Savage Race New England 2017 – New England’s Most Anticipated Race

I had heard a lot of good things about Savage Race, and when I heard it was coming to Massachusetts I immediately got excited. Like other recent races this one was held at Carter & Stevens Farm in Barre. It is a relatively flat terrain with lots of fields, wooded areas, and cows. Parking was a short shuttle ride away and then a short walk to the actual registration tent. There were some lines for registration, and it took a little longer than expected but it was a smooth process.

SavagePro

The SavagePro heat started at 9am, with an athlete meeting to explain rules at 8:50am. Each SavagePro athlete was given a wristband. If an athlete could not complete the obstacle then they turned in the wristband. This was great format for the competitive wave. It put more pressure on obstacle completion.

Savage Obstacles

The course was muddy and rugged. There were a lot of opportunities for a twisted ankle. It was about half a mile before the first obstacle, the barbed wire. The second half of the course had more obstacles than the first. The quality of the obstacles was fantastic. They were more difficult than other races. They also seemed sturdier and felt safer. There were the usual obstacles that can be found at the majority of obstacle races: walls, a heavy carry, cargo net, fire jump, and barbed wire.

However, there were several obstacles I had not encountered before. The “wheel world” was such an obstacle, a set of spinning blue monkey bars that were suspended over water. I watched people attempt this one over and over again. The amount of water on the course, in forms of ice baths and “Davey Jones’ locker” stood out for me. I personally enjoy water obstacles and welcome swims, dipping under submerged walls, and jumping into water from great heights.

Savage-Race-New-England-Wheel-World

Savage Determination

It was refreshing to have unlimited attempts at obstacles and to see the perseverance and tenacity this brought out in the athletes. There were two Savage Rigs on the course, because one didn’t seem to be hard enough… Both sets of rigs were brutal and took a spectacular amount of upper body strength.

As I passed the final rig I noted a SavagePro athlete standing to the side. She still had her wristband on and this was the very final obstacle. It was clear to see that she had been at this obstacle for a long time. I was unable to complete it and as I left she was back in line to try again. The determination on her face seems to be what Savage Race is about.

Savage-Race-New-England-Rig-#2

Savage Aftermath

The course was approximately 7.6 miles long. Savage Race boats the “perfect distance” and I can’t help but agree. It’s long enough to wear you out and beat you up, but not too long. By the time you reach the finish line you feel like you deserve that medal and that beer.

The medals were superb and the t-shirt was soft and good quality. There were food vendors and a beer vendor, as well as merchandise and several companies giving out free samples. The festival area was buzzing as I passed other wet and muddy finishers all discussing the highs and the lows of the past couple of hours.

Overall I would strongly recommend Savage Race to anyone out there looking for a more unique obstacle race with a great atmosphere. I will definitely be signing up for the 2018 race.

Savage-Race-New-England-Shriveled-Richard

 

Tough Mudder – New Jersey

photo 4 Decision time – head down to New Jersey to do Tough Mudder after an overnight wetsuit World’s Toughest Mudder training? Sure! How could I say no to this? So off I went to New Jersey for my second Tough Mudder, with two dear friends of mine, Josh Grant and Patrick Verrico.

Arrival & Parking
We arrived later than we expected, getting into the area around 9:30am. We hit the infamous Tough Mudder parking traffic. We didn’t park until after 10:15am, it felt like forever, silver lining – onsite parking. I met my Reload Fitnessteammate Stu Klaas, and we all picked up our bibs and headed to the start line. Stu and I were running the course together as Tough Mudder is untimed, and Stu upped the ante by wearing a 40lb weight vest. [Read more…]

Bone Frog Challenge Massachusetts Review

BoneFrog-Logo-200x200The Bonefrog Challenge is a new race company. It is designed and ran by the Navy Seals. They had been building the obstacles for 3 months prior to the race, so I had high expectations for this one.

I arrived with some of the Reload Fitness Team at about 7:30am on Saturday morning. Parking was on site, which I love. We set up the Reload Fitness Tent, offering some samples of the products and explaining how amazing the company is, and how it stands apart from other supplement and nutrition companies. Other vendors had set up too. I immediately recognized “The Playout Game” set up, I had to go investigate. The Playout Game is a card game based around fitness. Each card has a different exercise on and it turns fitness into a game you can play buy yourself or with friends. I was loving them, so I took a deck home with me!

