Spartan Race Boston Super Weekend 2016: Storm Chasing

spartanracebostonsuper-startPhoto Courtesy of Spartan Race

With the Spartan Race Boston Sprint over 2 months in the rearview, Saturday’s round 2 of the “unofficial” 2016 Carter and Stevens Farm series began with participants submerged in a 90 degree heat wave for the duration of the 8.1 mile Spartan Super. To our surprise the course took racers through previously unvisited parts of the property including a lap around the owner’s home and a 2 mile run through a spongy floored wooded trail. However, to no ones surprise, the elevation free terrain became an unrelenting fast paced footrace catering to speedsters from all walks of life. With the exception of the Barbed Wire Crawl before and after the Rolling Mud, single load obstacles were mere speedbumps where a double sandbag carry or other doubled obstacle could have made the elite heat more exciting and better suited as prep work for the impending Wintergreen, Breckenridge, and Killington races, not to mention the fast approaching 2016 World Championships in Squaw Valley.

Nevertheless this is the type of friendly track where you could feel comfortable inviting first time Spartans without fear of losing their friendship forever as opposed to the back breaking, hamstring pulling, and calf cramping races in the mountains of Sparta.spartanracebostonsuper-heroes

Photo Courtesy of Spartan Race

Shortly after 8:30pm the forecasted high winds and torrential downpour began and continued through the night. I was able to spend most of the evening with Spartan Staff and witnessed their commitment to our safety first hand. After a few short hours of rest, Course Manager Woody Peters and other staff walked the entire course assessing risks to participants associated with the monsoon-like conditions and making the repairs necessary to safely launch day 2 of the Boston Super Weekend. I remain impressed by these folks who truly take pride in the OCR product they represent and the brand that we thoroughly enjoy.

By 5am Sunday morning order was restored in Sparta and at 6am the flurry of activity at the registration tents made way for the flood of participants itching to put their training (or lack thereof) to the test. The course was re-groomed and an exact replica of the day before without a need for modification. The fact that handfuls of obstacles were clustered together left plenty of open field for runners and provided the much appreciated shady tree coverage for everyone.

spartanracebostonsuper-map

Photo Courtesy of Nelson Runaway Diaz

Within a few minutes of the start of the elite race the slightly reduced heat and humidity ushered in yet another storm for the second time during a Spartan Boston race this year. This has become a predictable storm appearing on race day Sundays and is rather welcomed by New Englanders.  This Nor’Easter engulfed the podium again…as in another Team Nor’Easter OCR male podium sweep and beyond with Miles Bartlett 1st, Joshua Fiore 2nd, Michael Miraglia 3rd, Kiaran McCormack 4th, and Shane Leighton in 5th while Kelly Sullivan finished 1st place for the Elite women. Not sure how many 1st place Team results these folks have captured but they are a straight 4 for 4 on home turf this year alone. In a few short weeks they’ll know just how well they stack up against the more recognizable names in the sport during the October 1st Spartan World Championship. spartanracebostonsuper-noreaster

Photo Courtesy of Nor’Easter OCR

Rapcouragement:
Most Spartans are average couch to mountain top folks
Living life from the canvas, backs burned from the ropes
Though many stand outside the ring watching for you to get choked
You prevail when you pave your path with hard work and hope
So Hope On Spartans!!

God Bless & Keep Running…


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Spartan Race Boston Sprint 2016: Built For Runners & Bovine Manure!!

spartan-boston-2016

Photo Courtesy of Brandon Narciso

While the Spartan Pro Team and other highly ranked Elite Spartan Racers had their sights locked on the large payout and potential face-time on NBC courtesy of the Golden State Classic Super in Monterey California; many North Region Spartan hopefuls toed the line this weekend with dreams of conquering obstacles and claiming their one-way coin West to the Spartan World Championship in October.

SpartanRaceBostonSprint2016-Map Photo Courtesy of Brandon Narciso

The 5.2 mile runners dream came true with just Hay Walls and Monkey Bars in the first mile followed by a few additional walls and sporatic obstacles in the second mile. The proverbial cherry on top revealed itself in mile three where A net, A-frame, and A speedbump of a Sandbag Carry helped these speedsters continue to crush all 15,840 feet of the course thus far.  The Rolling Mud with Dunk Wall and Barbed Wire Crawl of Mile 4 provided little resistance for the sprinters however the obstacle assault of the last half mile bogged down the racers with the Herc Hoist, Rope Climb, Bucket Brigade, Spearman, followed by the Atlas Carry to finish the course but…too little too late for those who favor the physical demands of the obstacles over the faster pace of uninterrupted mileage.

spartan-boston-2016-2

Photo Courtesy of Nelson “Runaway” Diaz

To add insult to injury, the 80+ degree heat and hives, reportedly from the hay, did not make things any easier. Translation: Other dreams were simply buried in the bovine manure surrounding the Carter & Stevens Dairy Farm. Yes, my dream included.

SpartanRaceBostonSprint2016-bovine Photo Courtesy of Nelson “Runaway” Diaz

The Saturday Elite male landslide, all from Massachusettes, consisted of Ryan Kempson 1st, Junyong Pak 2nd, and Joshua Fiore 3rd of Nor’Easter OCR who now owns a streak of 3 podium finishes in 3 weeks including 2nd at the Endurance Society Infinitus 88k and 3rd at the Bone Frog New England.

For the Saturday Elite females Kathleen Lanphear, Orla Marie Walsh, and Nicole FitzGerald finished 1st through 3rd respectively.

The Sunday Elite Male heat re-introduced the Nor’Easter OCR storm to the Spartan Race community led by Kiaran McCormack 1st, Michael Miraglia 2nd, and Shane Leighton 3rd.

While the Elite females kept it in high gear with Debbie Koch 1st, Kelly Sullivan 2nd (also of Nor’Easter OCR), and Serra Langone 3rd.

Could this race have uncovered an underdog in the Nor’Easter OCR Pro-Team for us to rally behind? The fact is that at least 5 of their members have qualified for the Spartan World Championship at this race alone, and there is still plenty of time for the rest of their team to earn some coin. Do they have enough to upset the Spartan Pro-Team? Can Nor’Easter OCR run with the big dogs or just bark from the porch? Time will reveal.

Spartan inspiration provided by Adaptive athlete Misty Diaz at the rope climb reminded us that we have officially run out of excuses for our laziness…again.

SpartanRaceBostonSprint2016-MistyDiaz Photo Courtesy of Spartan Race

A friend recently reminded me that most of us understand fear of failure and some of us are accustomed to living with that fear. At the same time, some of us have a genuine fear of success and are accustomed to living with this fear. Fear of success is equally real and a true hindrance to our God-created potential. Fear in any form and for any reason is futile. However, there is a reason to fear NOT – so find it – and be prepared to be amazed on the Spartan course but more importantly throughout the course of your life. #inspiresomebody