Battlefrog Redemption

By: Travis E. Blythe

The Ultimate Transformation Tuesday!

I started writing a blog a couple weeks back about my first experience with Battlefrog and how it “took my soul” away from me at the Houston race.  But now fast forward a couple of week and and instead of reviewing the Dallas race, I thought I would just write down how I felt I transformed myself after both of these races. There really are no before and after pictures or some incredible physical change that took place, no this rather is a transformation of my mind, will and determination.

Houston

So a quick overview of the Houston race, I think I was just a little to over confident. I went into that race thinking I was ready to run in the “elite” wave, even in the Masters division. Competing against the 40 and over crowd seemed doable. I was so sure I was going to get at least 3rd place. I mean I have been training hard, I have been running well at other events and I was all about “chasing the money”.  Then the race started, the most brutal ORC/mudrun I have ever attempted in my life. I know I have done some hard Spartan Races, but the fact we had to do 2-4.8 mile laps with roughly 68 obstacles, was just exhausting.

But this is also a mental game as much as a physical one. Case in point, I lost my bracelet pretty early on (10th obstacle) and after that, I was mentally defeated. I let that defeat creep into my mind and even though I finished my 2-laps and I attempted all of the obstacles, my head was not in it. I barely attempted things and used the I am so tired excuse, but in reality looking back I wanted to finish, get my two laps in and just be done. So It did.

The Takeaway

So what did I learn? I definitely learned a few things about myself, preparing correctly and race strategy. I talked to a lot of the true “elites” in the sport and picked their brains, how they did things, technique and I learned a ton about what I did wrong. I think the biggest mistake was just being to much in “Race mode” and trying to hurry through the obstacles instead of taking my time and doing it right. So I left Houston knowing my deficiencies and what I needed to work on.

The Plan

So if you are running a battlefrog and you want to know what you should spend some extra time training on? Then my answer to you is grip strength! The jerry can carry is no joke and having to do it twice is a beating. So I bought 2 cans, I filled them with water and I weighed them and they are 55lbs each. I simulated the distance of the Houston race and practiced carrying them. I would even do it twice sandwiched between a 4 mile run. Started running with the wreck bag and playing on more monkey bars. I have to admit I was lacking on that. I also put my gripmaster in the car and I drive around all day squeezing it!

The second phase for me was to attack the course very methodically. I was really nervous about several of the obstacles, but I knew if I took my time and did not rush I could be okay. Knowing the location of the Dallas race, I knew it wasn’t too hilly, so I figured I could make up time on the running after a slow obstacle. The object was just to finish anyway. No stress on trying to get on the podium or win the race, I just wanted to finish with bracelet.

Dallas

One of the greatest parts of being in the sport is that all of the people you meet are really some amazing people. I meet new people every week it seems and my core group of friends are some of the most supportive I have ever met. So here we are at the starting line and it is like the who’s who of racing toeing the line. I always think “what on earth am I doing here?”, but not today, because I am only racing the Masters division, the 40+ guys. I know I belong, I am only getting better with every race, I have a plan.

Lap one

20150415215845The race starts and off we go, with every obstacle my confidence is growing. The wreck bag carries seem so easy now, I run with that 50lb bag like it is nothing. My first major test was the “Bridge over River Cry”, I couldn’t get this one in Houston, but it was real early in the race, so I still had a ton of grip strength. As I approach, I see that Isaiah Vidal failed once and was still in line waiting to go again. No worries though..I got this. Three rings from the top I look away from the task at hand to see where the pole was and I missed grabbing a rung and I slipped and fell. All I could think was, oh hell here we go again. But I got out, got back in line and kept telling myself to be patient and calm. Nailed it on the second attempt!

Then my friend Melissa who was volunteering gave me the mantra of the day “Not Today!” Not today was my new theme, not today will they be taking my bracelet, not today will I fail, not today will this course beat me!

The rest of the obstacles were just flying by, one after another I was pushing through them without any difficulty. Even the dreaded jerry can carry. I stuck to my slow and steady plan, don’t burn out the arms was all I could think of. Then before I knew it I was at 5 miles, I came up on the rope climb, nerves setting in because this is my worst obstacle, nailed it. At this point I am like wow, I can see the finish area, two major obstacles left before lap two. Confidence is growing. I dominated the “Tip of the Spear” and rolled through the “Monkey Bars” on my first try. I think I let out a slight yell and a fist pump as I ran on to the next lap. I am thinking holy shit, I just did the lap and I have my bracelet.

Lap one: 1:18:38

Lap Two

I think the endorphins of doing so well on the first lap were at an all time high and I think it helped me on lap two. I set a goal, just duplicate lap one and I would be happy with that. I knew the course now, where the flat parts were, where I could rest my strength and where I could run just a bit faster. Most of lap two was a blur, I was smoking the course, “Bridge over River Cry” one shot and over! I saw Melissa immediately after and I ran over and gave her a big hug, kissed her cheek and I said “Not Today!” I showed her I still had the bracelet and I ran off!

I was so ecstatic after that, I remember feeling like superman, because I was just crushing these obstacles, one by one, I was 5 min ahead of the first lap when I got to the jerry cans for the second lap. Stick to the plan, don’t get too far ahead of yourself, save your strength.

I was closing in on the end of the race, I was running great, faster on lap two, then the wheels fell off.  I came upon the rope climb. The ropes were horrible, muddy, wet and a ton of people around trying and not succeeding. I ran in to one of my friends who was still on her first lap, had been stuck there for an hour already. Another was on lap two, was in 4th place in the female elite race and she got stuck.  In the end I spent close to an hour trying to climb up the ropes. Panic started to set in, several people started piling up, several elites just looking exhausted and defeated. More kept coming, some made it up real easy and that just made me feel worse. I finally rallied one last time, not today. I got up that rope and punched the bell as I let out a primal scream, jumped down and took off for the finish.

Okay, so I just lost an hour or so, its okay, we are going to finish, there is literally nothing left I can’t do. I am still finishing! I blasted through “tip of the spear” again and headed to the monkey bars.

When people talk about gut checks and never giving up, survival instincts, I am sure mots of us roll our eyes and just say whatever. Well I spent close to 3 hours trying the monkey bars. I suffered through the cold water, shaking uncontrollably until the sun came out and warmed me up. My first run I was 2 bars from the end and I just lost my momentum and just stopped, then I was dead and I fell.  So close, I wouldn’t get that close again for hours. I remember trying to keep calm. Don’t rush it, so I waited 10 min, then 15 min intervals, then 20, then 30. I must have tried easily over 10 times. My last three attempts I gained a blister on my right hand. Worse than a blister, I had the skin ripped off and I was bleeding. My hands would not close, I had no grip strength. I was actually contemplating quitting. One by one my friends would come over and offer support, pep talks, instructions on how to defeat this. They were giving those of us left a time limit and we would be pulled off. I had the mentality that I was going to be pulled off the course before I quit.

