Tag Archives: 5k

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.

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Run The Jailbreak DFW 2011 – Race Recap

Roanoke, Texas  – September 18, 2011

During the course of writing the reviews for the races I participate in, I have definitely changed the way I write them up, some have been what is going through my mind obstacle by obstacle, some have been a detailed review of the race, and still others just a brief overview of the event. This being my third Run the Jailbreak event, all I can say is that they are slowing becoming a better and better event to participate in.  Each one out does the other and depending on what you are looking for, they pretty much have it for you.

The Mud Crew I run with often, has a lot of competitive people, so some will disagree with my thoughts, but hey that is why I am entitled to my opinion right? While I am more on the competitive side, meaning I like to run for time, how fast I can get through the course, how fast over the obstacles, and what place I can finish in.  It is just my competitive nature. But the reason I like the Jailbreak events is not because of the difficulty of the race, but the whole experience.  This is a 5k run, it is not the competitive Spartan Series or Tough Mudder type of event.  While they have obstacles which are challenging, the focus on this race is to break free.  That is their motto, “breaking free” it means different things for different people, from what is holding you down, what is binding you, to what is troubling you.  Some people strive to just complete the event, some want to just have fun with a group of friends and others want to prove to themselves that they can just do it.

With all that being said, and writing this post well after the 2011 race year is complete, this was by far the best race I competed in all year. Not only was the whole experience just plain awesome, the run was perfect. With Texas being in a drought for the entire summer, many other mudruns were canceling the races because the lands they selected had no water and they couldn’t get water to make the mud.  Luckily the DFW Adventure Park has it’s own well system and plenty of water.  The day before the event is was like the mudrun Gods knew how to ensure the success of this event, they opened up the skies and we had a whole day of Texas sized rain.  In one day the dry creek bed turned into waist to chest deep water, the whole trail was a mud clump and my shoes never felt so heavy. If you didn’t find mud on this run, you didn’t run it.

With sunny skies the day of the event, this turned out to be an awesome run.  I also have to give a big Kudos to a new friend of mine Mac.  Mac a friend of Jailbreak, and he is on a quest to lose weight. When he started his journey he weighted close to 400 lbs. He has been slowly shedding weight and has lost a whole person to date.  He still has a goal and pounds to lose, but I was inspired by him.  You see, Mac ran the Jailbreak and he finished. He completed the course, completed the obstacles and is looking forward to more. My hat is off to you Mac, job well done.

Course: They ran the course in reverse of the previous year, and since Warrior Dash also used this location this year, they had to change up some things.  Even though the course is relatively flat, they did a great job of using the creeks and ravines, creating obstacles to challenge and the mouse like maze at the finish with an uphill finish line was great.  I think the fact that the ground was 2 inches of mud during the entire race definitely made it more challenging.

Registration: As any event grows, so does the packet pickup pains.  But the day before pickup was ran pretty smoothly and the day of was laid out very easy and I didn’t notice much waiting.

Atmosphere: I really enjoyed the after party, the bands they had along with the jumbo-tron TV screen made the infield a cool place to sit on your blanket and relax.  The food was decent and the beer was cold!

I am definetly looking forward to 2012, not only are they returning to DFW & Austin, but they added Houston and South Padre Island.  South Padre Island is going to be a beach race, meaning sand! Should be interesting running in sand and going over obstacles.  Should make for a great road trip! Oh yeah, and if you want a code to use on registration for the races. HERE IS YOUR STUPID CODE!

Rick and I

Results:

Time: 33:02

Distance: 3.1

Finish – 31 of 5241

The Survival Race – Race Recap 2011

Forney, TX – April 30, 2011

This was an interesting race.  Added to the schedule because I basically wanted to run every race in DFW, I was excited that this one was at the same place as Warrior Dash 2010. As the mud run phenomenon continues to grow, everyone is putting on a run it seems.  The guys who let WD come in and use their property last year obviously saw the close to 15k people come and decided there was some money to be made so they created their own race: The Survival Race.

I am pretty sure this was the first ever race organized by these guys and it showed.  At the time of the run, they appeared to have several more events planned in other parts of the country later in the year. But this was definitely the first.