After some giggles I got registered and ready to go for the 9:15 elite heat. It had been a long time since I had exercised or ran, but I was just going to take it easy, I didn’t want to re-inure myself. At around 9 they called the elite heat to the start line. The race was at a ski mountain, but the course veered immediately off to the left, not directly up the mountain, which is what I was expecting. The elite heat was small, both men and women together, and there were less than 50 of us. It took the pressure off considering this was my first race in a while. We had a moment of silence for the Boston Marathon victims, then the National Anthem, and then we were off!

Once we were out of sight of the spectators and tucked away in the woods we hit the steep inclines. It felt never ending. The Navy Seals had utilized the terrain well! We found ourselves on a constant up and down, we never knew what was coming next. The obstacles were pretty unique and extremely well built. The rope climbs, and all the ropes used throughout the course, did not have knots, which is something I prefer. The wall was 10ft, instead of the standard 8ft. There were logs that you had to climb over, which were time consuming. The monkey bars were also creative; one set being the up and down style above water, and the bfc-sitepicsecond set involved climbing a rope to a platform and swinging on decline monkey bars where the bars spun. There was also a lot of water on the 9 mile course, which was fantastic. One water obstacle required racers to balance and walk across a log to a dock in a large pond, then use a cargo net (I use the cargo net like monkey bars and swung underneath, others climbed on top and rolled across) to get to the middle of the pond where racers would drop into the water and swim the rest of the way. This happened within the first 2 miles, so racers were wet for the rest of the race. The only obstacle I was not super keen on was the slip and slide. These can be 50/50 at any race and this one just didn’t do it for me. I stopped halfway down and had to walk the rest of the way.

The penalties for the obstacles varied depending on what obstacle it was. There were burpees, military presses, jumping jacks, squats, and push-ups. The only problem I noticed was that the penalties weren’t being enforced at some of the obstacles, which is important in an elite heat.

I crossed the finish line as the 3rd woman, 2nd in the elite heat. It was a wonderful feeling, to have been out for so long yet to still be able to push myself and finish top 10! Bonefrog Challenge did awards at 4pm but did not distinguish between elite and open, despite having an elite heat, which is unusual in the world of OCRs these days.

Overall, this was an excellent race. It was very well organized, there didn’t seem to be any problems. There were plenty of volunteers and the course was challenging with over 30 obstacles. When racers crossed the finish line their medals were awarded to them by veteran Navy Seals, which was awesome. Made the experience very personal.

Definitely look out for this event and do it if you can. You wont be disappointed!

Spartan Sprint Review, Indiana

The small town of Laurel became the stage for this year’s Indiana Spartan Sprint. An 18 hour drive from my home in Boston. I will pretty much travel anywhere to compete in a race, so I jumped at the chance to drive to Laurel, Indiana with Team Reload Fitness. The drive was like any other 18 hour drive; good conversation, jokes, sleeping etc. We were excited about this race and conversation almost always returned to the race we were about to experience. You see this Spartan Race debuted the one and only Todd Sedlak as Race Director. “I will be extremely surprised if anyone finishes this course in less than an hour” he declared while stood at the start line briefing racers. The challenge had been set.

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This race really was in the middle of nowhere, but that isn’t unusual for obstacle course races. I arrived at 7:30am and had no trouble parking. Registration went smoothly as always. As I opened my registration pack to attach the timing chip and bib to myself I noticed a new addition to the race, headbands with our bib numbers on them. Personally I really liked this. I wear headbands while racing and this one even stayed in place the whole time. Plus it kept my ears warm in the chilly morning weather.

The national anthem was played right before the men’s elite heat. Watching them take off just made me more excited. As the elite women gathered at the start line I ran up to join the front row, itching to race. We were told this course was different. It wasn’t a “runners” course; the average distance between obstacles was 380 yards, shorter than your typical race. The length of the course was 5.2 miles, quite a distance for a Sprint. After the brief instructions we were off.

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It wasn’t a lie, there was obstacle after obstacle with not much running in between. The obstacles were the ones usually found at Spartan Races; over-under-through, 7 and 8 feet walls, rope climb, spear throw, traverse wall, Hercules hoist, atlas carry etc. The course had clearly been very well thought out. The environment had been utilized to be as challenging as possible. A lot of steep inclines, single tracks through creeks, weaving in and out of trees, and technical trails. The barbed wire crawl was up a long incline that got steeper towards the end, making it difficult to roll. The mud made it a million times harder. I could barely get a grip while crawling up under the wire, I was digging my fingers into the earth because even my x-talons could barely get a grip. After emerging from the barbed wire I felt about 10lbs heavier from all the mud caked to my body.