Finally I waited 45 min before my next run. I thought my hands had one last attempt. So I went for it and it had to be possibly the ugliest crossing of monkey bars ever attempted. I wish someone would have gotten video of it. After the transition I went from straight on to sideways to backwards and pretty much back around again. I thought I was going to fall, the bar twisted and I started losing my grip, I basically did a pull up to get closer to the bars and just kept moving, Don’t stop, please don’t stop. Well I made it. I will never tell you what I was thinking about that really got me over, my motivation to make someone extremely proud, not fail can be a strong motivator when you are whupped.

I made it, “Tsunami” was a piece of cake, I finished the mud crawl and the rest is kind of a blur. I remember dancing and screaming and jumping up and down. My friend Melissa was the first person there with my medal. I got my medal and a huge hug. There were more friends there clapping and cheering and it made it all that more worth while!

Lap two: 6:04:00

Yes that is correct, over 6-hours on the second lap. I thought I would finish around 2:40:00 which would have been a podium finish and 3rd place, had I been able to get through it and not wait those couple of times. My official time was 7:22:38, that is right over 7-hours to run a 11 mile race and complete every obstacle without failing.

The Takeaway

20150415220048I bet you might be wondering WTF is with this guy and why would anyone care that I just wrote this blog. Well honestly, I find it a huge accomplishment for me. I’m a 43 year old guy who is not elite by any means, but I am not the open weekend warrior either. I am somewhere in between. I love the challenge this gave me. How it crushed my soul in Houston and I had sweet redemption in Dallas. Now I can see where I can improve. I can continue to get better and stronger by working on the things I already was working on as well as learning the techniques which would have given me a higher finish.

I can find solace in knowing that I still have a long way to go and that honestly drives me to get better. Who knew at my age I would feel this alive doing something so brutal but yet so much fun!

I found I have some of the best friends ever, we share a bond, even if we just met to days before, have been Facebook friends and never met until we spoke on the course or have bled together the last year to be better. The comradery  I have with these people is truly amazing. I can’t mention everyone who I bonded with this day, but if you helped me, I thank you. If I somehow gave you motivation to keep going, then you are welcome, but that is me, I will always be a coach at heart and a motivator.

Until the next event! See you on the flip side!

Where have you been Dawg?

Missing my wit and sarcasm?

This blog was started in October 2014 and I have been afraid to publish it. I have constantly been making updates as my life has been changing constantly. I figure it is about time to see behind the curtain and enlighten you on what is going on in my life. Everything is italics will be updates from October 2014 to April 2015.

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October 2014

It’s time to come clean, make some confessions and let you know why I have been so AWOL and sporadic with my blog posts, facebook posts, twitter and other social media channels. Why does anyone care? No one probably does, but it will explain a lot and you will actually get inside the head of where I am and where I am heading.

2014 has been a very soul cleansing, traumatic, and turbulent year. Without getting into specific details about everything I’m going to give you a brief overview of the year. I can honestly say it has been a true test of my character and a test of how much weight one person can carry on their shoulders without breaking down or giving up.

This year I have been going through law suits in my business career, got divorced, parted ways with a woman I loved, my 9 yr old dog will be passing soon from an inoperable tumor and battled depression. However, I also rediscovered my passion for fitness, running mudruns or OCR races, met new friends and reconnected with old ones. I have been able to find positives in my life, I found that I can love again, have confidence in myself I thought I lost and believe I am as awesome as advertised!

DEPRESSION

Let’s start off with my brief bout of depression. At the beginning of the year for close to two months I had a bout of minor depression, I was in not by any means in a suicidal manner, but I did lose my motivation to do anything productive except sit on the couch and play video games. While I strongly believe depression is usually self-manifested and should be self-cured, mine was induced by the stress of financial means, unhappy in my marriage and sad over the disconnect of a loved one. Having to battle several lawsuits over business matters and finding the funds to do so was the key factor. This definitely led to me ruining several relationships and having a bad case of feeling sorry for myself. Fortunately, I had a WTF moment one day and got off my ass and did something about it.

What I learned was, if you need money, go make money and if you want someone in your life, just tell them and make it happen. So I did both and everything started to get better.

Love Lost

Not a great start to the year, but hey, there are 12 months right? So I also got divorced this year after 12 years of marriage. I am not going to get into a ton of detail over why or what happened, except that problems over the course of several years were finally too much to live a happy life. So I made the decision to walk away in order to find my happiness. I still hold a fondness for my ex-wife and she is a great person, unfortunately our problems could not be worked out and for all of the issues I had with her, I didn’t help them any by making decisions which affected the inability to live in a happy place. We remain amicable which I hold to be a good thing, I do wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors and I hope she is able to find the happiness I couldn’t provide to her any longer.

So I mentioned that I lost a woman that I loved and it was not my ex-wife. Yes I had an affair; I fell in love with this person and had planned on starting a new life with that person. While admitting this will bring out everyone judging me and/or holding disgust and character assassination, I honestly don’t care. If telling the truth for once brings your view of whom I really am to a place where you no longer want to associate yourself with me or not be a friend, then so be it. Without divulging too much information as to this relationship, I just want to say that it started as a frienship, then manifested into more. Why it manifested had a lot to do with what was not being provided at home and realizing that I could have the amazing relationship, friendship and intimate relationship with one person. So we continued to have an affair with understanding we would make the effort to be together. This was ultimately my own undoing, I took too long, I procrastinated and every fear or excuse I had for not doing everything earlier, in the end didn’t really matter. All my fears were just in my mind and I lost a great friendship.

So that sums up pretty much the negative parts of my year, why I have been so quiet over the past few years stems from not having the freedom to be as creative as I wanted without backlash of spending time in doing so. So my personal blog and other social media outlets have been pretty much put on hold.

Love found

Now for the good stuff, so not to come off as this is a woe is me blog, I felt it necessary to give a good back story of the first half of the year. Now I have to admit, going through a divorce and getting dumped by your girlfriend at the same time is pretty emotional, I was emotional for a bit, but then my new family helped me through it. One thing I have always done in my life is try to be fit and exercise. So according to all of the experts, investing in myself and working on making myself a better person is what the doctor ordered. So I reached out to my OCR friends, leaned on them to vent, to cry, and get advice. I have to say I have some amazing new friends who have opened up their lives to me and allowed me to not be alone.

In particular I met a wonderful beautiful woman who listened to my crying, talked me through it, was there for me when I needed a buddy and made sure I was not alone. Then the totally unexpected thing happened, my heart healed, it started beating again, I found passions in everything I always wanted, I saw a brand new life open up in front of my eyes. I will forever be thankful for that person coming into my life and changing my perspective on who I am and what I can be. They say that everything happens for a reason, while there are something’s in life I still question what the “reasons” were, I can honestly say that the reason I got divorced, and dumped by my girlfriend was so that I could meet her. It never would have happened otherwise.

