Spartan Race – Killington Ultra Beast 2016: No Small Undertaking

The 2016 Killington Ultra Beast was no small undertaking. Two laps of one of the toughest Spartan Races on the map is not a feat to be taken lightly. One of the most challenging aspects of the Ultra Beast for me was knowing on the first lap that I would have to complete everything in front of me not only this time, but another. And when I dared set foot back out on that monstrous course for lap two, I already knew every last detail of what waited ahead.

I had never raced at Killington before, let alone attempt the Ultra Beast, but I figured why not. I know I could do the beast. Let’s push it a bit here.

My drop bin was prepped long before we arrived at the venue emblazoned with the words “You ran FIFTY MILES… You got this.” I was surrounded by family and friends, words of encouragement and good food leading up to the race. I was ready. Nothing much was different from any other race.

Saturday morning, my friends picked me up and drove me to the venue. They dropped off my bin so I could go directly to the start, being the only one in the 6 am heat. Standing around waiting, I got to talk to many friends I wasn’t expecting to see at the start, but I felt like I was in a daze. After a 15 minute delay and then 10 minutes of explaining the rules and singing the national anthem, we were finally off by about 6:25. Consequently, the cutoff times were all pushed back 30 minutes.

killington-ultra-beast-2016-start

From the very beginning, racers got spread out based on power hiking ability. The course started with a 1,000 ft ascent and from just those beginning miles, I was already thinking about lap number two – how much I didn’t want to do this twice. I knew it was far too early to think like this and I redirected my thoughts to each step, one by one.

It didn’t take long before I realized I was somewhere near the front of the pack. I could count the women in front of me: three. I wasn’t moving like I normally do through the obstacles though. I felt extremely sluggish through the first barbed wire crawl and practically powerless on the vertical cargo net. Something wasn’t right, but I knew I had to get it done; so I opted to keep my eyes on the women who kept passing me on the obstacles. I made sure I passed them back on the runnable portions of the course as well as the climbs seeing as that’s my strength.

killington-ultra-beast-2016-stairway-to-sparta

When we neared the festival grounds, my pace improved greatly, that is until I stepped into the lake. For the remainder of the swim, I was gasping for air because the water was so frigid. I climbed the ladder and made it to the top but chose not to go across the Tarzan Swing since one of the ropes was not knotted and I knew I would slip. I climbed down, swam the rest of the way across and completed my 30 burpees. Back in the lake, rocks and sand in my shoes, and then finally back on solid ground for some more power hiking – rocks and sand still in my shoes because I wasn’t taking them off.

Almost more treacherous than the ascents were the knee shattering and ankle rolling descents. If we weren’t hiking through dense woods on extremely technical “trails” then we were on the ski slopes. Usually, I’d be cheering myself on at this point because downhill running is another strength of mine and typically where I would make up a lot of time, but not on this course. A few steps into each descent and I could feel the pressure building up in my knees. I decided to go swiftly, but not too daringly, at a jog.

killington-ultra-beast-2016-top-of-death-march

I missed the spear throw… SHOCKING. And then a few obstacles later, I made it to the final and easiest object on the multi-rig, the pipe, but just could not shift my left hand forward. I fell. 60 burpees right there at the end before I could get to my sweet salvation: potato chips, sour patch kids, and chocolate covered espresso beans. But why was I so out of it?

After the multi-rig, just before the slip wall (one of the final 3 obstacles), was an exit off to the left which brought us to the transition area. As I entered the transition area, there was a woman holding white bibs. She proceeded to hand me one and said congratulations, you’re in seventh. That was probably the first smile I cracked in several hours. I was extremely proud to be amongst the top 20 females, but I also knew how exhausted I felt. I long thought about stopping here, but it wasn’t what I set out to do. I needed to get back out there for another lap.

After 5 minutes of searching for my bin, which I just couldn’t seem to locate, others began to help and ultimately found it for me. I was greeted by my water, Gatorade, Clif Bars and Bloks, gummy bears and other treats as mentioned earlier. I also had a med kit, towel and extra socks, none of which I used. Very unlike me, I couldn’t be bothered to take my shoes off. A racer nearby took a massive container out of his bin and asked if anyone wanted a peanut butter & jelly. He must’ve had ten sandwiches! So yes, I ate one. I refilled my hydration bladder and packed my race vest with all of my new morale-boosting snacks as well as some solid calorie foods and I was off.

