Asheville Spartan 2017 Part Two


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This episode could also be called : Asheville Finish Line Fun Plus Messner.

First you are going to hear several back to back interviews from the finish line at the Asheville Spartan Super.

Ryan Woods, Matt Kempson, Hobie Call, Robert Killian, Ian Hosek, Cody King, Nicole Mericle, Lindsay Webster, Rea Kobl, Faye Stenning, Alyssa Hawley, and a few more special drop in guests.

Then I have my first sit down with Laura Messner. 5 years worth of episodes, and I have never had Laura on the show. So it was nice to have her come by the ORM tent for a (mostly) uninterrupted chat.

Todays Podcast is sponsored by:

The Barber Beast  – Sept 9, 2017. 10 miles. 30 obstacles. 1 goal. 

Rugged Maniac – $5 off when you use the code PODCAST.

Show Notes:

Laura Messner on IG

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

Asheville Spartan Super-Southeast Showdown


Spartan-Race-Logo

Southeast Showdown

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it”
-Moliere

Never fear, ORM is here
In case you missed the NBC Sports and Spartan Live coverage of the Spartan Super in Asheville, North Carolina, I am here to save the day. Below is the good, the bad, and the muddy of what you missed at the Spartan Super in Asheville.

        First off, I was unaware this was a U.S. Championship Series Race when signing away my life… I mean registration. I just saw, “Asheville, North Carolina” and thought, hell yeah, good beer. After doing a tad of research before this event I found out that last year’s event was nothing shy of absolute torture. So, since I’m a sucker for a good craft beer, I thought “better get to work” and laced up my sneakers and hit the pavement.

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Time Trials

Spartan Race introduces a new way to spend your Pre-race Friday night by attending the open house and time trials. The time trials will run you about $49 if you chose to compete, or free to spectate. The course is a mile dash through 10 of the most popular obstacles, including Twister, Slip Wall, and the Hercules Hoist. Athletes were sent out in small waves to battle each other to be the top 20. After the top 20 were chosen, one final heat remained in order to award the top three male and female winners.

If you don’t wish to compete, you can still practice on the obstacles to get a feel for the madness. Certified SGX Spartan Coaches are on site to help with any tricks and tips to aid you in conquering the obstacles before race day. As usual, Spartan had its swag for purchase along with light refreshments and water. I was disappointed that there was not a pre-race discount on shop items for time trial competitors and spectators. Maybe next time ! 😉

 

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The Elites

       Hobie Call, had an astounding time of 1:18:02, just fast enough to beat out Ryan Atkins with his time of 1:18:48. Brian Gowiski and Robert Killian fell just shy of the top two with insane speeds of 1:24:37 and 1:26:48. Obstacle Racing Media spoke with Robert at the time trials and he let us in on a secret of his. Robert is able to keep up his endurance at these races with the added help of Tailwinds nutrition. Robert pre-mixes the electrolyte and hydration fuel in a collapsible bottle to have on hand during longer events. Thank you for the tips Robert! Going to have to give it a try!

As for the females, Lindsey Webster delivered amazing times of 1:34:01 for the race, with Rea Kolbl and Faye Stenning right on her tail with their times of 1:34:30 and 1:34:50. Close finish for these top three females! Lindsey states that she really had to push to come out with the win at this year’s Asheville. “I caught second place with Faye on the log carry and we bombed down the final hill together. So fun to race side by side again with this girl, just like last year!” She adds, “It took me a little while to internalize that I had won!” Congrats Lindsey!

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Top athlete, Brakken Kraker and NBC sports host, David Magida state that this year’s Asheville Super was quite “easier” than last year. Although I did not race the course last year, it has been the topic of discussion for some time now how difficult last year was. The last 1.7 miles of straight mountain climb were excluded from this year’s race. I do like to Go Big Or Go Home, but I was ecstatic to hear the deletion of the last mile, (and so were my calves).

The Obstacles

“The moment when you want to quit is the moment when you need to keep pushing”

        Black Mountain without a doubt caused some damage that day. In typical Spartan fashion, the challenging venue just wasn’t enough. Spartan made every obstacle “championship” hard, meaning, heavier, taller, and slipperier. The noted tire flip increased in weight to a total of 400 pounds for the men and 200 pounds for the females! It took three females to get the men’s tire to flip just once! Another, incredibly difficult obstacle was the already dreaded Spartan Bucket Carry. Imagine carrying a full bucket of heavy stones and rocks up the side of a mountain when you’re already 4 miles in and about 2,000 feet in elevation. Talk about murder for this Florida girl.

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Spartan Race course designer, Steve Hammond states that the “signature” moment for this race was the water crossing. I would personally agree with Steve on his statement!! The scenery was absolutely breath taking!! The only problem was, at that elevation, I didn’t have enough breath to give! There was even a shark sighting out there! That’s definitely memorable! Haha!

