|Photo Credit Spartan Race|
It's really difficult for me to write a full review since running a 14 mile race like this tends to leave my brain slightly scrambled, but I'll do my best to piece it together. First - perfect weather for a race. Not too cold not too hot. Loved it. One of the best times of year to be in Killington and New England (although I do prefer snowboarding down the mountain to running up it).
|1 mile 65lb sandbag carry|
This was a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BEAST sandbag carry and it lived up to it. The sandbag weighed 65lbs and the carry was up one of the steepest slopes Killington had to offer for A FULL MILE - 1/2 mile up and back down.
This was also the part of the race that my better half, Gretchen Krueger, caught up to me - I think (still blurry). We decided to stay together for the remainder of the race - also with my buddy Keith. During the next couple miles there was a spear throw (which I was thrilled to have NAILED - Gretchen made it too) and a few other obstacles including a pretty long barbed wire crawl.
|Barbed wire scratches|
After the barbed wire we had to cross a pretty cool raised ladder to a cargo net then back down. We also met up with a good friend and great guy, Rob Butler - owner of Shale Hill Adventure Farm. Next was the real water portion of the race and the start of crazy cramps and hypothermia. A brief swim into the late September chilled waters of Killington's runoff led to the second rope climb of the race - the rope is attached to the bottom of a 20' high bridge. That was not too bad. Then we had to run around the lake to the traverse wall. Legs were very cold and slightly cramped but still did it no problem. THEN was the hard part - another swim to the bridge and another rope climb followed by a tarzan swing on very short ropes to a bell ring. Gretchen went first and I cheered her on. I really thought if anyone could make it, she would. She got to the second rope of the swing and fell.
|Swim - rope climb - Tarzan swing (mile 7) - Photo Credit Spartan Race|
Her pinky was purple and white and turned to the side. Four different people looked at it and said "yes, that looks broken." We thought it was broken. We were freezing. I felt sick that we would have to stop the race. I could not imagine how Gretchen would continue the race and all obstacles with her finger looking like that and I asked her repeatedly if she wanted to go to the medic. If she did, that was it - race over and she would be DQ'd. If she went to the medic I felt like there was no way I could continue racing while my hurt wife was in the medical tent. I'll be honest - I was so cold and miserable at that point I almost wanted her to say "ok, let's go to the medic." It would not have taken much to twist my arm to drop out at that point. But Gretchen is tougher than anyone I know and she said "no, let's keep going." I was amazed at her fortitude. I'm a baby - if my hand looked like hers I probably would have dropped out. Luckily it was just sprained and freezing cold because once we started moving for another mile or so we all warmed up and her hand was ok.
|Photo Credit Spartan Race|
Gretchen went next with the more conservative technique of staying on top of the rope. That way takes longer but uses less energy. She made it and so did our friends. The rest of the race was pretty straight forward with more running up hills, down hills, a few walls to scramble over and some other obstacles...More barbed wire...this time uphill.
|After race pose with Beast & Trifecta medals|
The other incredible highlight from the weekend was seeing my Spartan Family and VPX Team Xtreme family. I have made lifetime friendships with people from literally all over the world and it is such a great feeling to get together with friends who share the same passions.
|VPX TEAM Xtreme|