Like a cut you get on your arm, eventually it heals, scabs over and maybe scars. The scar left will always be your story to tell, but once you are fully healed, you have full use of where that injury was. I have determined that the heart is the same way, what you may have thought was broken or damaged beyond repair, may not have been as severe as you imagined. While at the time I was devastated, I have now realized that my heart really was not broken but rather just sad, sad at all of the shoulda, woulda, coulda’s that were planned. Sad because I was scared to be alone and manage everything without a co-pilot there to help lead the way. Sadness is not as bad as a heart break. While yes I admit I was a mess for a few weeks, what I realized is that at the end of the day, when you have such a high regard for someone and you think that no one will ever measure up, you will be surprised what the universe will throw at you if you are patient enough.

What tIMG_5259he universe threw at me was someone who had all of the qualities I wanted plus more.  It took me a while to understand that impact of that, but I soon realized that when you do least expect it BAM! you get hit like a freight train. I don’t believe in the rebound relationship, because I think you can either be searching for that person who clicks with you for years, months or weeks, sometimes you have no control when they enter your life. The only thing is, you have to be willing to accept it and not be afraid of it. I am never afraid of it, I know heartbreak sucks and moving on can be difficult, but at the end of the day, I would rather “feel what it’s like to burn, than to feel nothing at all” sorta say. In other words, had I been resistant and hesitant, I would never have experienced half of the things I did. I would be sitting at home or worse yet have no fond memories otherwise. So I allowed myself to experience this person, take it all in and something amazing happened, my heart started beating again, I felt great about myself and in the end I felt ready to love again.

I know what you are going to say, you what? How on earth can you do that? Well, like I said I usually have my heart on my sleeve and when I think someone is so perfect in more ways than just physical, but mentally and also loves the same type of adventures, I ask, how can you not let yourself get absorbed in their essence? I have found that sometimes people enter your life and they maybe a permanent fixture or maybe they were just a stepping stone to get you back on the path you were meant to be on. In this case, while I let myself fall, it was not meant to be anything more than a stepping stone to where I needed to go. I can handle that, while as with most things that come to an end, it is sad to say goodbye, I am sure that just as I found something I wasn’t looking for, I have to believe that there is someone else who will be everything she was plus just a little bit more.

I tell my story to my friends and they all look at me like I am crazy, but I tell them, look, I met my ex-wife and within 3-months we were engaged and that lasted 13 years. It is all about timing, I wasn’t looking for anything back then, I was a single guy dating two other people at the time, but BAM! there it was again. I think as long as you are willing to just go with it, it can be great. Of course I have always been attracted to strong, independent women who feel like they don’t need a man. The trick is showing them it’s okay to let down your walls and let someone in and have them believe you’re not there to take advantage or strip them of their independence. Sometimes easier said than done. So 2-3 months of spending time with someone totally makes it possible to fall in love. It can be the first stages of love or it can be the “I want you forever” kind of love, you never know and you never will unless you just let yourself feel it and go with it and see what happens.

So I am at peace knowing I had another adventure I can tell people about and all of the new experiences I encountered. One funny note, I ate more sushi over the last couple months and actually enjoyed it than I did the past 12 years…true story.

November 2014

Update: that last section was written prior to November. In November of 2014 I met another amazing woman. While attending a race in Texas I was introduced to someone who again changed the course of my life. Sometimes we set our goals both personal and professional, set our course on how to obtain those goals and get after it. Well I honestly had no intention of meeting someone, anyone for that matter. The racing season was wrapping down, the holidays were coming and I was busy mapping out my 2015 initiatives. Then again BAM! just like a Hurricane blowing through, I was caught up in a whirlwind of a romance.

IMG_6703Again this was not planned and certainly unexpected and definitely at times it felt too good to be true. Over the course of the next 4-months the relationship grew, memories were created and this time I did fall in love. For the first time in over 9 months, I told someone I loved them. With my whole heart and soul, I jumped in feet first not even looking at how deep the waters were. Were we a perfect match? Maybe not (but are any couples a perfect match? I’d like to think we were really close though), but it was a breath of fresh air to have someone want to go on adventures together, we ran together, planned racing together, and talked about what the future would hold for us.  One of the best things was that we went snow skiing, my first time in over 20 years. I felt so alive and I had so much fun and I owe it all to this special person. Just like I felt on the slopes, she made me feel again what it was like to be alive.

IMG_6078Sadly, like most things in my life, this too has seemed to run its course. Sometimes you can’t force a square peg into a round hole and you just have to give up. But giving up does not mean that love is lost, I still love her dearly and maybe this just was not the right time for us. I am still head over heels in love and maybe someday there maybe another chapter in our book.

Adventures!

Facebook-cover-tracksSo, with that being said, I have also spent the past few months training harder than I ever had and I feel like I am in the best shape of my life. So I decided to travel and see the country again and meet new people and run races! Here is what I did this fall:

  • Mudtitan in Florida
  • Savage race in Dallas
  • Spartan World Championships in Vermont
  • Spartan Super – Chicago
  • Spartan Sprint – Chicago
  • The Bravest Race – Cancun, Mexico
  • Spartan Super – Sacramento, CA
  • Spartan Sprint – Sacramento, CA
  • Spartan Beast – Glen Rose, TX
  • Spartan Sprint – Glen Rose, TX

What a great couple of months! I had such a good time and now I am looking forward to the new year of racing and new races!

So that is pretty much me in a nutshell.  That wraps up 2014 and I promise moving forward to write more about the important stuff and leave the other stuff behind me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Goals

Ringing in the New!

my-goalsEvery year we get to this point and the new year resolutions start rolling in.  I have been victim to it before as well, we all commit to doing things that we really have no intentions of working on past the month of January.  So this year I have decided to commit to accomplishing goals for the entire year and then updating said goals every quarter to let you know how I am doing in my struggle to maintain accountability to myself.

So without further ado, here are my 2015 goals:

Updated 4/1/15

1. Laugh Hard

I want to laugh as hard as possible, laughter is my release, it is what helps me cope with the real world and problems.  I know that if I laugh hard all year, the world will be a better place. So if you know me well, you know I am full of jokes and sarcasm, don’t get all upset, that is just my personality. I am really just a big kid, but I can be serious when I need to be.

QTR 1 Update- I can honestly say that for the first three months of the year I have been laughing so hard it’s crazy. I am loving life right now, I have great friends and special people in my life who keep me smiling on a daily basis. I’m pretty sure you can see through all my pics and it’s not just a happy show on social media, I am one happy lucky guy!