Okay to the nitty gritty, my review. I ran the first wave as our DFW Mud Crew pledged we would do from now on, so being in the first wave, 8:00 am, it always comes with its consequences I have learned. The biggest being that no one was even on the course. My big critiques are, there was no one manning the obstacles for safety, the water stations were not ready when we came through (if we wanted water we had to stop and get it ourselves) and the professional photographers were not on the course except for the finish line.  For this race I think I will just go through some of the basics as compared to some of the other events.

Mud Crawling!

Course: I was expecting an awesome course since they were basically copy catting the WD, but to no avail. Some of the course was not marked or mowed down and I think we actually ran through some poison ivy, there was barely any mud, and I think except for the water crossing and the finish, barely any mud.  To me this was just a cross-country track meet with a few cheaply designed obstacles thrown in. At one point we actually had to run single file through two lines of oil drums in an S-pattern. Course was really easy.

Registration: I expect some hiccups due to the fact that it was the first race or them, but they told us to arrive an hour before hand for packet pickup, and they were not even set up. Since I was early, it was no big deal, but for those of you who were late, people missed the first wave due to standing in long lines waiting to pick up their packets.

Atmosphere: The after run event was okay, they played some music and had food, but the setting was not in the open field like WD and I think because of the rain, it put a damper on hanging out too long.  I stayed only a short time after to catch up with some of the crew from other waves.

So my overall impression of the Survival Race? It needs a lot of work, it wasn’t very difficult and the obstacles were nothing to write home about. It will be interesting to see if they improve on the other races or become a fly by night one and done event. Hopefully year two will come with improvements because the property itself is awesome!

Here are my results:

The Finish!
 
 ~

Time: 26:14    

Distance: 2.96    

Finish: 19th of 741

~

 
 
 
 

Catch you down the road ~ Blydawg

Warrior Dash – Race Recap 2011

Warrior Dash 2011, another year, new location…

Last year I traveled down to Forney, TX for my first ever Warrior Dash. You can read about that race here.  This year, after meeting a new group of fellow mud junkies, we call ourselves the DFW Mudcrew I was once again ready for the Warrior Dash. This year the race was being held at the DFW Adventure Park, the same exact place as where Run the Jailbreak held it’s fall DFW run.  So this was going to be interesting to see how they would modify the course, or just use the same one.

Two things I have learned about the WD, a lot of people show up (14k) and the atmosphere afterwards is a big ole party.

This year I am not going to go through each obstacle and rate it or tell you about it. Because in reality, they were all really easy.  The course was less than a 5k, only about 2.78 miles.  The most difficult part of the race was actually the Cargo Net and only because we caught up to the group from the previous wave (this was the last time we ran in the middle of day, first waves only from here on out).

So here are a list of the obstacles I remember being in the race, they may not be in true order, but they are pretty close.

  1. Lake crossing
  2. Trailer
  3. Tires and cars
  4. High wall low wall
  5. Rope wall
  6. Balance beam
  7. Tangled wires
  8. Tunnel crawl
  9. Rope roll
  10. Hay bales
  11. Cargo net
  12. Water log roll
  13. Fire
  14. Mud pit

So my thoughts on the WD – this is a great race if you are a beginner to the world of mud runs or you are looking to just have a good time.  The course is relatively easy, most of the running is done on the 4-wheeler trails and the obstacles are in the middle of the trail. I was surprised at how fast the course was and how they used the same basic layout as Jailbreak. There really was not much mud, just crossed one pond, the log rolls and the mud pit at the end.  The other fun part is this is one of the few races that as a group, we actually all dressed up in costumes.  Our group all wore Tutu’s!

But I can tell you that it was during this race that a switch turned on inside of me and I decided to take training for these to the next level. I totally want to win, win my heats, win my age groups and not be so tired.  I spent the whole race trying to catch Mr. Shanks (but to no avail). So here is how I finished up this years WD:

 

 

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Time: 27:09

Distance: 2.79

Finish: 413 of 14,195

~

 
 

So if you are just looking to have a good time afterwards, see outrageous costumes, drink a lot of beer and listen to good music, then this is definitely the event for you.  I plan on doing it again just for the entertainment factor alone!

Catch you on the flip side ~ Blydawg

Spartan Race – Texas 2011 (Smithville)

March 26, 2010 – Smithville, Texas

2011 is soon going to be a year to remember! My first race of the season and I traveled all the way down to Smithville, Texas.  The home of where Hope Floats was filmed (or at least that is what they claim).  I wanted to do the Spartan Race this year, well simply because it looked fun! So here is my review of the Spartan Race.