 

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“It is then when your heart takes over and takes the lead.”

Based on the terrain and elevation alone, I would not recommend this particular course for a beginner OCR athlete. I have done many races in my short two year career and THIS one right here made me question myself and my athleticism. I had to push myself past a mental barrier that I have never felt before. The race was designed to make or break athletes and I can say I felt broken up until I actually crossed that finish line. I genuinely cried at how proud of myself I was to have finished the race and that I didn’t quit even though my mind and my body both told me I should.

My heart proved stronger that day and carried me to finish! I rewarded myself with a complimentary Zombie White Ale from Catawba Brewing Co., a North Carolina craft brew. I also scored this sweet Asheville Southeast Showdown dri-fit t-shirt for $30.

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If you have decided to make this Super a MUST DO on your race schedule for 2018, I suggest these breweries and restaurants to visit when in town!

Asheville Brewing
Hole Doughnuts
Tupelo Honey Cafe
Wicked Weed
Sunny Point Cafe

Thank you to ORM and Spartan Race ! Stay Dirty and Stay Fit 💪🏻😊

Jessika_Poppe_signature

 

Photos by: Myself and Spartan Race

Spartan World Championship Results 2016 (Men)

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Hobie Call surprised the OCR world by winning the 2016 Spartan World Championship in Lake Tahoe Saturday morning. Call stayed mostly quiet for the bulk of the season, then showed up yesterday and beat out a stellar field.

In 2016, 39 year old Hobie did participate in (and win) 2 BoneFrogs, the Utah BattleFrog, and The Utah Spartan Super. The last being his ticket, er coin, to Tahoe. This, however, is a far cry from the 20 plus races a year he used to do show up and dominate, prior to his first (sort of) retirement.

Not many expected Call to be victorious after he stayed mostly quiet and did not participate in the 5 race US Spartan Points Series. The 3 men who battled it out all year for that series were Ryan Atkins, last year’s Spartan Champ Robert Killian, and Hunter McIntyre (who has yet to win the big Spartan dance). They finished 2nd, 3rd, and 6th respectively.

Here are the rest of today’s top male finishers:

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1 Hobie Call 2:25:33
2 Ryan Atkins 2:25:59
3 Robert Killian 2:28:10
4 Jon Albon 2:29:30
5 Cody Moat 2:32:30
6 Hunter McIntyre 2:33:09
7 Peter Ziska 2:33:53
8 Chad Trammell 2:37:22
9 Isaiah Vidal 2:37:33
10 Glen Racz 2:38:36

 

 

 

 

Spartan World Champions History

Year          Venue                           Winner                         2nd                              3rd

2011         Glen Rose TX            Hobie Call              Josiah Middaugh        Junyong Pak

2012        Killington, VT            Cody Moat              Hobie Call                    Brakken Kraker

2013        Killington, VT            Hobie Call               Matt Murphy              Hunter McIntyre

2014        Killington, VT            Jon Albon              Ryan Atkins                  Cody Moat

2015       Squaw Valley, CA       Robert Killian       Ryan Atkins                  Cody Moat

2016      Squaw Valley, CA        Hobie Call              Ryan Atkins                  Robert Killian

 

HESCO Bone Frog Challenge New England 2016

If you haven’t run a Bone Frog Challenge before… you’re doing OCR wrong.

I could simply end the review there but for those of you who still aren’t convinced, let me spend the next 840 words changing your mind.

Former Navy SEAL Brian Carney’s HESCO Bone Frog Challenge, now in it’s fourth year, has attracted the likes of OCR heavyweights Hobie Call, Junyong Pak, Amelia Boone, Cody Moat, Josh Chace and more. Why haven’t you heard about it? Well, if you’re an OCR enthusiast and not just a single brand-loyal racer (Spartan AROO’er, Mudder, or that other Frog), hopefully you have. Nestled deep within the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, the HESCO Bone Frog Challenge started in 2013 and then expanded to several other locations in the last few years – also launching the Bone Frog Championships, a 6-mile obstacle intense course for  all the marbles at the end of the year. Now when I say “obstacle intense”, I mean that HESCO Bone Frog Challenge has some of the most challenging and original obstacles in the industry today, hands down.