QTR 2 Update-

QTR 3 Update-

End of the year Update-

2. Love Harder

2014 was such a whirlwind of a year, I learned so much about myself and and what I am looking for in a partner in crime. I didn’t love very hard at all, I know I didn’t give my all in my marriage and thus it ended in divorce. I had another person with whom I loved that I also didn’t give it my all and I spent most of 2014 not loving very much.

So this year I am not going to guard my heart, I am going to give it to you if you deem worthy enough to penetrate my circle. I wear my heart on my sleeve and if I only get a few months or a lifetime to love you, I will do it without hesitation. I tend to leap before I look and my favorite quote is:

quote    I would rather learn what it feels like to burn, than to feel nothing at all ~ Ron Pope
 

QTR 1 Update- What a first three months! Well you guessed it, I gave my heart away and fell in love. Definitely was not intended but sometimes you meet someone who makes you feel the warm and fuzzies and you can’t help but fall in love with them. No idea what the future holds, it is definitely hard being in a long distance relationship (4hrs away), along with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But I through my heart out there and I am happier than ever!

QTR 2 Update-

QTR 3 Update-

End of the year Update-

3. More Handstands

So I started doing handstands last fall and it totally spiraled into me doing them everywhere I go. So instead of your normal “I am here at destination X, you will see me hand-standing at destination X! My goal is to not only handstand in some cool places, but also when I am not traveling post at least once a week. #HeWhoStandsOnHands #Handstands2015

QTR 1 Update- I started out so good! I think I got the first 5 or 6 weeks in a row of various handstands. I am sure there are also a few I didn’t post, but I was there on a weekly basis. So chalk this up to a failure, I was only good on 50% of the goal.  Time to get back to standing on my hands! (it should be noted that I did injure my back in Feb and handstands were tricky)

QTR 2 Update-

QTR 3 Update-

End of the year Update-

4. Walk on Hands

So my old college buddy says to me “that’s cute, you can stand on your hands, how about you walk on them!”, so #ChallengeAccepted! I can already go a couple of feet, but I really want to work on my form and get this down, so I can me a circus trick at parties!

QTR 1 Update- So nothing to report here, I never even really practiced much. I definitely need to work on this more.

QTR 2 Update-

QTR 3 Update-

End of the year Update-

5. Learn to Play Guitar

I have never been able to play an instrument, well I take that back, I did play the piano for about a year as a kid, I can’t read music very well so I ended writing what the notes were on all of the sheet music so I could play it. Well I have forgotten everything, but I would love to be able to play this acoustic guitar I have. It would be so cool to just be able to sit down and play whatever.  Since I love to sing, it would just be campfire cool!

QTR 1 Update- Nothing to report here either, I never even looked into what is required to do this.  I guess I will chalk it up to just being to darn busy enjoying all of the other things in life!

QTR 2 Update-

QTR 3 Update-

End of the year Update-

6. Top 5 in the Spartan Open

I didn’t by any means intend for this to happen but as of January 1st, 2015, I was sitting in 3d place in the WORLD standings. It shocked me, so I know I want to get a couple more trifectas this year so I thought why not just keep racing the opens and try to keep the points up there and go for it!

QTR 1 Update- Unfortunately I have not raced a Spartan Race yet this year, most of my events will be in May/June and Sept. So I fell to 8th place, but that isn’t too bad, first place is still within striking distance and I am only a couple hundred points behind. 

QTR 2 Update-

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End of the year Update-

7. Win more age groups in races

The days where I can compete with 20 & 30 years olds are sadly past me, but I think I can compete pretty well with people my own age. So I am challenging myself to get better and win my age groups in what ever race I attempt!

QTR 1 Update- So I have raced 3-races this quarter. I finished in the top 5 overall in the Polar Dash, 2nd in Age Group at the Atlas race and a big DNF at Battlefrog. I’ll take that, seeing as I took off the month of February.

QTR 2 Update-

QTR 3 Update-

End of the year Update-

8. Take more video

I noticed at the end of the year I hardly took and video. I took a ton of pictures, but when making an end of the year video it comprised mostly of pictures.  So this year I am going to document my travels and quirks more by taking video. Some will be posted on social media, some will not, but watch for more video this year!

QTR 1 Update- I am doing good but not great here.  Took lots of video of various things, but not much personal video or commentary video as I call it.  Most everything is athletic video at this point, I think I need to capture more of my life than just working out or running races.

QTR 2 Update-

QTR 3 Update-

End of the year Update

9. More travel/adventure with my favorite hobbies

Over the past 13 years, I stopped doing the things I love the most. No single person is to blame, some things were not as important and somethings just got lost in the shuffle of life. I’ve decided that life really is too short to not do the things I grew up doing or the things that really make me happy. Some of these things include riding my motorcycle more, traveling around the country, riding dirt bikes, snow skiing, running races and just hanging with my good friends.

QTR 1 Update- I had a great first three months! I bought a dirt bike and went out riding once so far. I want downhill skiing in Taos, NM and it was one of the best trips of my life. Skiing was so much fun, my company was great and the roadtrip was just EPIC! Traveled to Houston and San Antonio to race and had a blast there too! There were also a couple of other cool things went to ICE, Legoland, and Aliens in Rosewell, NM! I am so looking forward to April and May, I have a ton of adventure planned!

QTR 2 Update-

QTR 3 Update-

End of the year Update-

XPLOR Bravest Race – Mexico’s little gem

By: Travis E. Blythe

I had a great opportunity to head down to Mexico for little R&R and check out a little race called the XPLOR Bravest Race down in Playa Del Carmen at the XPLOR park. This was exactly what I had hoped it would be, a nice vacation race. I had a ton of fun and I can’t wait to do it again!

While many of you reading are going to be die hard Spartans, Tough Mudders, Warrior Dash or BattleFrog enthusiasts, take a min to clear your mind and just think about what I am about to tell you and open your mind to something that is out of the realm of OCR for a minute.

Sometimes you come across an event and you think how it would be fun, or the location sounds amazing and you wish you could go.  Everyone thinks of Cancun and Playa del Carmen as vacation destinations and a place to get away for a long weekend.  We had an opportunity to travel to Mexico and see what this little race was about.  I have run many different types of events over the years and the uniqueness of this race put together with the location has to definitely be one of my favorites of all time.  I know, I know, that is a pretty bold statement but I will tell you why I absolutely loved this race and why I want to return every year!

DSCF0132I am so used to running for time, trying to win age divisions, or just being so competitive that I forgot why I fell in love with this sport in the first place. This race made me remember why, made me remember how much fun you can have doing something that you love.  This race was not timed, there were no competitive waves, no chip timing, the only objective was to finish with my flags on.  Now I know what you are thinking, but no this was not a zombie run. Did they have people pulling flags?, yes they did. But this race was much more than that, I equate this to being a race almost in a water park and you ran from one obstacle to another.  Technically, a rare few even ran, the majority of the participants just walked and talked and had a good time being in the company of friends.