We set out on a short trail run beside the start chute which quickly reconnected to the course. It was there that it was apparent who had just begun the course and who was on lap two. The Ultra Beast participants jogged or even walked as Beast participants sprinted on by. But for the first time this race, I was running with people I knew. And as we approached that first climb once more, we got down on our hands and knees, crawling forward. Before long, I was by myself again and moving slower than everyone around me.

All of the obstacles were textbook Spartan with no real surprises. The course started off with some of the easier obstacles and proceeded to diminish your spirits and crush your soul as you went along. But by lap two, nothing was easy. The Bucket Brigade must’ve taken me 20 minutes the second time around. And at the Tarzan Swing, I barely made it up the ladder at which point my grip was fried. I reached out and grabbed the first rope and then let myself drop into the water. “Well, my headlamp’s gotta be dead now…” And it was.

killington-ultra-beast-2016-tarzan-swing

The burpee area was a mud pit by now and I was thankful we were getting back in the water afterwards. Upon exit of the lake, I took out my Ziploc baggie filled with sour patch kids and espresso beans, drained the lake water out, and ate the espresso beans. It only took 6 miles at a snail’s pace to realize that this would give me the boost I needed. The power hiking expert me was back.

As I climbed up through Norm’s trails in the woods once more, I was soon stuck in a very slow-moving line. I used every opportunity to climb rocks and tree roots just to pass people. Many cheered me on saying, “You go, Ultra Beast,” but I replied “More like ultra idiot.” Although I was completing the obstacles with the most ease I had all day and really began to boost my pace as I watched the clock tick down to 6:30, I was only at the plate drag. Regardless, I sprinted down the mountain to the sandbag carry, got it done as quickly as possible, and sprinted toward the cutoff. I heard a stranger say good for you for finishing strong just before I reached the rope climb… 15 minutes too late. I topped it off with a smile and a heel click, just what I said I’d do when I finished, but it wasn’t long before my timing chip was cut off and I could no longer hold back the tears.

We had 15 hours to complete the course twice. We had to be out of the transition area by 2 pm, giving us exactly 7.5 hours per lap. I completed my first lap in 6.5 hours and despite the extra hour, I still didn’t make it. Approximately 28 miles into the 32 mile Ultra Beast and all that remained from that point was the Death March with a number of obstacles back down at the base right before the finish. The Race Directors knew that racers wouldn’t make it to the finish by 9:30 pm if they didn’t get through the rope climb with at least three hours left to complete the final 4 miles. I knew if I could catch my friend and my mom doing the Beast I would make the cutoff, but I never caught up to them.

As I returned to my drop bin, I received consoling words from friends as well as strangers, none of which seemed to help. Still now, I’m not quite sure how to explain exactly what it is I’m feeling, but one thing I know for sure is that I earned my DNF.

I watched headlamps line the mountain slopes as racers completed the final ascent and descent while I waited by the fire. Everything about it was remarkable: from the simple beauty of the lights to the incredible challenge Spartan Race put in front of us on such a magnificent mountain. Although what stands out most is the physical and mental resolve of the competitors who took on, and more so those who were able to finish, the 2016 Killington Ultra Beast: no small undertaking.

killington-ultra-beast-2016-drop-bin

Photo Credit:Kevin Donoghue, Bill Durando, Spartan Race, Justina Rosado


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Spartan Points Series Champs And Payouts

At the end of December, we published BattleFrog’s first ever points series and payouts. Today, we are publishing the latest from Spartan Race and their point series. Although Spartan has been handing out end of the year prizes and awards since 2012, it appears with all the bruhaha of Tahoe and the rest of the championship races, it was never announced who took home their end of the year loot.

Some results were what most OCR fans expected:
Top Elites: Amelia, Rose, and April are the top three women. Cody, Atkins and Brakken are the top three men.

Some results, on the other hand,  were surprising:
Yuri Force and Spartan OG, Elliott Megquier both finished ahead of Hunter McIntyre.

Also, the top 3 men in the Stadium Point Series are dudes you probably haven’t heard of:
Welcome to the Big Time Kiaran, Randall, and Jeremy.