Powdered Donuts

The finish line was a classic Spartan Race. The slippery wall, followed by the fire jump and finally the infamous gladiators. The water obstacle and mini barbed wire crawl right at the end ensured the slippery wall was extremely slippery. Spectators were able to view the finish line and walk to the majority of the obstacles, there were even bleachers assembled. I also want to acknowledge the volunteers and their efforts. They were strict in enforcing the burpee penalties, a welcome addition to the race. In total 8 people achieved the hour limit. Evidence that this course was as difficult as promised.

-Nele Schulze

Men’s results

1st Brakken Kraker 48:01

2nd Elliott Megquire 48:10

3rd Alexander Nicholas 54:18

 

Women’s results

1st Amelia Boone 1:01

2nd Jillian Kenney 1:11

3rd Tonya Graham Stogsdill 1:12

 

 


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Spartan Sprint in Indiana

The small town of Laurel became the stage for this year’s Indiana Spartan Sprint. An 18 hour drive from my home in Boston. I will pretty much travel anywhere to compete in a race, so I jumped at the chance to drive to Laurel, Indiana with Team Reload Fitness. The drive was like any other 18 hour drive; good conversation, jokes, sleeping etc. We were excited about this race and conversation almost always returned to the race we were about to experience. You see this Spartan Race debuted the one and only Todd Sedlak as Race Director. “I will be extremely surprised if anyone finishes this course in less than an hour” he declared while stood at the start line briefing racers. The challenge had been set.

This race really was in the middle of nowhere, but that isn’t unusual for obstacle course races. I arrived at 7:30am and had no trouble parking. Registration went smoothly as always. As I opened my registration pack to attach the timing chip and bib to myself I noticed a new addition to the race, headbands with our bib numbers on them. Personally I really liked this. I wear headbands while racing and this one even stayed in place the whole time. Plus it kept my ears warm in the chilly morning weather.

The national anthem was played right before the men’s elite heat. Watching them take off just made me more excited. As the elite women gathered at the start line I ran up to join the front row, itching to race. We were told this course was different. It wasn’t a “runners” course; the average distance between obstacles was 380 yards, shorter than your typical race. The length of the course was 5.2 miles, quite a distance for a Sprint. After the brief instructions we were off.

Indiana Start

Indiana Start

It wasn’t a lie, there was obstacle after obstacle with not much running in between. The obstacles were the ones usually found at Spartan Races; over-under-through, 7 and 8 feet walls, rope climb, spear throw, traverse wall, Hercules hoist, atlas carry etc. The course had clearly been very well thought out. The environment had been utilized to be as challenging as possible. A lot of steep inclines, single tracks through creeks, weaving in and out of trees, and technical trails. The barbed wire crawl was up a long incline that got steeper towards the end, making it difficult to roll. The mud made it a million times harder. I could barely get a grip while crawling up under the wire, I was digging my fingers into the earth because even my x-talons could barely get a grip. After emerging from the barbed wire I felt about 10lbs heavier from all the mud caked to my body.

The finish line was a classic Spartan Race. The slippery wall, followed by the fire jump and finally the infamous gladiators. The water obstacle and mini barbed wire crawl right at the end ensured the slippery wall was extremely slippery. Spectators were able to view the finish line and walk to the majority of the obstacles, there were even bleachers assembled. I also want to acknowledge the volunteers and their efforts. They were strict in enforcing the burpee penalties, a welcome addition to the race. In total 13 people achieved the hour limit. Evidence that this course was as difficult as promised.

Men’s results

1st Brakken Kraker 48:01

Alex and JIllian

Alexander and Jillian

2nd Elliott Megquire 48:10

3rd Alexander Nicholas 54:18

Women’s results

1st Amelia Boone 1:01

2nd Jillian Kenney 1:11

3rd Tonya Graham Stogsdill 1:12

Complete results can be found here.

 


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

 

This is the 2nd race that Nele Schulze has covered for ORM. She wants you to know that her name rhymes with Kayla and does not rhyme with jelly. She is also the 2013 Winter Death Race Winner. She is also English. We love her.

Civilian Military Combine (CMC) 4.6.13 Recap (NYC-USS Intrepid)

The Civilian Militry Combine (CMC) is an obstacle course style race that has gained popularity the past 12 months. However, the CMC is different to other Obstacle Course races (OCRs) out there because of something known as The Pit. Racers begin the race in The Pit, an area with weights and equipment in which competitors perform AMRRAP (as many rounds and repetition as possible) of various exercises before moving onto the obstacle course. The April 6th event was something special because it took place on Pier 84 in the shadow of the Intrepid in NYC.