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I know you are thinking…what is so special? Well, if you have never been to XPLOR park or explored the caves and rivers down in Playa Del Carmen, then you definitely do not know what you are missing. This race had two water-slides, numerous cave swims, walls, cargo nets, rope cylinders, low crawls, swamps, monkey bars, tarzan ropes, canyons full of tires, tunnel crawls, a half pipe/warped wall and one epic cliff jump. I am sure I left out some other obstacles but those are the ones that come to mind the most!

DSCF0151We had an absolute blast, painted our faces in warpaint, high-fived the flag pullers and had fun along the way.  I ended up finishing with one flag and got my awesome finisher medal for the ones who kept a flag! Yes they had two different medals!

It looks like the 2015 Race is going to be on September 13th! This is  must race if you need a break from competition and want to just have a blast!  The after party was awesome, live music, food and people everywhere!

Mary’s Cafe – Strawn, TX

The hunt for the greatest burger in the United States continues. This time we head down to the small town of Strawn, TX to a place called Mary’s Cafe.

When we hear about the local spots that have a great hamburger, we have to get there and try it, I mean we are looking for the perfect hamburger.

We are going to give this a grade on a scale of 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

So we ordered the Famous Mary’s Cafe Texas Sized Bacon Cheeseburger.

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01021ff77b9aa108ef1332961cd4cec30690b49c35On first appearance this is a monster! This was so big I didn’t think I was going to be able to get it in my mouth. I am giving it 3 stars because there was nothing on the plate and the side fixings looked weak.

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01277e358d1893428883b3b5898c8b82c486e4d72cThe biggest disappointment of this monster was how awful it really was.  Unfortunately after it arrived, I remembered that they never asked how I wanted it cooked. I am a medium guy and this was very well done.  After I cut into it I noticed and after the first bite it was very well done and actually crispy burnt on the outside. Almost like it was charred. Needless to say I did not like it all. It didn’t have any juices in it or actually any flavor at all. Even after putting as much ketchup as I could on it, I could only eat half of it. In the end, I can’t give anyone less than 1-star, I mean it was big and they did have to make it for us.

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This is our wild card category, because everyone gets it different, we wanted to have a category where we could distinguish the condiments that go on a great burger. We ordered this one with Cheese, Bacon, Mayo, Mustard and the rest of the fixings, Onions, Pickles and Tomatoes.

I start with the bacon, it wasn’t that good. I could barely taste it even on a tasteless burger. It was what I call, limp bacon, I hate limp bacon. The cheese was regular American cheese and there was not much of it. It barely covered the  top of the burger. As for the rest, it was your normal type of sides. The onions were big, had shredded lettuce and a small bun. The bun got soggy and ended up dying quick. We give this one star as well.

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You know you get what you pay for. Here I paid $8.50 for a Texas sized bacon cheese burger. That was it, the fries were an extra $5 for a plate. Granted the side of fries were a huge mound of fries, but alas they were not that great…limpy, soggy, funny tasting fries. I give this two stars because normally $7-$9 for a burger is reasonable, but those usually come with fries.

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Overall this was a disappointing burger after a great ride to get there and an eye feasting dream when it arrived. I am giving it 1.75 stars. They had some cool T-shirts too, but I couldn’t buy one after the bad experience.

01332faefb5dceb7c714a48a864a97fdcaec2be32eHowever, we do recommend that if you like chicken fried steak, here is a picture of the medium sized steak.  Dad ate it and said it was good and the gravy was also outstanding. It came with a salad and fries, so it was much better of a deal.

 

Transformation Story – The Mud Pixie

By: Travis “Blydawg” Blythe

The Mud-Pixie

Not all transformation stories are created equal, what motivates one person to make a change in their lives may not necessarily be the same thing that motivates another.  Recently I was able to speak with Kimberly Easterling-Stewart, aka The Mud Pixie Kim recently debuted her new mud pixie look this past spring and while many people think her costume is “cute” there is a deeper meaning behind why she wears the costume.  Before we get into all of that, lets get down to the nitty gritty, who is Kimberly Easterling-Stewart?

Kim was an ordinary girl growing up in Texas, she was involved in sports, very athletic and she was a wrestler and played softball in high school.  She was so good in fact she scored a scholarship to play softball at Northwood University.  All was going great for Kim until after her first year of college.  Personal hardships ensued and she was unable to go to school for her sophmore year.  Faced with a difficult decision on what to do with her future, she took an easy way out. She ran off with her boyfriend at the time who was a military man.

Vincent Van Gogh once said “As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.”  I believe that after speaking with Kim, everything she has gone through to this point, has made her the person she is and her inner strength was forged.

The military years were to say the least, less than thrilling. This us where everything started to snowball into the place where this transformation truly begins. After having their first child, it started with trying to just lose the baby weight. Several years consisted of yo-yo dieting and no exercise. Then came the car accidents, two car totaling accidents in a six week time period. Having hurt her neck in these accidents, this is when she felt the first signs of depression.

Depression hits us all in different ways, sometimes we feel like we are not good enough, skinny enough, or worthy enough for all of the people in our lives and unfortunately we are the only one who can eventually tell ourselves we are and we can and we will. She told me “You don’t know how strong you are, until strong is the only choice.” Before we get to where Kim was able to say all of that, she had a few more hardships to endure. As if the accidents and neck injury was not enough, she found the holidays approaching in the fall of 2012. The only bright spot she had, is that they found out they were pregnant with their second child. Unfortunately on black Friday of that year, she lost the baby. This started a spiral of self loathing and more depression.  Not only was she dealing with the loss of the unborn child, but she had to also deal with the fact that her two sisters had also become pregnant and were having their babies around the same time she would have had hers.

quote“You don’t know how strong you are, until strong is the only choice”

kim1In 2013 fast approaching the year anniversary of her loss, she found herself weighing close to 220 lb at 5’5″. She had been battling her weight and was fluctuating between 168-200 lbs, but now she had finally had enough. In February of 2013, she saw an advertisement for “The Vampire 5k.”  She made a decision she was going to run that race, she went to Ehow.com and downloaded how to train for a 5k run and started working the plan. Kim stated: “I had this feeling, like I had wasted my life and I never lived up to my potential” and she was determined to do something about it.

quote“I had this feeling, like I had wasted my life and I never lived up to my potential”

Four weeks into her training, she was sticking to the plan, she started eating a little better, making smart swaps on eating healthier. Then a friend asked her to run in a race benefiting Lupus. She ran her first 5k, running the whole time in 33 min. Having felt such a sense of accomplishment, she continued to train, vowing to run at least one run a month.

