keep chasing the $100k or go back to the individual category?
Ryan Atkins Leaping Logs

Tough Mudder and Cellucor announced a new prize this year: $100,000 to the winning team, but only if they completed 100 miles. 100 miles has only been reached once, by Ryan Atkins in 2013 when he had three guys on his tail who each finished with 95 miles. After winning the solo championship in 2013 and 2014 Atkins moved to the Team Division for 2015. His team, Sinergy Sports, won with 80 miles. Sinergy finished well ahead of second place but well behind its 100-mile goal.

First place in the solo division comes with a $10,000 prize. First place in the team division comes with a $12,000 prize split (at least) four ways. If you can’t reach 100 miles with a team, it’s much more profitable to go for 100 miles by yourself.

Atkins is recently engaged to Lindsay Webster. You can pay for quite a honeymoon with $100,000. Go for it Ryan!

4. Can the Wolfpack make a comeback?
Spartan Wolfpack on the WTM Podium

The Spartan Wolfpack entered the 2014 WTM unknown and if you asked them, disrespected. They won the WTM Team Division last year with 76 miles. For 2015, they were considered one of the favorites to make a run at the “$100,000 for 100 miles” team prize.

They had a disappointing race this year. One of their team members had an injury and the team was unable to finish the race. Wolfpack chose to disband in the middle of the night. Adding to the disappointment was Team Sinergy Sports’ winning with 80 miles, just above Wolfpack’s total from last year. The anticipated Wolfpack/Sinergy battle would have been great to watch if Wolfpack was at full health.

Wolfpack hasn’t announced their plans for 2016, but everyone loves a good comeback story. Come back fellas!

5. Who will win WTM 2016?
Nobody knows – but I’ll tell you.

First, the dark horse picks.
Men: Trevor Cichosz
Women: April Hartwig
Team: Getting Tough

Cichosz has finished in third and second in the last two WTM’s. 2016 could be his breakthrough year. Hartwig led the women for most of the 24 hours, before Boone passed her for the win, and will only be better next year. Getting Tough won second place last year and did it with six guys. If they trim down to four guys, they’ll be faster and could give Atkins and Sinergy Sports trouble.

My actual picks to win.
Men: Junyong Pak
Women: Amelia Boone
Team: Sinergy Sports

Yes – those are mostly favorites. Yes – Chad Trammell had an impressive win (and Trammell could easily repeat. He’s a stud!), but the way it looks now, these are my picks to win.

Here’s a bonus pick: Amelia Boone and Lindsay Webster are going to push each other hard. Whoever wins the battle between them will also finish in the top three overall.

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