Coming into the OCR World Championships I felt as unprepared as I did running my first Spartan race. I knew that there would be quite a few obstacles that I would be familiar with from Spartan races, but I also knew there would be some that I had never seen before.
The race started fast, faster than I wanted to go at the beginning of a 10 mile course with 53 obstacles. So Ryan and John started out fast and I didn’t follow them like I should have. You’d think I would have learned my lesson by now to not let two athletes of that ability get away, but I did. Looking back now, I don’t know if it would have mattered much. Their obstacle proficiency was clearly better than mine. Hopefully next time, I will be more at their level.
In the first 5-6 miles Hobie Call and I were back and forth. I would pass him on the hills and he would pass me on the obstacles. It was very discouraging to see myself losing that much ground on the obstacles, but at least I know what I needed to improve on. As the race progressed I did solidly pull into 3rd place behind Ryan Atkins but I could see several foreign racers close behind and I knew that in order to stay in 3rd I would have to shoot for 2nd. So I tried to focus on Ryan and not those who were coming on strong from behind.
There were several obstacles that, if it weren’t for the help of spectators, I may not have passed. I was trying to go up the Monkey bar hill faced forward just using my arms. I had no idea until someone yelled at me that I needed to turn around and use my legs. If it wasn’t for Brakken Krakker telling me how to do the “Tip of the Spear” I may not have stayed in 3rd place. I was going to go over the wall, I didn’t realize that I had to traverse across the the wall with the ropes. Call me stupid for not knowing how to do all the obstacles but remember, there were 53! And I had never seen a “Tip of the Spear” obstacle before. I guess I learned the importance of researching different obstacles and how to do them, I just didn’t spend my time doing that.
The last 200 meters were probably the scariest of all. There was a slick, frosted ramp wall that I tried and slipped off the first time. The 2nd time I slipped again and I could see Conner from the UK coming quickly and I knew I had to get it now or lose my podium spot. I sprinted for all that I was worth and jumped and caught the wall just as he was approaching. With two more obstacle to go, I pushed hard and finished in 3rd place. This was probably the happiest I’ve ever been taking 3rd place.
Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Spartan Race, Inov-8, Gnarly Nutrition, and Beetelite! Also big congrats to Jon Albon and Ryan Atkins for taking the #1 and #2 spots.