Monday, December 10, 2012

Texas Beast - Conquered!

My 6th and final Spartan Race for the 2012 season is now complete and it was an incredible way to end the year. My only regret from the race is that my wife Gretchen wasn't there to share it with me. This was the first race that I've run without her by my side - one of us had to stay home with the kiddos and the dogs and Gretchen urged me to go.

After running the PA Sprint, VA Super, NJ Super, VT Beast, and the Carolina Beast, the Texas Spartan Beast was definitely a challenging one. It ended up being 13.5 miles total and the Texan terrain at the Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose Texas was utilized to it's fullest extent by the sadistic Spartan Race course director Mike Morris. The race started off on some very sharp, dusty and rocky cactus filled soil. The one "hill" on the course grounds was used over and over and over again for the first 7 miles of the race. Up and down the steep hill was the theme for the first half of the race -  both the bucket and sandbag carries took place at the steepest areas. The obstacles were the usual medley - cargo nets, rope climbs, 6-8' walls, barbed wire, atlas carry (with mandatory burpees) and even a 100+ yard swim across a 25' deep lake. After the swim at around mile 9 came the dreaded tyrollean-traverse - a taught rope between two high points that you must climb across. This dreaded obstacle causes burns on the chests of people that choose to take the "above" route, and lots of falls for those who go under. I hung underneath with my calves crossed and pulled myself hand over hand until I could ring the bell. With my forearms burning and that obstacle complete, the rest of the course seemed pretty straight forward.

Tire flips, running, more walls to jump over, more barbed wire to crawl under and the traditional end of the race obstacles - traverse wall, spear throw (I nailed it), soapy wall with rope and the gladiators. I made it through them all with no penalty burpees (a first for me) and my official time was 3 hours 4 minutes. For me that was great. I honestly wanted to do the race again the following day, but my flight home was scheduled a bit too early. All in all it was a fantastic race - I got to hang out with some great Spartan friends and complete another Beast. Bring on 2013!