I arrived early Saturday morning with several of the New England Spahtens and feeling ready to represent Reload Fitness. The weather conditions were perfect, sunny blue skies and a slight cool breeze. The CMC had provided 2 addresses for parking lots very close to the venue. These were public parking lots and in NYC meaning they were more pricey than usual. We had received a discount parking pass but found out that the employees of the parking lots weren’t honoring the pass and not giving the discount that was on the pass. They did give a small discount and considering how close we were to the venue it was better than nothing.

After leaving the car we began walking to the race location. I rounded a corner and was immediately confronted with the Intrepid in all its glory. It was breathtaking. I couldn’t believe that CMC had managed to secure such a unique location. I was feeling very honored that I was a participant in a race in the shadow of this magnificent ship.

USS Intrepid CMC

USS Intrepid CMC

The registration was very easy to spot, right outside the entrance to the Intrepid. Registration was fast as there were no lines and the volunteers appeared to be very organized. Bags had to be searched and we had to walk through a metal detector before being allowed onsite. Again this was a smooth process and we got into the venue pretty quickly. I made it into the area just in time for the National Anthem shortly preceding the first heat.

Each heat consisted of 4 racers. They would follow a volunteer/staff into The Pit and assigned a station. Each station had a barbell (75lb for men and 45lb for women), a kettle bell (46lb for men and 26lb for women), and a 20” box (universal height), and a judge. Judges were provided from a local CrossFit gym, CrossFit Revenge. This meant that the judges knew how to score a rep and what to look for. The Pit at this event comprised of a 7 minute AMRRAP of 7 push-press, 7 kettle bell swings, and 7 box jump burpees. There was a warm-up area immediately before The Pit where competitors could practice the required moves with the same equipment.

When racers had completed the 7 minute Pit the heats of 4 would exit the area and immediately be at the start line of the obstacle course. There was no rest time. About one minute after completing The Pit the participants had begun the course. This meant you had practically no time to lower your heart rate and feel prepared to run.

CMC The Pit

CMC The Pit

The race course itself was the shortest I had ever encountered at 0.5 miles in distance. But in that half a mile were about 30 obstacles including a prowler/sled push, sandbag and bucket carry, monkey bars, ladders, cargo nets, and a lot of 5ft walls. The entire course was very spectator friendly with spectators able to follow the racers along the course and see every single obstacle. When racers crossed the finish line they were presented with a CMC goodie bag including a t-shirt, event dog tags, and wrist bands.

After the last open heat scores were tallied and the top 100 competitors raced again in a champion’s heat. The scoring was a very fair system. The top male and female in The Pit would receive 200 points and participants would be scored against them. The same occurred for the obstacle course. This system allowed men and women to be scored equally against each other.

Nele Schulze CMC

Nele Schulze CMC

The champion’s heat happened later than planned as it seemed to take a while to convert The Pit results into scores and add them to the course scores. Watching the top 100 competitors in the Pit the second time was awesome. These people had given 100% in the first round and had found the energy and drive to give 100% again. You could see the effort and energy being expended in the faces of the competitors.

As soon as the champions heat had finished CMC began packing up and it was hard to believe that a few minutes before were screaming spectators, loud music, and a wonderful energetic atmosphere. The final results were to be posted online the next day so people dissipated very fast. I imagine looking for local restaurants to re-fuel.

Overall the event was very well run. There were no bottle necks at any of the obstacles, the transition between the Pit and the course was very smooth and quick, and it was extremely spectator friendly. There were some tents giving away free products and selling workout items and any questions I had were answered by volunteers and staff. There was a leader board updated every couple of minutes so the progress of the competitors could be tracked. I am already looking forward to the New England event on June 29th at Amesbury Sports Park.

 

The final results were:

Men

1st – Benjamin Isabella (177 Pit reps, 5:56 course time, 191 points overall)

2nd – Kevin LaPlatney (178 Pit reps, 6:08 course time, 188 points overall)

3rd – Kevin Varno (173 Pit reps, 6:01 course time, 185 points overall)

Women

1st – Kelly O’Donnell-Daudlin (145 Pit reps, 6:55 course time, 127 points overall)

2nd – Tracey Magee (166 Pit reps, 8:36 course time, 111 points overall)

3rd – Katrina Przjemski (133 Pit reps, 7:40 course time, 94 points overall)

(all results can be found at http://civilianmilitarycombine.com/results/index.html)

CMC Monkey Bars

CMC Monkey Bars

 

 

 

 

 

CMC Dog Tag

CMC Dog Tag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CMC Obstacle Amputee

CMC Obstacle Amputee

 

CMC Intrepid Nets

CMC Intrepid Nets

 

 

 

CMC Pit Panorma Shot

CMC Pit Panorma Shot