Have a peek back at those BattleFrog payouts, there are very few names on both the Spartan and BF lists, especially near the top. Is this because The Battlers want to avoid The Spartan Pro Team? Or, has it just been a matter of racers choosing one horse and riding that one all year? It will be interesting to observe as BF jumps from 15 races to 44 in 2016.

Final Spartan standings and cash payouts are below. Along with the cash prize, everyone on these lists receives a Spartan “Series T-Shirt” and “Spartan Series Hoodie”.

Spartan Stadium Point Series

M

1

1271

KIARAN MCCORMACK

$4,000.00

M

2

1260

RANDALL BRACE

$3,000.00

M

3

1167

JEREMY ANDRZEJEWSKI

$2,000.00

F

1

1267

KARLEE WHIPPLE

$4,000.00

F

2

1105

ROBIN FONTAINE

$3,000.00

F

3

838

JACKIE LANDMARK

$2,000.00

 

Elite 2015 Standard Point Series

M

1

1530

Cody Moat

$4,000.00

M

2

1498

Ryan Atkins

$3,000.00

M

3

1497

Brakken Kraker

$2,000.00

M

4

1492

Chad Trammell

$1,300.00

M

5

1492

Ryan Kent

$1,200.00

M

6

1489

Robert Killian

$1,100.00

M

7

1481

Isaiah Vidal

$1,000.00

M

8

1477

Glenn Racz

$900.00

M

9

1460

Matt Novakovich

$800.00

M

10

1458

Ryan Woods

$700.00

M

11

1439

ian deyerle

$600.00

M

12

1427

Matthew Kempson

$500.00

M

13

1419

Yuri Force

$450.00

M

14

1418

Elliott Megquier

$400.00

M

15

1414

Hunter McIntyer

$350.00

M

16

1407

Ben Kinsinger

$350.00

M

17

1406

Ian Hosek

$300.00

M

18

1402

Miles Bartlett

$300.00

M

19

1387

Nathan Palmer

$300.00

M

20

1378

Victor Quezada

$200.00

M

21

1374

Mark Batres

$200.00

M

22

1372

Stephen Vassallo

$200.00

M

23

1371

Francis DiSomma

$150.00

M

24

1365

Brian Gowiski

$150.00

M

25

1363

Austin Azar

$150.00

M

26

1353

Junyong Pak

$100.00

M

27

1349

Chris Schapman

$100.00

M

28

1347

Ivan Santana

$100.00

M

29

1342

Brian Hoover

$50.00

M

30

1339

Charles Vassallo

$50.00

F

1

1524

Amelia Boone

$4,000.00

F

2

1498

Rose Wetzel

$3,000.00

F

3

1491

April Dee

$2,000.00

F

4

1470

Kio Paul

$1,300.00

F

5

1465

Alex Roudayna

$1,200.00

F

6

1457

Jackie Rust

$1,100.00

F

7

1451

Jackie Landmark

$1,000.00

F

8

1450

Kate Cramer

$900.00

F

9

1430

Laura Lunardi

$800.00

F

10

1415

Orla Marie Walsh

$700.00

F

11

1402

ashley seeger

$600.00

F

12

1382

Lauren Casavant

$500.00

F

13

1372

Cassidy Watton

$450.00

F

14

1362

Stephanie Clements

$400.00

F

15

1354

Laurel Shearer

$350.00

F

16

1343

Taylor Witkiewicz

$350.00

F

17

1341

Tiffanie Novakovich

$300.00

F

18

1339

Charlotte Curtis

$300.00

F

19

1335

Jolene Wilkinson

$300.00

F

20

1331

Kathleen Lanphear

$200.00

F

21

1326

Debbie Koch

$200.00

F

22

1323

Jenny Tobin

$200.00

F

23

1322

Ember Shmitt

$150.00

F

24

1309

Terra Jackson

$150.00

F

25

1298

Sue Luck

$150.00

F

26

1298

Jodie Fleming

$100.00

F

27

1297

Stephanie Hochman

$100.00

F

28

1276

Allison Tai

$100.00

F

29

1261

Melissa Berke

$50.00

F

30

1260

Deidre Nims

$50.00

F

30

1260

Deidre Nims

$50.00

Editor’s Note: We realize there are a few typos/errors in these charts. We’d rather get this great info out to you at 98%% correct than not at all. Spartan promised us corrections are on the way.

 

 

 


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