The draw to the Spartan Race was that everyone was dressed like a Spartan.  Since I had just finished watching the season of Spartacus on Starz, I couldn’t resist the temptation to dress up for this run.  I normally do not wear costumes but I figured what the heck. So I went out and got my Spartan uniform and went to Smithville!

I have to say that unlike some of the other races (Warrior Dash) there were not many crazy costumes.  I was expecting a ton of Spartans, sadly, while I was there, there were not many.  A little over 1500 people ran the race, I happened to be at the 12pm wave (see what procrastination gets you) and I mostly saw a huge population of military guys with no shirts on.  I have to say that while some of the other venue’s keep tweeting about a 58% female sign up, there were only 30% females at this race.  I think there were more employees in costume than runners.  But I donned my gear, I wore a Spartan helmet, shin guards, forearm guards and a Spartan skirt. Sadly, I did not run in the helmet, I ditched it right after the start; it was too light and would not stay on. I am so glad I did, because I was sure I would not have survived the course with that thing on. Okay, so here is my review for the Spartan Race!

With the pre-race photo’s out of the way, it was time to get my game face on, no one could really see my game face because I was in full Spartan mode! I had my helmet on, although I never intended to run in it, it kept coming off and I was afraid of losing it (I want it for future races!).  So having stretched out, ran in place, jumping jacks, I was ready! The gun went off and here we go, I was close to the front, but behind the Cedar Park football team, I figured I would let them go first and I would catch them later. We received our instructions on the race, our “How to” on the burpees (up/down/pushup/up jump) which we were required to do if we could not complete an obstacle. The smoke started, the cannon blew and we were off! My first issue with the race begins here…the chip timing company, I was not happy that our official time started when the gun went off and not when we cross the start line.  So I lost like 15 seconds getting to the line. Grrr…

Right away we hit OBSTACLE 1, the fire jump and mud pit – interesting obstacle, you jump over the fire grate and you are instantly hit with the fire hose! Good thing the pressure was not that high! Once you ran through the hose, you were greeted with a shin deep mud pit.  I was able to run through this without many problems, just deep enough to get a little wet, mostly your shoes.

So from here you run and run and run. I was very thankful we went through some water right off the bat, made our shoes and socks nice and heavy for the mile plus run until OBSTACLE 2. This was the fun one, we had to go over a 6 Ft. wall, then an identical wall was behind it except the bottom board was missing, we had to crawl under it.  After that was the car tires hanging in mid air you had to go through. Rinse and repeat and you were off to running.  I kind of felt bad for some of the bigger contestants; they obviously were not fitting through the tire or crawling under the wall.  I made it through the first set no problem, the second set I got caught in the tire, had to turn around and back out.  I also lost my first shin guard here.  One of the straps broke when it got caught on the tire.  I ripped it off and donated it near the pile of race bibs that were collecting due to the tires ripping them off. Back to trail running!

Now we entered into the hardest part of the course, the hills.  There were three or four of them, I can’t remember for sure but they were steep and full of fist sized rocks (loose) that made it difficult to run up.  Needless to say, I needed to have trained for hills, since I did not, my legs felt real heavy and I was sucking wind half way up the first one.  Then i took my Que from the rest of the group…walking up the hills is easier.  Trotting down the back side and walking up the hills. Mentally I was pissed at myself for walking, but what could I do? I was sucking air bad and the hills were tough to walk up much less run (did I mention first run of the year and not in shape yet?)

Coming out of the hills, we ran some more and then came upon OBSTACLE 3– the balance beam.  Good job here SR, the 2×4 layout of L shaped forms was tough.  Even more tough since I was breathing hard, it made concentrating and going slow difficult.  I made it to the first intersection (barely) way out of control; I tried to catch my breath, but not having much luck at that.  Continuing on to the second intersection, getting better at balancing, about half way there and boom, fell off…rushing and losing my mental control.  Time for my burpees 1-30 .  Nice hard gravel to do pushups on, that was a great touch.   Oh yeah, the lady counting the burpees, trying to be funny by telling me I lost a shin guard…not so much! I ripped off the other one and donated it to SR.

