Get ready for it! As of recently, I have not been posting as frequently as I did before summer, but I will be going back to weekly or biweekly postings!
This weekend I ran another challenging Spartan race, but I never thought it would be this challenging! In an attempt to complete my Spartan Trifecta, a completion of three races in multiple distances – a SPRINT (about 5 miles), a SUPER (about 8-10 miles), and a BEAST/ULTRA BEAST (12+ miles or double an ordinary Beast for an ultra), I ran my very first Beast at the Tahoe World Championships.
Now, compared to all the other Spartan races I have done, this one ranks at its own level of difficulty. The others may have had difficult sections or challenges, but the altitude (8,000+ above sea level) on this one alone was a major challenge that made the whole course that much more challenging than any other races I have ever done. However, I did have a cheering section, which was exciting, as well as a student-athlete who competed in the Spartan Kids racing event, where she ran 2 miles representing my OCR club!
Now I thought that all my countless hours, training in the gym, training with my OCR club/the cross country team, and individual runs would have prepared me for this extremely intense race, but I never once trained for that kind of altitude. Living at sea level can make that quite challenging without a breathing apparatus (which I might look into for future races such as these). However, I completed it and that is all that matters to me. It was a personal goal of mine to finish a Beast and now that I have, I can focus on perfecting my training for future races.
The obstacles were enjoyable and I did complete most of them with little difficulty, except for one which I should have been able to do no problem, one of my favourites, the monkey bars, but with an added rope climb at the start, with a fall into the water (I normally have no issues, but things happen). Other than that I completed all obstacles without any penalty (which is normally 30 burpees at a Spartan race if you have never attended one), which is something to be proud of in regards to some of my training.
All in all, even though it was challenging/difficult, I did enjoy this exhausting race, but if you are looking for a race to do for fun, I would stick to their Sprint races or other 5-10K OCR races, there are now many options out there, which I normally post about.
With that said, I will continue to train and push not only myself this year, but my OCR athletes as well, which have their first big race coming up at the Rugged Maniac in Sacramento, which is then followed by a Red Ribbon 5K in Hollister, CA. All after another obstacle course race for myself next weekend, the Norcal Tough Mudder, which will be my first one for that series, so I will have to see how they compare to other OCR races. (Look forward to my posts on all of these and more.)
Until the next entry, remember to never give up and push yourselves each and every day!
-Daniel E. Lopez