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Before we talk obstacles, let’s look at the choice of distances offered. HESCO Bone Frog Challenge has expanded it’s offerings in the last few years in an attempt to draw the hardcore OCR enthusiasts as well as capture the folks new to the industry. In New England this past weekend, they offered the following race options:

Sprint – 5K
Challenge – 9 Mile
Tier 1 – 12+ Mile

I opted for the Tier 1 course because I can not get enough of Bone Frog’s obstacles. From their extra-high sternum checker (appropriately named the ‘Dirty Name’ because people are constantly swearing as they round the corner towards this thing) to the highest monkey bars you’ll ever do (also conveniently placed directly in front of the festival area for maximum exposure). Bone Frog crams 40 great non-filler style obstacles into their Challenge and 20+ into their Sprint. You get the usual rope climbs, hoists, wall climbs and more but intertwined between those staples in OCR are some amazing hurdles. A tyrolean traverse over a freezing cold lake – that was only after two previous submersions atop Berkshire East. Great upper body testers like handhold monkey bars, some Ninja Warrior style grip traverses that have still defeated me after 3 years and walls that range from A-frame style, to traverse and inverted options – but it was the Stairway to Valhalla that deserves honorable mention today. Each mountain course typically has what the racers like to refer to as a ‘Death March’. A hike that looks like a crowd of zombies from The Walking Dead is slowly walking up, single file. Last years Stairway was only about 350 feet and started more than halfway up the mountain – well Robb McCoy (of F.I.T. Challenge fame), who was brought on as Co-Race Coordinator this year, decided that this needed to be stepped up a notch or twelve. If you don’t know Robb, know this: Robb McCoy loves hills like I love post-race McDonald’s cheeseburgers (see):

And Robb uses every foot of a hill to beat, batter and bully his racers – in a good way, of course! The Stairway to Valhalla this year started at the base of the mountain and went straight up 800 feet of elevation and over half a mile in distance. If you opted for the Tier 1 race, you had the dubious distinction of climbing this beast twice. Thanks Robb. My calves look epic now thanks to you.

Bone Frog got a little extra boost of exposure this year thanks to Mr. Hobie Call. You may recall that Hobie challenged Ryan Atkins  earlier this month (and took the title of UnBFeated away from Mr. Atkins in quite an upset). Never satisfied, Hobie then moved on to challenge 2x reigning Bone Frog Challenge winner Junyong Pak and wouldn’t you know it, he handily slayed that dragon today as well.

13260062_10100643111022330_100897026324349499_n Photo courtesy: Yvette Tetrault on Facebook

All of this made for a great day at Bone Frog Challenge and hopefully a day worth inspiring more racers to attend in the weeks and months to come. I promise you, this is an event worth marking on your calendar – they’ve got five events left in 2016, seen here: http://www.bonefrogchallenge.com/events/

The event wasn’t without it’s small share of logistical missteps: unfortunately UPS decided not to drop off the race shirts until after the course had shut down, so racers will be getting those in the mail in the follow days/weeks. Beyond that, Bone Frog has mastered the parking, festival, spectator areas and food/vendor balance at a relatively small resort at Berkshire East. What they do have is an AMAZING mountain full of challenging terrain and a staff that truly loves building some of those most amazing obstacles in the industry. They were also all over the course throughout the day calling in requests for more water at plentiful water stops, and there to help out the few that needed medical attention.

To top it all off, at the end of the race, you are handed your medals by a tried and true Navy SEAL – for me it was from a gentleman who had served from 1977 to 2006. Bone Frog really knows how to pay respect to the folks who share the race’s namesake. Bravo. In summary: A++++ would do business with again!

HESCO Bone Frog - Finish Line

HESCO Bone Frog - Course

HESCO Bone Frog - Obstacle

Bone Frog Challenge Discount Code

Bone Frog Challenge Discount Code

Traci Martin Leaves Extreme Nation (Hobie Call Stays)

Hobie Call Extreme Nation

Traci and Hobie from Extreme Nation at the recent Georgia Spartan Sprint

Yesterday at approximately 5:00pm EST, Obstacle Racing Magazine learned that Traci Martin (Nelson), had left her post as Director of Operatons. Editor in Chief Matt B. Davis reached out to her by telephone. She was quoted as saying “I am the heart and soul of Extreme Nation and I don’t have faith in this company without my presence”. She further stressed that she and Hobie Call were still close and were traveling to run various races together in the near future.  She also hinted that she may pursue building another racing company on her own.

An hour later, we were able to reach Patricia Kaiser at Extreme Nation.

When asked about Traci’s departure , Patricia said “The heart of this company is completely intact. Hobie Call, myself, and the team are moving full speed ahead. We look forward to seeing everyone at our races this summer”  Later that evening, they posted the following on their facebook page. “The heart of EN is among it’s many members. We appreciate everyone’s support”.

When Hobie Call was contacted, he gave a firm “No Comment”, but hinted that he could be reached later in the week to discuss.

What does all this mean for the world of OCR?

We here at the magazine are hoping that Extreme Nation can pull it off. Success would mean great things for obstacle racing. A race paying this much money ($150,000 promised at the first racee) could attract more sponsors, more private money, and eventually, television. If EN does not succeed, it would take the wind out of the sails of a lot of people who are getting excited and hopeful for the future of OCR.

ORM-USA had another call scheduled with Extreme Nation this morning, which they later rescheduled for next week. We will continue to bring you more on this story as it develops.

PS If you want to hear how excited Hobie and Traci were just two weeks ago, listen to the interviews they gave on the Matt B. Davis Runs Podcast.