OBSTACLE 4 – Immediately after the burpees, was to drag this cement ball attached to a large rope, go down and back.  I optioned for a fast walk on this versus running, not hard, but not a piece of cake either.

So we are back off to running through the woods.  I encountered a guy with no shoes, he told me he lost them at the first mud pit, wow I thought, the rocks must have hurt!  So we come upon OBSTACLE 5 – the barbwire crawl.  I was surprised that they actually had real barbed wire and it was real low. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people couldn’t make it under and had to do the burpees.  I saw the first photographer here, go a good picture crawling! By the way the ground here was extremely hard, no mud, just hard rock-like dirt!  Off to running again!

So coming out of the woods we encounter OBSTACLE 6 a cargo net. Followed by OBSTACLE 7 which was this mini lake had to wade through it to the other side and then crawl up a muddy hill inside a tunnel.  Then off to OBSTACLE 8 which was an 8 ft wall. I really had no problem here even though my hands were full of mud, up and over!

OBSTACLE 9 – Another lake, this time we had our Lowe’s 5-gallon buckets and had to keep those horizontal as we walked a circle around the perimeter then walk up hill on wet tires.  Not as hard as some people make it out to be, if you walked on the tires, it was easy, if you tried to step in the middle, it was slippery and muddy.

Coming out of that was a short run to OBSTACLE 10 – another cargo net.  Easy peasy. Even when I am dog tired these obstacles are still pretty easy. A short jaunt and I reached the wall.  They created a 10 ft or so wall with blocks on them simulating a rock climbing wall, only you went sideways. OBSTACLE 11 – The wall was not as hard as you would think by looking at it, as a matter of fact, if you go slow and take your time, it was easy.  I just happened to look away to see where my photography crew was and my foot slipped off and I touched the ground on the last block! Just so happened to be right in front of the obstacle official…burpees 31-60! Grrr…these were not easy and I was already sucking wind.

A short walk later (yes I was done running) was OBSTACLE 12 – The spear throw.  I lost precious time here because they were backed up on all three lanes at first. As usual I always pick the slow line.  After changing lines a few times I get one where there is no one throwing and the obstacle ref decides to walk down the firing line picking up spears, knowing I am not very accurate I was waiting on him to move…which he took his sweet ass time.  So I moved lanes again and threw. My spear hit the bale of hay and didn’t stick…Burpees 61-90! Arrrggghhh, I am starting to hate these things!

Exhausted from burpees I lingered over to the last OBSTACLE 13 – the incline wall, with a giant rope to pull yourself up.  Oh yeah they are pouring water down the wall just for fun.  This was actually pretty easy, except I about fell off the top going over the wall, yes I went to grab the ledge and missed and started falling, but I was on the edge so this giant pole caught me long enough to stand back up and climb down.

Off to the finish, and dead tired, this course definitely took a lot out of me. So approaching the FINISH LINE, there are these two guys with pugil sticks.  Watching them earlier they were kicking the crap out of people and making them flip and crash all over.  So I decided to take the fight to them and I was going to knock them down.  So I went towards the little one! I ran right into him, pushed off, did a spin move and they never hit me! I finished! Yay me!

So my stats for this race were not great in my opinion, although the total miles were close to 3.8 my overall time was 56:02.  Here is the breakdown:

58th out of 198 for Wave 7

77th out of 285 – Men 30-39

427th out of 1,548 Spartan Runners

Blydawg 2011 Race Calendar

2011 is shaping up to be the rise of Blydawg.  Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I have a new found love for competition.  I have always loved to compete, whether it was wrestling, rugby, judo or ping pong, I always want to win.  The funny thing is, I have never really liked running, even when I was in the police academy and I broke the 1.5 mile academy record, I never viewed it as fun. It all started last year with running a few mudruns, which are obstacle style races through all kinds of terrain and mud.  Now I am addicted.

So here is my potential race calendar  for this year and the results. If you want to read the associated race recap blog click on the  Recap button!

