Friday, March 24, 2017


The Week Leading Up:

Tue, Mar 14:
4.5 in 36:28, 8:06 ave, 2 degrees of incline.  After 150 burpees, where I felt like I could black out from fatigue at times.  Did another 100 burpees after the run.  The run itself went pretty well... it was progressive, although short, because my feet have been iffy.

Wed, Mar 15:
60 min bike session.  I had intended to go to a networking session that night, but some stuff came up at work and I had to stay late, but on the bright side, I went to the gym when I probably otherwise would've ended up skipping it and getting further behind on my goal for 10,000 burpees in 100 days.

Thur, Mar 16:
5.5 in 44:57, 8:10 ave.  Could've gone a bit further, but didn't want to push too hard before Rugged Maniac.

Friday, drove down to Charleston.  I had been looking forward to visiting my hometown again, even if my parents weren't going to be in town.  It would be like a mini vacation.

The Race:

Temps were perfect in a sports bra, and it was cloudy, which I like for races.  I had watched a youtube video of the obstacles earlier that week, to know what to expect and to mentally prepare.  That was helpful.  There was a unique vibe at the race.  It's interesting to compare OCR series.  What's unique about Rugged is that they're 5K long, but have a high density of obstacles.  It was nice to have different kinds of obstacles to look forward to, after doing a few years of Spartans.   The elite heat had started off at 9:45, with me longingly looking on.  At 10am, my turn came, though.  I wasn't able to get a spot in the elite heat, but hey - more incentive to push and try to catch up!

I took off, leading my heat for the first 0.7-ish miles, before a guy passed me, looking strong.  We hit obstacles like crawling under wire fencing, dirt mounds, a ring rig which was satisfying to complete...

... jumping up to hit a gong (missed this by a millimeter, it felt like), a short wall, trenches and some quad-burning sand dunes, an A-frame where a second guy passed me but stayed close the rest of the race, floating barrages, a gauntlet of swinging air bags, a wall to lift and get under, a see-saw to navigate across without falling...

The Lowcountry is pretty flat, and the trails at Boone Hall were wide and nice, so you could really push the pace in this race.  It felt good to push it, even if this was going to just be for fun.  Towards the end of the race, there was a commando crawl, a tube to crawl through, a short sandbag out-and-back, a keg pulley hoist, a wall followed by a vertical ladder, a tarzan-like pendulum to ride, an inflatable mountain...

At the end, there was a warped wall, ninja warrior-style, which led up to a huge and steep water slide.  I thought I might still have a chance at top 10, even if I wasn't in the elite heat, so I was barrelling through.  There wasn't much time to think.  I turned sideways, but man, that was a wild ride down!

Top 10 had finished by the time I arrived, but I was still happy with how I did.   The obstacles were the perfect amount of difficulty, to make it super enjoyable and satisfying to fly through.  I clocked in at around 33 minutes on my stop watch.  Turns out that time could've won, at least vs. the first heat, but I'll have to wait for a future race to compete for an official time.  

After the race, I enjoyed real craft beer post-OCR, for once.  I'm so glad they had Harpoon.  Oh, and the medal doubles as a beer bottle opener!  They had entertainment on stage, in the form of fun contests like beer stein hoisting.  There was also a mechanical bull.

Post-race, I volunteered at the check-in tent, handing out race shirts and breaking down the registration area and parts of the course.  It was a good crew.  Volunteering at OCRs is always fun.  

My first foray into the world of Rugged Maniac was awesome. I can't wait for the next one!  I've already signed up for next year's.

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