Then on June 1, 2013, she ran her first obstacle style race, the Fair Park Urban Dash.  This race had become her motivation, where she feels it all started. Her grandfather passed away just days before this event. So along with her cousin, they dedicated this race to him. Kim is still weighing close to 185 lbs and felt like she was doing everything right. This event is where the light bulb went off, she fell in love with OCR.

By August she decided she would sign up for the Tough Mudder. Knowing this was a serious race, she decided she needed to get serious about everything.  Not only was she training, but she also went on an 8-week therapy session to get her neck, back and hips fixed from those accidents she had a few years before.  Better eating habits, running, physical therapy and spin class is what her weeks entailed. Then in October 4-weeks before the Tough Mudder, she started taking supplements. When she started this, she went from 175 lbs down to 158 lbs by the time she competed in the TM at the end of October.

quote“I want to be the best me I can be and the person I was always meant to be.”

She then went on to compete in Savage Race and The Spartan Beast to end the year.  In 2014 she made an all out dedication to the OCR world and as she says, “I want to be the best me I can be and the person I was always meant to be.”

After competing in the Atlanta Spartan Sprint, she felt after placing 3rd in her age group and 13th overall on day 2 in the open heats, she had a new goal. She was going to focus the remainder of the year to reach her goal of running in the elite heats instead of the open heats.

kim3So now we have come full circle since the beginning of the article.  Kim created the Mud Pixie persona to show everyone that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. Her costume, or her wings rather represent her transformation, on how she didn’t let depression beat her, she didn’t let her weight slow her down, she made the decision to reshape her mind, her body and most importantly her spirit. She has started this journey and she really shows no sign of slowing down.

Dress Code Sparks Craze Debate “On the Line”

Dress Code – What?

Two days ago the Reebok Spartan Race set the interwebs on fire with the announcement about no costumes in the elite wave of the Tuxedo, NY event this weekend. Obstacle Racing Media had a great article yesterday which you can read here. In that article they interviewed some of the more notorious athletes who participate in the elite waves who also potentially wear a costume of some sorts. Stephen Sinek, aka “The Painted Warrior”, Stephen “BowTied” Spartan, and Michael Deater aka “The Panda”, all left quotes and opinions on the Spartan press release. The most shocking interview was with Mr. Spartan himself Joe Desena; he considers body paint to equal a costume. Here at mudrunfun we have to wonder how will this play out? We already know that The Painted Warrior has a different paint scheme on his body for every race. But what about other elite wave runners like friends of mudrunfun Thing 1 & Thing 2? Andrew and Eston Jones don’t wear a ton of body paint and would you really consider them a costume? They have two words marked on their chest with a marker and they wear their signature red headbands. Will they get pulled out of the chute? We had a chance to talk with Andrew Jones aka “Thing 1” and here is what he had to say: 945222_201074453378031_804304775_n

quote“Whether or not what we wear is considered a costume can be debated, but the reason we wear what we wear, is for bigger and better reasons than being an elite Spartan athlete.”

So what about the future of this so-called sport? What about the up and comers who have a story to tell and want to inspire others? Recently we ran across an up and coming elite wave runner named Kimberly Easterling-Stewart who also goes by “The Mud Pixie”. We recently sat down with her and discussed her transformation story (separate story to be released soon) and how she became the Mud Pixie and why. She had planned to start competing in the elite heats officially later this summer after a few races and more training. Here is what she had to say about the ORM article: 10448656_720690051322838_187398030010595107_o.jpg

quote“The Mud Pixie arose from believing in myself, using perseverance and the sport of OCR to reshape my body, mind, and spirit. Isn’t that what Spartan is supposed to be all about? And the underlying meaning of their new book Spartan Up?”

She further stated,

quote“My purpose now is to continue to progress as the elite racer I was always meant to be and prove to the world, anything is possible when you believe! If they would like me to drop my leather get-up for elite races I can understand that. I ran in athletic compression gear before the pixie and I can do it again. But my wings are simply a part of a full functional camelbak that I have always used. They don’t slow me down or get in the way! After everything I have overcome, all I ask is they don’t clip my newly found wings!”

I guess it wouldn’t look good on TV to be “Spartan Chicked” by someone wearing a pixie outfit or having two people in athletic gear and one as a mud pixie standing on the podium. We couldn’t write an article and not get some of the opinions of other owners and race directors in the industry. So we reached out to a couple races to get some feedback. The first one to give us a sound bite was Troy Levy with Armageddon Ambush, who puts on events up and down the East Coast, he has two thoughts on this, the first being,

quote“What Spartan is doing with their national media coverage is great for the sport and industry. Obviously Reebok, Spartan and NBC know what they are doing and if they want to market the elite aspect of the sport that is their purgative. If the vision is to bring credibility and legitimize the sport then having someone run the race in diapers and costumes probably won’t do that. I can see why they would not want that on national TV. But on the other hand, I am not sure if showing just the elites would drive the masses to sign up for any mud run event. The industry as it stands now shows a large gap of participants from Elite to non-Elite. So having the non-elite or elite participants freely showing their freedom of dress wearing speedos and panda hats is welcome to many events So that being said I can see both sides of the coin.”

The Armageddon Ambush is one of the most unique races going, they combine the physical challenge of the mudrun with obstacles as well as a color run! There is nothing like getting blasted with color after crawling out of a mudpit! It’s like two races for the price of one! Our next conversation was with Tim Scrivner with the Texas based mudrun series “Run the Jailbreak.” Here is what he had to say on the topic:

quote“The explosion in popularity of obstacle events over the past five years has been fueled primarily by non-traditional runners. People are flocking to these types of runs because they are fun and challenging, it gives them the opportunity as an adult to get together with friends, dress up, get dirty, have fun and enjoy the camaraderie of a shared experience. A big part of that experience has been the costumes and group themes that people come up with to brand themselves and their groups, people watching is nearly as much fun as the events themselves. I understand what Joe is trying to accomplish and the last thing you want is for your sport to be marginalized for a WWF atmosphere. However, I believe that you need to have personalities and story lines for people to follow if you are going to gain a wide audience for your sport. Your local marathon will have runners in all forms of outfits and costumes but the elite runners will not be wearing anything that will hinder their performance, I assume the elite Spartan competitors are responsible enough to not get “carried away” with their attire and would be conscious of how it could possibly affect performance as well. The Gen X and older crowd remembers countless “hokie” events that were passed off to us as “sports” by ABC’s Wide World of Sports and ESPN 2, but the Millennial’s have grown up on X Games, video games and TMZ. They judge by a different standard than we do.”