Spring Race Season

March-June 2011

  • Spartan Race Smithville, TX            March 26, 2011

Time: 56:02     Distance: 3.8              Finish: 427th of 1,548

Race Recap     Race Video

  • DFW Mudrun Ft. Worth, TX            April 10, 2011

Time: 1:51:09  Distance: 6.6              Finish: 13th of 51 teams

Race Recap     Race Video

  • Warrior DashRoanoke, TX            April 16, 2011

Time: 27:09     Distance 2.79              Finish: 413th out of 14,195

Race Recap     Race Video

  • The Survival RaceForney, TX       April 30, 2011

Time: 26:14     Distance: 2.96             Finish: 19th of 741

Race Recap     Race Video

  • Run the JailbreakBurnett, TX       May 8th, 2011

Time: 32:02     Distance: 2.86            Finish: 3rd in Wave

Race Recap     Race Video

  • Gladiator GamesAustin, TX          May 21, 2011

Time: 24:02     Distance: 5k                 Finish: 32nd of 270

Time: 5:57        O-Course                    Finish: 43th of 367

Race Recap     Race Video

  • Susan G. Komen 5kPlano, TX      June 11, 2011

Time: 23:49     Distance: 5k                Finish: 86th of 603

Race Recap     Race Video

  • Flexin’ Texan 5kJustin, TX           June 25, 2011

Time: 23:57     Distance: 5k                Finish: 8th of 80

  • The Patriot GamesSanger, TX     June 26, 2011

Time: 23:02     Distance: 2.6              Finish: 20th of 843

Race Recap     Race Video

Fall Race Season

September-December 2011

  • The Caveman Crawl – Bridgeport, TX     September 10, 2011

Time: 33:58     Distance: 2.76              Finish: 22nd of 843

Race Recap     Race Video

  • Run The Jailbreak DFW – Roanoke, TX     September 17, 2011

Time:      Distance:               Finish:

Race Recap     Race Video

  • The Gladiator Games – Dallas, TX     October 1, 2011

Time: 11:24     Distance:               Finish: 2nd place team of 26

Race Recap     Race Video

  • Haslet Hustle – Haslet, TX     November 12, 2011

Time: 21:54     Distance: 2.93              Finish: 2nd in Age Group

Race Recap     Race Video

  • The Grub Run – Ft. Worth, TX     November 24, 2011

Time: 21:53     Distance: 2.77              Finish: Unknown

Race Recap     Race Video

  • The Super Spartan – Glen Rose, TX     December 3, 2011

Time: 2:11:06     Distance: 8 miles       Finish: 227 of 1420

Race Recap     Race Video

  • The Reindeer Romp – Roanoke, TX     December 10, 2011

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Race Recap     Race Video

Run the Jailbreak – Race Recap 2010

By: Travis E. Blythe

This year I embarked on a mission to challenge myself physically as well as mentally. So I set off to actually do what most people pledge they are going to do.  One of the items was to compete in events like this.  This was my third of the year, I had already completed the DFW Mudrun and the Warrior Dash.  This one was called “Run the Jailbreak” a pretty simple theme to it, run like you just broke out of jail and get away.  I actually thought most of the time like I was the fugitive!

Going off what the website says the obstacles are, below are all of the obstacles and what my opinions of them are.

