I’m never doing this again- 2014 Racing Year In Review

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I just read two great end of the year posts by my friends Lindsay and Heather. This got me thinking of my year of adventure.  I did 41 races this year.  It’s a safe bet, I will never have a year like this again. So why not do one of those fun, end of the year recap things, my own self!

I won’t ever have a year this prolific, so rather than pick favorites,  I want to briefly touch on all of them them and mention the first thing that comes to my head.

I promise, no cheating. (Other than editing for grammar and spelling.)

Also, I will go back and attach videos, posts, or photos by ORM or others where applicable.

Spartan Sprint 1/25/2014 Temecula CA: My first west coast OCR. I arrive late on Sunday afternoon and I pass KK as she is leaving. I recognize her because she is carrying one of the Spartan trophy blocks of wood. I then get made fun of by Brad Kloha for failing several obstacles. It was the first time I missed a spear in several races, it would be the only time I would miss all year.

Extreme Nation 2/8/2014 Zephryhills FL: I somehow convince World’s Toughest Mudder Ryan Atkins to run for Team ORM and bring a friend. I run a Media Heat with Joel Getty-He wins. Extreme Nation gives away $40,000 and then is never heard from again.

Spartan Stadium Sprint 2/15/2014 Tampa FL: I love football. They had a football throwing obstacle. I also got to crawl through barbed wire on a football field. There were lots of stairs.

OCR UNITED

#ocrunited at the Tampa Spartan

Cupids Undie Run 2/15/2014 Atlanta GA: Val and I fly back just in time from Tampa for this. I try on undies given to me by the race director, I am too embarrassed to wear them alone, put something on underneath. We thought it was 5k, it was only 1 mile.

Mud Endeavor 3/1/2014 Brooksville FL: Awesome local OCR. Cool grounds. There was a castle. Adam Berkey finally decided to get off his ass and run.

Spartan Sprint 3/8/2014 Conyers GA: I got an epic start of the race photo. I remember thinking that it took 4 years for Spartan to sell out two days in a major market like Georgia. This means other races have a lot of catching up to do.

BADASS Dash 3/15/2014 Stone Mtn. GA.  BAD returns to the closest OCR to my house (22 minutes). They put on another fun event, and improved on last years quite a bit.

Spartan Sprint 3/22/2014 Concord NC: Super fun times on one of those awesome OCR road trips. Rode up with Val and Delaine who somehow still put up with me despite my occasional grumpiness and frequent horrible gas.

Ragnar Trail Relay 4/5/2014 Conyers GA: Fucking awesome time. Loved, loved it. Ran 50 miles. It was my birthday!

Warrior Dash 4/12/2014 Mtn. City GA: Another super fun road trip with Jennifer and Jason Barry and Peter McNairy. Lots of laughs. I meet Blind Pete along the way on my 2nd lap.

Savage Race 4/19/2014 Dallas GA: Savage delivers another great course. They add new obstacles. The Georgia Obstacle Racers and Mud Runners (GORMR) wins axes and practically sweeps all age group awards.

St. Clair Scramble 4/19/2014 Odenville AL: Same night as Savage. Brinksy drives 4 hours each way to meet Justin Rose and I at the last minute, on a dare basically. She is an instant OCR buddy.

Run For The Stars 5k 4/25/2014 Canton GA
1,2,3k Glow Show 4/25/2014 Lawrenceville GA
Run For A Reason 5k 4/26/2014 Flowery Branch GA
Muddy Duck Dash 4/26/2014 Gainesville GA
Superhero Scramble 4/26/2014 Durhamtown GA
Tough Mudder 4/26/2014 Fairburn GA
Biggest Loser 5K 4/27/2014 Austell GA
Tough Mudder 4/27/2014 Fairburn GA

I ran all these races in one weekend. Full recap here!

8 race weekend

Finishing race number 8 and 2nd Tough Mudder of the weekend

Thunder Rock 100 5/16/2014 Cherokee TN:  My first 100 miler. My first 100 miler DNF. (at around mile 53) Won’t be trying this again anytime soon.

BADASS Dash 5/24/2014 Las Vegas NV:  Highest obstacle percentage in a short course ever. Best use of venue specific obstacles. Indoor, outdoor course, lots of fun. I meet and hang out with The Rhinos!