While the “Jailbreak” is not a themed event in terms of mandatory costumes in which to participate, his events do draw thousands and you can typically see the masses dressed as a convict or police officer! Which is funny in itself, because if you ask them why they dress up, the typical response is, “I never get to be bad, so I’m a convict today!” and having attended one of these events, you will not find a greater assortment of “Sexy Cops” even the Reno 911 guys! Our Final Interview was with event owner Sean “Ace” O’Conner with the National Superhero Scramble series;

quote“I think it’s comical…I understand why Spartan is trying to regulate, but also think that this and other regulations take away from the overall experience for racers and spectators.”

While Sean was the least outspoken event owner of the three, it is easy to see why, his race is about Superheroes and pretty much the entire field gets to be a superhero for the day! The only dilemma is are you a DC or Marvel guy? So at the end of the day there are lots of opinions and views from all sides. Mudrunfun just wants to raise the awareness of the industry as a whole, so whether or not you are an “elite” runner or a weekend warrior, we want everyone involved. We don’t care if you wear a costume or run stripped down to the “bare essentials” we just want everyone to have a good time. We also don’t necessarily think you have to be labeled in one category either, we love all the events whether OCR, Mudrun, Color Run, Zombie Run, Glow Run, or X-Run. We live in a wonderful country who doesn’t discourage you and allows you to have the freedom of expression, so express yourself, tell your story, be a Painted Warrior, a Mud Pixie or Bowtie Spartan or be yourself and the best you, you can be. At the end of the day the consensus seems be on the side of The Mud Pixie, so please Spartan, don’t clip our wings.     Want to know more about the people mentioned in this article? Click below on the person or event you want to see.

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Best Kept Secret in Texas – The Patriot Games

Patriot Games – Oklahoma 2014

The Patriot Games have been at this OCR/mudrun world for 4 years now.  This being their 4th year, they usually put on one event a year. 2014 has definitely started off right for them. Usually putting on runs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, they have changed locations twice in the past couple years. But 2014 appears to already to be another new year and plenty of changes are in store. Already boasting two events for 2014, The Patriot Games or PG as they are known around here expanded into Oklahoma, just over the Texas/Oklahoma state line and the Red River.

For the last few years the owner of PG has been working with the guys over at Reebok Spartan Race building their courses. Last years run definitely showed and the obstacles for the event were excellent. This year was no exception, what appeared to be mostly all newly built obstacles, this was definitely a mini-me version of the Spartan. I definitely do not want to take anything away from PG and demean them by calling them a mini-me, they only seem to be smaller in terms of production and festival.

So what about this race? I will be the first to admit, the first couple of races were nothing to write home about, but this one puts them back in the hunt for the best race in DFW outside of a national company. Many of them don’t exactly blow this away either. This course had to be the best course in this area in a long time. Instead of going over every obstacle in detail, lets just go with some of the basics in the likes and dislikes.

What I liked:

  1. The terrain. This course was excellent! Like I said, the only course I have been on that was more challenging was Reebok Spartan in Austin in 2013 and the Glen Rose Beast.  PG had a better terrain than 2013 Savage Race, Run the Jailbreak, Gladiator Rock-N-Run and Merrill Down and Dirty. Why I liked it so much was the elevation. The first 1/2 mile was brutal up and down switchbacks and we constantly weaved in and out and up and down in the ravines. I ran this course twice and it measured 4.38 & 4.40 on my Garmin. So is it was an excellent length also.
  2. The Obstacles. A majority of them were complete Reebok Spartan Race copies, but that is okay, they really didn’t have many of the harder ones so the mix was perfect for both the competitive runners and the fun runners.  The ending with the 1/2 pipe wall was awesome! This is the now the PG staple which I have only seen at a couple of national races and some local Florida races. The obstacles are my favorite part, so when I get to climb over, swim across or jump off, I am in heaven. They had plenty of water/mud obstacles to crawl through so it wasn’t just a dry run.
  3. Registration. I know right! But I have to say that compared to last year at the Irving event, they had a better handle on the process of getting your bib. I never saw long lines and I didn’t have to wait, so all is good!
  4. Festival Area/Spectators. There was a great way to get around the festival area and watch your favorite runners as they weaved in and out of the course that went through this spot. Numerous obstacles to get photos on.
  5. Course Markings. We all learn from our previous races and this course was marked very well. Even in the “we just decided to run this way” part of the course, nice having arrows to follow.

What I disliked:

  1. The Start. Nothing to bad here, I just think that there is a better way to start a race other than, ready, set, go! I mean they own a timing company for crying out loud so an air horn is not even too far-fetched. Personally, going with the theme of the race, I would have air cannons or a real cannon blasting every wave!
  2. Water. They only had two water stations on the course which for a 5k would probably not be an issue, but this was 4.5 miles. The water stations were at 1.5 Miles and 2.6 miles and obviously at the finish line. I personally didn’t have any issues as I don’t really drink water during a run, but I did hear it afterwards with some of the other runners.
  3. Timing. Only because the timing results were somewhat confusing to read once they came out. Still not sure where I finished because everyone was mixed in so if you sorted by time, you would have to go through each one to see if they were in the competitive wave or not. I think I was top 10 for overall males.
  4. Race Photos. I don’t think they took bad photos, in fact I was pleasantly surprised with how many were taken and the quality. My only complaint is that I can’t afford to buy them! With so many races opting for free race photos, I hope more events adopt this avenue. Because $80 for 10 digital downloads is a bit extreme.
  5. Medals. Bummed I didn’t my hands on the new bigger medal. Instead I have another blue one, all three look the same. But maybe at the next one!

So I just have to wrap up by saying I loved the event, I hope they add some more new and different obstacles at the next race. I think PG might just surpass the local giant Jailbreak as the best homegrown race in 2014. We shall see, that run is in September!

Things I Think Thursday – Go Pound Gravel

Stop Drinking the Spartan Kool-aid!

I was going to let this go, just sit here with my thoughts and let the Spartan Cult spew on each other how much they love their almost but not yet an Olympic sport.  Which is kind of funny within itself, because if it ever does, which I seriously doubt, all of the people who commented on that post, will be watching from the sidelines, with the ability to say “That’s so cool, I can tell my friends I kind of did an Olympic sport!”

I don’t want to hijack another blog or draw more attention to it, but here is the ORM Post – “Go Pound Gravel”  Below is the infamous picture which drew all of the slander and ire from the Spartan faithful.

 

spartan-cheater-2014I know speaking my mind on this will only make you cult members dislike me, it will hurt my business, but that is okay, really. Every once and a while a person needs to be able to speak their mind right? I mean all of you Kool-aid drinkers did, so why can’t I?

Don’t get me wrong, I like Spartan Race as much as the next guy, in fact I have run all of the Texas races over the last 3 years except one. But guys come on; there are other races/runs whatever you want to call them other than Spartan. So I am going to defend this guy, I’ll play our devil’s advocate and you should all be ashamed of yourself for the harsh statements you have been saying about these people.