  1. Jailbreak Start – Nothing special about this, I did like that they actually had us doing some boot camp warm ups to get the blood pumping before the race.
  2. Allied Waste’s Outer Trenches – Unfortunately I ran through this maze of short walls, rolling hills and one culvert.  Mostly because there were people everywhere and I was annoyed, people jumping and falling and stopping in front of things…grrr…so I just ran through it.
  3. TMX’s Culverts – Not really an obstacle just something to run through, which was actually the middle of the table top jump from the motocross course.
  4. MGD 64’s Hydro Gauntlet – This was okay.  After some running, you go chest deep into the a small lake and they shoot water cannons up in the air to get you wet.  Coming out was a challenge just because the people in front of me kept falling down.  Nothing like trying to get running when your sliding in mud.
  5. Mustang Maze – Now that we are nice and wet, we run through a paintball arena made up of house looking structures. Not really hard since you were running in and out of makeshift buildings.
  6. DFW Adventure Park’s Sharpshooter – This was different, we had to stop and shoot laser tag, just enough to catch my breath, but I didn’t play too long, I had a race to run!
  7. Monster Mountain – I am guessing this was the hay bail mountain. It was not in the place they show it to be on the map, but none the less, not too hard, I took the first shelf at a run, then scrambled up the rest.  Hopped down the other side and off to run some more.
  8. Soleus River SlideThis was fun, a short water slide, I went feet first since I was not sure how deep it was at the bottom.  Glad I did, it was shallow!
  9. Honda Kawasaki West’s Final PlungeNot sure what this was, I don’t remember it
  10. Sgt. H20’s River Crossing- I am assuming this was what we did after the waterslide, walking in the waist deep creek, slowed you down some.  I managed to actually pass some folks here and coming out of the creek too.
  11. 7-11’s Colditz Canyon Crawl – I am not sure what this is either.  When we came out of the creek, we had to climb up a wall of tires, this was fun and took less then 30 seconds for me, I was like spiderman going up this, it was fun and easy to do.
  12. North Texas Bank’s Hay Baled Out – Again, I have no idea what this was, as we already went up and down the hay bales.
  13. Dare to TreadI think this was the tires they had in the middle of the road, all I can say is, thank you P90X for the Plyometrics training in which I did this, I went through these like I was in training camp, high knees and all, sure I could have ran around them, but why do the course then?
  14. Levee BreachI think this was just one of the many flooded out road ways.  Not too hard, good way to catch your breath, definitely slows down the running.
  15. Mud Punishment – I am assuming that this is the barbwire crawl we had to do near the end. Not the hardest obstacle, but trying to go fast was tricky, then I torn up my knees crawling through and I got mud in my eye!
  16. Victory Party – Not much parting going on when you are the last group on the course, everyone seemed to split and most of the vendors were closing it up as well.

So what is my overall review?  I thought this was easier than the Warrior Dash.  Most of the obstacles were just water related and not really mud, don’t get me wrong, coming out of the water was the worst part where the slime actually was.  Trying to get going again was a pain!  I guess I was expecting something more challenging physically.  The run was tough the 3.8 miles seemed to go on and on and running over a motocross track up and down the whoops were tough at the end, but I wanted more. I was also disappointed that the event was not timed properly, for the money (entrance fee) you got a t-shirt, 2-beers, 1-sandwich and a good time. No timing chips were used and thus you only had the clock to look at when you finished and compare with what people said they did.  I think it would have been nice to see where you place in your age group or heat. I know, don’t beat me up, it was for a great charity “Sower of Seeds” and I did like the fact that we got to park at the Texas Motor Speedway and took buses there and back.  It was really easy and I was not annoyed about it at all.

By far the DFW Mudrun was the most physical one I have done to date.  My favorite part of the Jailbreak though was the tire hill climb!  I also wanted to mention that the monster truck tires were awesome to take at a dead run.  I wanted to thank the guy I raced towards the end, he really pushed me to run faster.

I never expect to finish first when it comes to races like this, but for a minute I thought I had a chance.  Normally I watch as the fast guys take off and I just try to maintain  the same pace throughout the race, if not try to increase as it goes on.  For this race, I watched them take off and then was surprised as I reeled them in one at a time.  The guy I thought was the race leader, I caught about 2/3 of the way through, and he was tired.  Breathing hard and running with a slight limp, I was shocked he kept going at the pace he did once I ran up on him.  It was at this point where I was trying to recall all of the people I saw sprint out and how many I passed.  This was the guy I remembered the most because he was in blue and he disappeared from sight right in the beginning.  So for the last 1/3 of the race I thought I was racing to be the winner of the heat.  I let him get ahead about 3 paces knowing I had some reserves in my tank for a sprint to the finish.  We took turns passing each other, then side by side, we scaled those huge monster tires in unison and never missed a stride.  As we got closer to the finish, I would get ahead during the water obstacles and mud, but he would sprint to catch me every time.  We entered the last crawl at the same time.  I had someone in front of me and I thought I was toast, but after crawling through, I was winning and never looked back as we headed to the knee deep water and then to the finish.  I later found out he gave up on the crawl and conceded to me as he was spent.  He later told me the water was a killer for him. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the water saved me as the run was killing me!

My dream was quickly shattered when I crossed the finish line and learned that there were 5 others that already finished…Oh well, I ran it in 39:01 not a bad time if I do say so myself!  It will be interesting to see how the Warrior Dash organizes the same course next year for their 2011 run.  Yes they are using the DFW Adventure park as well.