Mud Hero 6/1/2014 Ottawa Canada: Shannon Hulme teaches me all things Canadian. I repay him by beating him both days at this race.

Jailbreak 6/7/2014 Lawrenceville GA: I attempt to defend my age group championship from the year before. I did not. Everyone else from GORMR did.

BattleFrog 6/21/2014 Winnsboro SC: I missed Atlanta Battlefrog so I was super stoked to do this one. Ran the course with Jason Barry. We got our butts kicked, and loved it. Got to ride in a helicopter!

Death Race 6/27/2014 Pittsfield VT: I got lost for lots of miles. I got to try something that I never thought I would do. Pittsfield is awesome. May be the last one ever. I DNF.

Peachtree Road Race 7/4/2014: Atlanta GA- The last time I ran this race, I was 14 year old. I think that’s got to be some kind of record. Like when Ricky Williams went 6 years between 1000 yard seasons. It was fun.

GORUCK 7/4/2014 Atlanta GA: After originally being signed up for GRC 437  over 2 years prior, I finally did GRC 1092, It was everything I thought it would be.

Race the Reaper 7/18/2014 Portland OR: Oregon is gorgeous, I got to hang with Yassine Diboun.

Spartan 8/9/2014 Amesbury MA: A baseball game at Fenway Park is the best thing you can do in Boston. A close second is doing the Amesbury Spartan with the New England Spahtens. Also, I hurt my foot. Also, RIP Amesbury.

Firebreather Challenge 8/23/2014 Woodstock GA: 3rd year in a row for this local race. 2012 was a good start, 2013 was a great improvement, 2014 was a step back. I hope they improve for 2015.

Spartan Ultra Beast 9/20/2014 Killington VT: After all the fanare and training, and bullshit, I DNF for the 3rd year in a row. I also learn what I really want to do race wise moving forward.

DNF X3

Getting pulled for time for the 3rd year in a row at The UltraBeast

Wanderlust 9/28/2014 Atlanta GA:The only race you should after your 3rd DNF is an untimed 5k followed by yoga and other foofy stuff. Great swag bag.

Merrell Down and Dirty 10/12/2014 Conyers GA: I’m the only one wearing a camelbak for a 10k obstacle race. Hadn’t see the GORMRs in a bit, so it was fun to see everyone again.

Men’s Health Urbanathlon 10/18/2014 Chicago ILSoldier Field. Freakin wet and freakin cold. I think I was the only one to run the 10 mile option and the 5 mile option on this day.

OCRWC 10/25/2014 Oregonia OH: 3 days of peace, love, and OCR.

Me and Margaret at OCRWC

Being creepy, asking a question, or giving information, who can know?

Luminate 5k 11/8/2014 Atlanta GA:Thought it would be fun to bring Emma and Jax, however, we got there late and the kids did not feel like outrunning the paddy wagon sweeping the course, so it was not fun.

World’s Toughest Mudder 11/15/2014 Las Vegas NV: I fall in love with Tough Mudder and Mudders everywhere. I got to meet Will Dean. I made a lifetime friendship with Ryan and Doc. I will be back in 2015.

Atlanta Eastside Beltline 10k 12/6/2014 Atlanta GAStacie and I got to run a race together for the first time in a long time. Beat my previous PR by a few minutes.

West Side 10 Miler 12/13/2014 Atlanta GA:Signed up at the last minute. Great course, great challenge. 38 degrees at start time.

Ugly Sweater Run 12/13/2014 Atlanta GA: Drove straight there after West Side 10 Miler. Got to be goofy with Val, Delaine, Jeff and GORMRS, great way to end the year.

Monkey Bars Ugly Sweater

This pitstop of a monkey bar battle was just what I needed at Ugly Sweater Run. 

So there you go, many of you may think this was an excuse to just repost links to everything from 2014. I really did intend to blast through the year with some quick sentences. Finding all these links and posts turned out to be much more of a chore than I thought, and I am lazy, so I assure you it was not my original goal. Regardless, I hope you had a great year. See you next year, but not as much as I saw you this year. God Bless.

SPECIAL MENTION: 6/8/14 Tough Mudder-Nashville, TN: This race was cancelled. I was disappointed. The rest is Facebook history.

Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.