Fault one:

Bucket dumping. You say this guy is dumping his bucket, how do you know that from one picture? He could have been carrying it on his shoulder and adjusting it and it fell. That happened to me last year at the Glen Rose beast, except I was carrying it in the correct position and it slipped as I was adjusting my grip and fell over. I had to pick up my gravel, when returned my bucket, it was full of grass and sticks and crap. How do we know that this man did not? No one has mentioned it that I have seen. Maybe he did have some integrity and put it back and finished.  Now as for the girl with the empty bucket, yeah I am assuming she was happy just to finish.

Fault Two:

So you Kool-aid drinkers really do crack me up. Who really cares? You have made such a big deal out of doing an obstacle right, doing the burpees, etc., etc. Except for the elite runners in the first wave, no one else is running for time. If you are and if you are actually worried that this guy is going to finish ahead of you and steal your precious Spartan points, then you are a sad, sad person. I mean, come on really? This guy is not going to beat anyone, if you are all that and a bag of chips, then you certainly do not have to worry about this guy, more than likely at this point in the race you are way ahead of him. If Spartan really cared about the general population completing obstacles and doing burpees, then they would hire course officials to marshal this activity and not have volunteers at the obstacles. People skipping obstacles and not doing burpees would have their bib numbers written down and be accessed a timed penalty at the end of the race. Spartan does not care!

Most of you people commenting on this are volunteers and you just want your free race anyway. You can’t enforce this or make them do this, hell Spartan can’t even decide from race to race what their own “Elite” rules are because someone is always trying to get an edge and doing an obstacle in a “different” way than you and I perceive it. Ever listen in on a pre-race discussion on the “proper” technique to complete an obstacle by these elites with Spartan HQ…it is kind of hilarious.

I won’t call anyone out, but I do know of several people in these “Spartan” groups who are so AROO AROO into Spartan and yet at Glen Rose Beast last year, while I am struggling to stay warm, doing my burpees for falling off the Tyrolean traverse rope, just skipped the obstacle, skipped burpees. Some didn’t even try. Some tried, failed, and moved on or did a token 5-10 burpees and moved on. Do I care? Yes and no. At the end of the day, people who skip and don’t do it have their own moral dilemma. I am not going to judge. They tried, failed and felt satisfied to move on. They paid their money, so I don’t think it is fair for you to be the judge, jury and executioner on these people. At the end of the day don’t we just want people out being active and enjoying life? I know what you must think, “But Travis you hypocrite! You totally skipped obstacles at Savage Race in Dallas last year!!” Hell yes I did, I even wrote a blog about how I am not proud of it, but I refused to quit so I just kept running, 32 degrees and hands going numb means I’m not getting in the water, it was about my health. So judge me if you want, but I will pick my life and health over your stupid judgments.

Fault Three:

Let’s face it, there is no OCR world. Oh Snap! Yes I said it. Other than Spartan who does not want to be called a mudrun, there really are no other events that are labeling themselves OCR. Oh wait there is Extreme Nation, but didn’t that have an epic fail because they only wanted elite runners instead of everyone? Why would anyone else choose that label? A mudrun is what attracts the people. You elite runners make up 10% if that of the registration. The general couch surfer is who is buying and paying for these events. Hell, I am pretty sure every RD will back me up, but 60% of all these runs are females. These females are usually first timers who gather up the girls, put on an outfit and go “do it”.  Once you digest and understand that, you kool-aid drinkers, then you will know why the races don’t care if you complete an obstacle or not. Everyone gets a participation medal whether earned or not. Spartan Race just happens to be one of the better companies out there branding their race. So everyone wants to do it once. It is sad to say, but I will assume in that picture above, those people had no idea what they were getting into. Maybe they did do a Warrior Dash or another local event and figured this was the same thing. Who knows, I certainly don’t care and I doubt that Spartan does, they got their money. They don’t care if you run or no show.

In Conclusion:

I can’t resist, I love debate, so here are my thoughts on this wrap up from another blog:

A simple concept:

It makes me crazy that this is such a difficult concept for some in our community to grasp, and especially when you consider the roots of OCR, and the strong influence of police, fire and military conduct. The roots of OCR? Are you talking Spartan? Because I tend to think that the majority of the RD’s who put on these events have nothing to do with Military, Police or Fire. I am pretty sure that 3/4 OCR’s or Mudruns are actually put on by people not in the military. If you mean the participants, then you need to do more research, because again 60% women 25-35. Even in your precious Spartan Elite, I would think very few of them fall into this category.

Do the task or stay home. Why do you care? They are paying for this event, they want the experience, and theirs is going to be different than yours. Let them take home whatever sense of pride and accomplishment they want from the event. If you specifically mean Spartan, then why not ask Spartan to let the people know what obstacles they will have to do? Why does it have to be such a big secret? You know why, 1/2 of the people can’t do them; it would kill registration if they told you how hard it really was going to be.

Can’t do the task? Do your burpees. Take your lumps. Go home, learn the task, and come back to fight another day. Really dude? Learn the task and comeback? Most of these people barely run much less want to go home and start carrying buckets around. Be realistic. These guys are not elite athletes, they are weekend warriors at best. Why are you all comparing this guy to you? If you run for time and are trying to win prize money, then critique some of your elite buddies, not the average Joe.

It’s that simple.

That’s not just a lesson in OCR, that’s the basic premise of living a successful life. I thought it was okay to fail? Don’t you elite guys all have a motto of what doesn’t kill you… or failure is the way to be a champion? I would venture many of these people are successful just not very athletic.

Cheating is universally unacceptable in sport. Finally something we agree on, but is this really cheating? I don’t see a rulebook anywhere; I don’t see any enforcement going on to hold everyone accountable equally. Hold on, I have some pine tar on my neck.

OCR should be no different. I still raise the question, what is this OCR you speak of? What makes up this world of OCR? Is it just Spartan Race and Extreme Nation? I know everyone wants Obstacle Course Racing to be something, but for the most part isn’t it just really a mudrun world we live in that is made to be easy for people to have fun?

Okay so all in all, did this really cheat anyone or just himself? How does this really affect all of the Spartan elites who seemed to get so upset over this? Let it go already, you people are making yourselves look bad. Who are you to really call anyone out? Would you like it if we pulled a picture of you and made a fuss over your technique? People are human not superhuman. If this guy in the photo ever wants to run another race, I will run with him. Hell I know a whole group of people who will also. Doesn’t have to be Spartan, but it can be, or it can be a Superhero, Savage, Armageddon, Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash (you get the idea) and I can get a group of people to run/walk, stop pose for pictures do whatever, because that is the beautiful thing about this sport, we can go as fast as we want.

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers.

Armageddon Ambush 2014 Discount Code

Here is a discount code for 2014 Armageddon Ambush. 

Now good for all remaining events!

You can use this code for $10 OFF

HINT: It’s in the picture!

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