While writing this blog, the Caveman Extreme contacted me from a post I left on Facebook and left me this message and a coupon code: We saw your post on Jailbreak and we felt the same way about the chip timing. We wanted to extend an invitation to you to the Caveman Xtreme, which is chip timed. This is our second event this year. We had very positive feedback on our course from the Caveman Crawl. Caveman Xtreme is located in Bridgeport on October 23. Bridgeport is located 33 miles west from the Jailbreak location. There will be over 40 obstacles at this event along with an attempt to break a Guinness World Record.

All I can say is…umm yeah I want to be a part of a Guinness World Record!  See you out on the course!

Warrior Dash 2010 – Race Recap

Forney, TX – When I set my bucket list of to-do’s this year the first thing I did was find my Komen 5k’s and add them to my calendar. Then I had heard about this thing called the DFW Mudrun. It looked challenging and I signed up. Then I found the Warrior Dash. I instantly fell in love with the Warrior Dash. You see I am a huge medieval time period buff and when I saw that we could dress however we wanted, it really peaked my interest. Then, when I saw we got these cool buffalo hats (think grand pooh-bah from the Flintstones), t-shirts and medals, I instantly signed up. I was so stoked for this one, it looked cool and a ton of fun.

What I took from this race is that it really is about the party. It reminded me a little of the festivals you go to where you take a blanket, listen to bands, eat and drink beer! Oh yeah, and have a little race around all of that.

I was signed up for the 4pm start on day two and yes I was worried that the course was going to be nothing but a mud pit and all of the obstacles would be really tough after so many people went through them. I made my way to the START line and waited, I wanted to get up front and not have to try and get around all of the slower people. Here are the obstacles they felt were to challenge us:

Texas Tornado – 20 mph wind generated by an air boat that blew at you for about 5 seconds. The sound kind of made me worry as I didn’t know what the heck it was, then I see the boat, of course I am on the left hand side of the trail…I took the wind head on, it almost stopped me for a second, but then it was over.

Mud Pit #1 – Ankle deep mud just enough to get your clean clothes dirty, but nothing major. Although the mud outside the pit was more like slime, tough footing.

Walk the Plank – This was a 1-ft wide board over a small ditch about 5-ft wide…I could have driven my Harley over this board, it was so wide.

• Run through the Black Forest – Nothing hard here, except when you are tall you are constantly ducking the trees limbs the whole time!

• Mud Slide – finally got dirty, sat down and slide into the creek. The guy in front of me just stopped when got to the bottom, yeah I took him out. Sorry dude.

• Slippery Riverbed Run – Walked through most of this as the water levels kept changing from mid-shin to mid chest. I think I fell down once as the drop-off just comes from nowhere (actually just sat on my butt)

• Mud Climb – This was not hard at all, everyone was getting stuck and I was looking at them like they were idiots. If you find the footholds, you go right up. I thought this would be bad since I was there late on day two, but the hardest part was running again at the top. Again the slime mud factor kept you to a walk until the ground hardened up

• Mud Pit #2 – Again the hardest part was coming out of it onto the slime. Although I sit do the sit thing again as I first went in.

• Cargo Climb – You can see this baby from a distance and all I thought was really? It looked like they put the cargo rope over a set of bleachers. Three steps up and three steps down and back to running…not hard at all.

• Log Roll – BEST part of the whole course. We entered the lake/pond and the water level on me was mid chest to up to my neck on the last one. The logs actually floated and spun on a wire. It was funny watching people not get over these…they were the easiest part. I spun the log forward and then jumped up and when my belly hit it, the log would roll me over and into the water. I think I passed about 20 people. I caught the “Runners” of the pack that was pulling away from me on the run here. Of course they blew away when we got back on land.

• Splintering Spools – Not as tough as I first thought. These were wooden spools, ranging from small to large, positioned across the course. The big ones were in the middle and I was going to go for those until a guy in front of me tried it and fell backwards. So, I took the next medium size one and I hit it at a full sprint. I used my hands to grab the top bound right over it like a gymnast does the pommel horse. I scared the camera guy sitting there, he almost dropped his camera as I flew over the spool.

• Hay Bale Wall – This was nothing but a stack of hay bales maybe 4 high. Another joke of an obstacle, I kept my running pace and jumped up the first one and then the second and jumped down, moving on.

