This last weekend I had the opportunity to run the Spartan sprint race in Breckenridge, Colorado with some of the best Obstacle Racers in the World. There was a buzz in the air and the race definitely got its fair share of media and television coverage from major networks like NBC.
With a climb in elevation of over 10,000 feet, I knew this race was going to be tough.
Going into the race, I was lacking a little confidence. Whether it was the fact that I hadn’t run a race since March or whether it was the quality of competition, I’m not sure. But I had more nerves than I’ve had in a long time. I knew it would take a very solid race to win.
The race started out about like I expected. It was just fast enough to drop the majority of runners within the first mile or two. I could feel the elevation, but I knew that my body should be more accustomed to it than most of my competitors. I knew that if I was feeling it, those from lower elevations would surely be feeling it.
A few more miles into the race, the elevation had taken its toll on the competition. I was leading the race and Hobie Call was right behind me. We were creating a gap on the rest of the field. As the race continued, I had hoped to put some distance on Hobie Call as well, but he was running solid and strong. I jumped out to a 30 meter lead, but as soon as I started thinking that I was going to get a break on him, he would some how make up the distance and be back in front. So for 2-4 miles of the 5 mile race, Hobie Call and myself traded off leading the race, each hoping to somehow pull away.
Nearing the end of the race, we had created a substantial lead on the competition and it was down to the two of us. At about mile 4, the obstacles got harder and closer together. During these obstacles, Hobie took a slight lead, but I was clearly within striking distance. We came to the spear throw and Hobie threw first. I watched as his spear flew wide. This was my chance, this was the break I had been waiting for! I took my time, I knew all I had to do was hit the mark and the race would be mine. I let my spear go and it flew just off to the left of the hay. It struck the edge of the hay and broke out. I knew it was going to be pretty hard to win now. I was wishing I hadn’t taken my time on the spear throw because Hobie had about a 5-10 burpee lead.
With less than a mile to go I knew I was in trouble. I finished my burpees and Hobie was well ahead by now. As I headed towards the finish, I just tried to enjoy the moment and the mountains of Colorado. I ended up taking 2nd place. It was a great opportunity, and I would like to thank all my sponsors and Spartan for putting on such a great event. Thank you Inov-8 for the use of the X-Talon 190’s, Gnarly and Beetelite for helping me feel my best