• Wall of Fire – I had been thinking of what to do all day when jumping this as I had my camera woman positioned there waiting for me to jump through. Funny thing is that I was running too fast and I had to slow down. I was about to be passed by a girl (actually she did pass me) she had been breathing behind me for sometime and then she ran by. So, I picked up the pace and we were side by side going into the fire. I ended up jumping the first one normal and on the second one I jumped and did my best flex in the air. I think my sock caught on fire too.

• Muddy Mayhem & Barbwire – So, the finish line is just ahead and I knew this was the last obstacle before the finish line. I was somewhat damp but totally clean, so following suit of some of the people I saw earlier, I dove headfirst into the mud. Yes I dove, to the chants and applause of the crowd. I couldn’t see when I came up, I wiped my eyes and I could only get one open enough to crawl through as I was caked in mud. I was on all fours trying to get through the mud pit with mud dripping in my good eye, burning like a mother and the other eye basically sealed shut by the slime mud…good times I tell ya!

All in all the race was pretty easy, the obstacles were really not that hard. I was expecting it to be worse. I really had no preconceived ideas of being all that competitive, I just wanted to run a good race, not kill myself and have fun. I actually surprised myself, when I thought I would be around 45-50 minutes I was shocked to find out I finished at 27:08.55. I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself that much, in fact I thought I was a little slow due to being sick earlier that week.
In the end there were 6,998 Warriors on Sunday and 6,658 Warriors on Saturday. Because I am a results junkie and very competitive I thought I would share some stats with you because I am impressed with myself. I finished 754th out of 6,998 contestants on Sunday and I ranked 81st in my age group of 35-39 out of 645 male Warriors. If you combine both days totals, I finished 1,644th out of 13,656 Warriors. I finished 193rd out of 1,300 male Warriors in my age group of 35-39. I now have a goal to beat for next year!

Now I play the waiting game as the next few races are not until September and November. Look for me to go after this new run called the “Jailbreak”and then Mudrun II and lastly the Tough Mudder and if we are lucky The Spartan Race is trying to get an October date! This is truly the year of the mud!

My Name is Travis and I talk to strangers!

Things I Think – Thursday 4-15-2010 – Cancer Sucks

It seems as though my whole life we have lived with the horrible disease that is “Cancer”.  It seems odd that in my almost 39 years of life we still have not cured this awful disease. Last year my wonderful Aunt Doris was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I have never realized that this nasty disease could hit so close to home for me.  Now I have learned of other family members generations removed who also died battling this.

A few years ago, I had a client whose niece had cancer.  I remember thinking how horrible it must be for a child 12 years old to have to go through something like that.  She battled rhabdomyosarcoma and won, when they thought she would never survive the chemo treatments.  I started wearing my Livestrong braclet then in support for her.  The only time I have ever taken it off was when it broke, so I just put on another.  Even when others ridicule me for still wearing it, thinking I only wear it as a fad, I know in my heart that I support all of those people with cancer.  I know that I am very fortunate to not be in those situations.

About a month ago, my new dog Shiner, who I rescued from the Legacy Boxer Rescue group, was diagnosed as having cancer.  He had small tumors in his eyes.  We were fortunate enough to find out, that it looked like it was contained to just his eyes and it did not spread to his lymph-nodes or lungs.  We had the tumors frozen and removed and our Dr believes he removed it all and it is all gone.  So now we just wait and see if the tumors grow back, but it looks like he is going to be fine.

Last year learning about my Aunt put things in perspective for me as far as how I really wanted to live my life.  Just like the famous Tim McGraw song “live like you’re dying”, I too wanted to never miss an opportunity to do something that I wanted to do.  So this year instead of making New Years resolutions I knew I would never keep, I make small 2010 bucket lists.  One of my pledges and commitments was to run in all the Susan G. Komen 5k runs in the Dallas area.  I know there are three for sure 4/24 (Tarrant Co.), 6/12 (Plano) & 10/16 (Dallas) and maybe Austin on 11/7 if I can make it.  Please support me and help me raise money for the cause and reach & exceed my goal.  Anything helps.  http://bit.ly/PinkWarrior

I run…for you, because you can’t

I sweat…for you, so you don’t have to

I Feel Pain…because you’re in pain

I am a PINK WARRIOR

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers