My First OCR

Before I discovered obstacle course racing, I discovered Crossfit. While I was frequently told my results, physically and mentally were awesome, I never noticed. That’s how we chicks are at times, though. I knew I needed something to work towards, a goal, larger than my first goal in the beginning of my healthy lifestyle change, which was a shallow “fit in my jeans from high school” goal. I wanted to test the results I was getting…

With being a frequent shopper on, I was constantly seeing “Spartan” apparel, and I often wondered if that was something I could do….So, at first it was a wild suggestion to two of my friends to sign up, but when they responded “Let’s Do It!” I may have cringed a little.

Well, we all signed up for the Spartan Sprint, in Bunnell, FL. I trained for months to not be the weak link in our team, ate super healthy and studied YouTube videos of obstacles and how to complete them.

When race day arrived, I was immediately hooked. Addicted. The people, the mud, the sportsmanship and most of all, the obstacles! I never knew my body could climb like it did that day, I never knew I could hang from rings and I never thought I could survive 5 miles deep into the Florida jungle, on a sunny & humid, Spring day. There was cussing, grunting and crying, and many cuts and bruises. But we  DID survive, and I immediately decided, that this is exactly what I needed to add to my life and goal setting with fitness. Get faster, get better and win those medals.

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My Kryptonite

I grew up and lived the first half of my life in a four season community. However, I can only remember two seasons, Cold Autumn, and Freezing Winter. So, when the chance came to move happily ever to Florida, I took it. I have always been effected by the weather, the miserable weather, that is. I am that person who is always cold, gets moody after more than one day of cloudy, rainy, cold days. Seasonal Depression is real for me, Vitamin D supplements, tanning beds and those trendy light bulbs you are supposed to put in fixtures during the winter months don’t work at all.

Now, Florida weather isn’t perfect, by all means. But it is for me. It only took about 6 months living in a warmer climate for my “blood to thin” and temperatures that seemed warm up north, to make my teeth chatter here. We also have those things called Hurricanes. I have been blessed to experience/survive two, crippling “100 Year Storms” within a year (how that happens, I am not positive, ha) Hurricanes in a location that has some of the lowest chances of storm hits. But, between the moons, tides, water temps and size of these storms, they hit us. At least the temperatures never went below 80 degrees, and it typically is sunny a few hours after it rolls through.

Weather is about the only thing that will knock me off the motivation wagon. I love the heat, humidity and sun. Since I started racing in the late Spring of 2017, I haven’t had a lot of experience of racing in the down right cold temperatures. And it challenged me in my last two OCR’s of 2017. Central Florida’s Spartan Beast on December 9th, following up with a Terrain Race December 16th. Not only in the Spartan Beast were the temps in the 50s, but there was a good breeze from time to time, as well as misting to a steady drizzle of rain. I am usually tolerant of being wet & cold waist down, but once I submerged myself in the Dunk Wall (towards the end of the race-thankfully), I was hurting. I could feel my what little body warmth I had kept, leaving me so quickly, it was miserable.20171216_121154 Like your mom always told you, “Don’t go outside with your hair wet in the winter!” As for the Terrain Race, high 40s to low 50’s, and they are cute enough to start you out in a 4ft deep above ground swimming pool. You are chilled before you start. While Terrain doesn’t require any “head under water” obstacles, that cold start was cramp inducing early on.

For the first time ever, during a very cold spurt, I no showed on a race. It was a small, charity type, homemade OCR about an hour away. While it started later in the morning, I had been unfortunately diagnosed with an ear infection the week before (I blame the Beast race in December), and found I had no cold weather rated gear. When I say cold spurt, I mean 30s. I just couldn’t risk getting sicker, or not beating the ear infection. While I was bummed, mad I lost out on my entry fee, I realize now, it was a good choice.  I am pretty sure not attending it, allowed me to regroup and heal at speedier rate.

But yeah, cold is my kryptonite. I rather have face melting, dehydrating, sticky humid heat for every race out there. I think its probably because I do work outside in summer in this climate, and am very acclimated to heat, versus the cold.

Why I Crossfit

I know people have heard all kind of things about Crossfit– the good, bad, really bad & ugly. I have heard it all. Trust me, when I researched online in the beginning, I would see doctors claiming damaging movements, people with their shins torn up from box jumps, gashes from double unders in jump rope….But, I also saw results from crossfitters that had great, experienced gyms and coaches.

While they say Crossfit is everybody, I disagree in a sense. It is, however, I think, great for every BODY (young, old, fit, not fit, etc), just not every person.

See, I am intimidated by machines, cables, weight contraptions that look like robots and finger pinchers. I cannot be trusted enough to push myself or do a written work out plan, by myself. I don’t dance, so Zumba is out. I’ve tried Yoga once, unbeknownst to me, it was an advanced class, that took place on the beach, and IT WAS HARD-and just not my thing. Group exercise, all females, is also intimidating to me and sometimes distracting when I realize I am the only one NOT wearing make up & jewelry. I do love a good spin class, but I like to go as it hits me, not be placed on a waiting list, or wait for the RSVP page to open. So, basically, Crossfit fits me.

Now, I won’t get “Hulk” muscles, but that’s not what I want. I want endurance, stamina and strength. I was lucky to find my gym, The Academy, by a fluke. One day, a Facebook ad popped up on my news feed about an 8 week challenge for ladies wanting an introduction to Crossfit, but without bar use. Fearfully, I signed up. I even counted how many days “I’d have to go” and wondered if I could survive. Keep in mind, I did no type of fitness or sport prior to this in over 15 years.

The Academy is not only clean, but their trainers/coaches are top of the line. They don’t let you hurt yourself, they push you when you need pushed (I need that, time to time) and hold you back when you need it. MemeThey are also just all around good souls. With their experience, personalities and the gym goers these qualities attract, it makes this facility perfect for me.

Now, I can’t do double unders, handstands, crazy high box jumps or a perfect snatch…Hell, I probably won’t be able to them perfect, ever, ha! But, I am good at other Crossfit affiliated movements, and I will only get better, with persistence and consistency.

Crossfit gets a bad rap, but its really the people. There are great, experienced coaches out there, and there are shitty ones, too. Just like anything out there. I think the best part is, when you are starting out, great coaches scale down the routines to your fitness level. While you still get in the work, its just adjusted to you, your weaknesses and strengths. Like, say you are a serious runner, and can do the running workouts like its nothing, but when it comes to doing a strict push press, you might not be able to do the “prescribed weight” on the work out..just yet. And that’s ok, and they will help you make it doable. Can’t stand on your head and do push ups? No problem, they put you on a box. Still no pull up ability? That’s ok, that’s why there are resistance bands and rings.

Unlike what you may hear in the stereotyping of this workout regime, I will not announce to every one I meet that I Crossfit, or try to gettedn9 anyone to join me. I do laugh at all the Crossfit jokes & memes out there on the interwebs. I do own lots of Reebok Crossfit apparel and have laid on the gym floor after a work out, leaving an outline of myself in sweat, wondering if I was dying. I will never use Crossfit terminology while speaking to you or mention how much I loathe calorie rows. Everyone is different and thrives differently in fitness. I tried it, liked it and got results.

The ever so changing work outs, the strength AND conditioning, and being in an open air gym really got me in shape enough to do OCR’s. While all the other ways to work out are great too, this works for me.

Safe Travels for a Chick

It isn’t uncommon for me to travel 5+ hours to a race venue, alone. While it DOES keep me from giving it my all at times (tired from driving, concerned about getting injured and not being able to drive back, traffic), I love the experience of different venues, so I do it anyways.

My most common distance is about 2-3 hours away. I do those drives like its nothing, these days. I don’t tend to hold back on those races, either. Normally anything at or above 3 hours away, I do. I often leave my home before daylight and not all routes keep me on main highways. With that being the case, I always keep personal safety in mind in my travels. Here are a few things I do, to insure I have the safest drive there, and back.

I keep my vehicle’s exterior spotless normally, and it does stand out when its clean. But prior to a race trip, I let it get dirty, I will get more detailed on this later. I always check my tire pressure, and oil life, prior to any trip out of town. Tend to it as needed. I start my trip out with a full tank of gas as well. I despise pumping gas when it is not daylight. Wee morning hours or late at night, I just don’t feel comfortable. Print out your directions42eb5dfce09d2e4655e776ffcd19d775 to the venue, like in the old fashion days with MapQuest. I do this, because I do pass thru areas of absolute no service, as in, OnStar won’t even answer me. So, if for some reason I lose GPS on my phone, lose my phone or it spontaneously combusts, I still have a hard copy of my route to & from.  I always leave with plenty of time to spare for stops, traffic and detours, if needed. I hate rushing to park, register and bag check at races.

Being an ID Channel addict, I am well aware of the creepers that are out there in the world, random or calculated. So, I follow these simple rules, for myself. First, needing a drink should never be a reason for me to stop, I always carry a cooler packed with water & snacks. If I need a restroom break (because between coffee for the wake up and chugging water to be over-hydrated for a hot day of running-it happens), I stop ONLY for that reason. I do not get gas, use restroom and buy a drink. One stop, one purpose. If my stop must be in the darkness hours, no highway rest stops. No matter what. Only well lit exits, with larger gas stations, infrastructures (think surveillance cameras) . During daylight hours, I will stop at rest stops. I hold my keys to my vehicle in my fist, all the way in and out. In case I need to set off my vehicle alarm or throat punch (whatever is needed at the time, ha).

I never let my vehicle go lower than a 1/4 tank of fuel when traveling. You never know what kind of traffic issues or re-routes you might have to do in case of wrecks, etc. Have you ever been stopped in traffic, in Florida, in 90+ degree temps for over an hour? Let me tell ya, your vehicle idling with the A/C on, just to keep you from melting, takes the fuel….So, when I need fuel, I stop only at stations that, once again, are well lit, within sight of the highway. I pay at the pump, and do not enter the station or leave my post at my vehicle. If I need a snack, that too, is a separate stop. You are probably thinking, what a waste of time, stopping for individual needs at the moment. And sure, it takes a little longer to make separate stops, but I feel safer this way. Why? It does not take long for people to notice that you are traveling alone. And when someone who is contemplating to be up to no good, you are found out even faster. I like to blend in, and not be as noticeable. That’s why I let my vehicle get dirty on the outside prior to my trip, as well as not being in one location while doing several things, that take me additional time or take my attention away from my personal safety.

Of course, I let multiple people know which route I am taking, estimated time to get to and from, and address of the venue. If anything changes my route, plans or ETA, I am quick to reach out to those people. I like to inform multiple people, in case someone doesn’t answer my call/text.

These steps/ways of traveling help me feel safe along with those who care about me. I am fortunate enough that my guy enjoys destination golf, and most of time, will happily do an overnight/weekend trip to venues further away. I race, he golfs. Win/Win.

Wipe Out, I mean, Rugged Maniac!

My first experience with Rugged Maniac was in Conyers, Georgia. That is still a trek from my home in Florida, but I was able get one of Floridian friends to ride with me on that super hot day.  Sitting East of Atlanta, it still has its share of traffic. It was about a 6 hour drive-one way, and having a fellow only-childer with me was perfect-We solved every problem in the world with those 12 hours of conversation.

This race was a “come down” for me, after the Asheville Spartan Super (which was my first Super,

and first encounter of hill climbing in quite some time). The Asheville Spartan literally made my quads cry, with nothing but 8+ miles of incline, and not one down hill to show for it, ha! I figured a 5k OCR in HotLanta sun, I could handle. My inkling was correct, about the only thing that ached after this race was my butt from the long ride and my ribs from laughing so hard at myself and with other racers.

Rugged Maniac is a blast. While it has some challenging/technical obstacles, it has its fair share of “inflatable” or floating obstacles. That’s what made this race so much fun–I really felt like a kid again, and in the open wave, I felt like a pro athlete. Basically, this race attracts every fun-loving person out there. Let’s just say it was nice to not be surrounded by super athletes, nailing every obstacle perfectly with their 8 pack abs!

When you go to their website, you will see a lot of their obstacles will remind you of that show, “Wipe Out.” I am not sure it airs anymore, but if you enjoyed watching that show, you would enjoy being a racer or spectator in this race. I can tell you, the fails on the Rugged Maniac obstacles are just as, if not more hilarious than the show. You will witness racers completely bomb an obstacle, scream, slip/fall and laugh the whole time during it.

One obstacle involves inflatable, swinging, oversized punching bags blocking you from crossing a water obstacle as you try to walk on floating, foam walk way (think yoga mat). Those swinging punching bags were knocking people off, left & right, as the mats were sinking with more than 15lbs on the mats—so think about a full grown adult on them.  I heard so much screaming and laughing coming up to that obstacle, I couldn’t wait to do it!

“The Crag”, which reminded me of an old Nickelodeon show, is this inflatable mountain/bounce house like thing, I landed so hard on the other side, it bounced me me back to my starting point. I would’ve loved to seen my playback video, ha!

Overall, I want to suggest this race to anyone, young & old, beast, weekend warrior or coach potato. I think this would be a great team-building thing to do with employers & employees, family reunion kick off, etc. Rugged is also one of the
ONLY race series that will refund your money for a race in case you can’t make it. No hassle, no extra fees. It’s one of the cheapest races I’ve done, and their discounts are a plenty throughout the year, especially during the holiday/off season months. Yet, very organized and well planned. I loved my t-shirt, headband and medal, too. All good quality. I loved laughing that hard, too.

The Rope Climb!

When I signed up for my first OCR, the Spartan Sprint, the one obstacle I didn’t want to default to burpees with, was the rope climb.

From watching Lassie as a kid, when Timmy would fall in that ever forsaken well, and he had to

depend on his
loyal K9 companion for a rescue, to watching Indiana Jones scramble to get out of a snake pit, I decided it was a good skill to acquire…Just not for avoiding burpees at a race, but a life skill, too, ha!

I first started messing around with the rope at the gym. Laying on my back, I would pull myself upright to standing , hand over hand,  then lower myself back down. This helped me get a feeling of what level of grip strength I needed to hold on and just get comfortable with it. Next, came lots and lots of YouTube videos. From Spanish Twist to J Hook techniques, to the ever so longed for, legless. As I studied these videos, I realized it is more technique than strength. Now, don’t get me wrong, you need to be kind of fit, but if your technique isn’t there, you wear yourself out in a hurry! What I’m saying is, any normal person like myself can do this, you don’t need to be muscle bound!

Later, came my rope climbing station…at home. I didn’t always have it in me after a session at the gym to play on the ropes there. So, one of the perks of having a man who is a contractor is….he can build just about anything! He had me order the rope, and he gathered the lumber (which was way more involved than I thought). I should have known when he told me to cancel the 16′ rope, and order the 20 footer. The treated posts were 24ft tall, and that is no easy feat to get them upright! But once it was completed, it was a game changer. Having access to a rope, Wi-Fi and privacy, accelerated my goal accomplishment.

I quickly realized the J Hook technique was the best for me. Efficient and fast, both up and down. There are less points of contact in this technique, and considered not as safe for beginners. I am very comfortable with heights, climbing and my grip strength, so that doesn’t affect me, much. Plus, the leg and foot placement for the Spanish Twist takes me too much time, I just can’t get coordinated quickly enough before my upper body/grip tires. The J Hook for me is grip, core and leg strength, not eye and leg coordination. Another downside to the Spanish Twist is those extra points of contact can get rope burned/bruised. Even with the tall socks you see crossfitters and OCRacers wear.

The rope climb really does need more strength from the legs than anywhere else. My trainer would always bust me, when he saw me pulling more than pushing. “USE YOUR LEGS, MORE LEGS!” Unless you are a super athlete, you can burn yourself up real fast using all upper body. Just watch the older shows on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge. Many hot shot guys, with amazing bis & tris never made it up the rope at the end of the “Skull Buster”, because they chose not to use legs or a technique. Though climbing ropes in OCRs are far different than climbing in your backyard or gym. They are crowded. They are muddy, wet, and usually not the competition/Crossfit regulation diameter of 1-1/2″. Keep this in mind. Nothing like a crowd of people waiting for you to get up and down a muddy, wet rope, while people struggle on each side of you and your rope.

My advice is, climb a rope at least once a day. When you’re  tired, when you’re refreshed, if it’s outside, when it’s raining. At the gym, do it a couple times, too.  Watch YouTube, find which technique fits you better. Need to feel more secure? Use the Spanish Twist, wanna go fast, use the J Hook. Either one of those techniques can be practiced by sitting on a jump box, under a rope, and practice those foot/leg positions, safely on the ground.  To me, coming down is harder than going up. Once you get confident enough, do a lot of short climbs, practicing your descent slowly. Learning how to relieve your foot pinch, to SLOWLY lower yourself down without tearing the skin from your palms is very important. Hand over hand is what you want, not a fireman pole slide!

Lastly, it will only take a a couple rope burns on your ankle/legs, for you to get why I wear ridiculous looking, tall socks. The ropes are full of bacteria and chemicals, and I have 2, yes, 2 scars, from two seperate rope descents that were well cared for, and still got infected and scarred.

There really isn’t a greater feeling than getting to the top of the rope for the first time!

Please note, video posted is from this past Spring. Speed and efficiency has improved and as soon as this nasty weather breaks, I will have more up to date clips!

Double Trifecta…Complete!

Central Florida Spartan Beast did not disappoint! This race was extra special, not just because I was getting a nifty 2x Trifecta medal along with my Spartan Beast medal, but because my best friend traveled from Maryland to do this race with 20171209_132552me, and get her first ever, Trifecta!

Mulberry, Florida in December, shouldn’t be as cold and miserable as it was this past Saturday. A cold front came through our sunny state, blowing “polar air” and rain, right at us. I swear, the rain never stopped completely, from leaving our house at 5am, thru the 2.5 hour drive to the venue, during the race, and the ride back. This was the coldest and wettest race in my 2017 Spartan Race Season. This season definitely closed with a soaking wet, shiver!

We were lucky that the dunk wall was late in the race, right about at the 11-12 mile marker, but those last few miles after, COLD! In the Spartanburg, SC Beast, the dunk wall was early in the race, and I can say I was miserable, but no where near as cold as I was

24899696_10210496301140310_5919442300678283559_n5a2cc6a57814681b4b3f55e9-o (1)

in Florida! The steady misting of rain to a steady drizzle made a lot of the grip obstacles more challenging than usual, monkey bars, twister and the rings were very slippery. Although the weather wasn’t the greatest, I enjoyed the venue. While Florida is known to be flat, don’t think its an “even” flat. Between the cow paths, low spots and vegetation, Florida terrain can be a challenging trail run. The course was fast, too, you could easily pass other racers and get those miles done and over with, quicker! We ran the majority of each mile of the 13, as I shared my mantra with my bestie, “The faster we Run, the Quicker its Over With!”

My MudGear compression socks worked their magic this race. While others were complaining of calf cramps, I was feeling very light footed, still late in the race. Not only did they keep the cramps away, they also helped my technique on the Tyro Traverse and shielded my legs from limbs and briers on the trails. As usual, about at the 10-11 mile marker, I felt the “zone” kick in. I’m not sure how to explain it, but its something about double digit mileage races that mentally and physically change you right then. It’s not bad, as long as it doesn’t make you feel ill, get you injured or make you cry, ha, but your body & mind just disconnect from each other. Your brain stops telling your muscles you can’t, and your muscles just go into auto-pilot.

While we really wanted to cruise the merchandise tents, relax and get thoroughly cleaned up, after crossing that finish line, we were too cold, and darted to our vehicle. We sat in the truck for about a half hour, thawing out and changing into dry clothes. Laughing about our hangriness, crippling cramps, dementia and shivers. We hit a Pilot for coffee, 5 guys for burgers and headed home. BEST DAY EVER.

Bag Check? Great. What do you take?


It didn’t take me long to realize what I needed and what I didn’t need in the bag I take to obstacle course races. All races offer a bag check, while some offer it for free (smaller races), others charge $5-$10. Going Lone Wolf, I don’t have someone to hold my keys,phone, dry clothes or paperwork for me, so I always take extra cash with me, to utilize the bag checks.

I use the Jekyll & Hyde tactical back pack. It has plenty of pockets, room and is super durable. I fill that thing with antibiotic spray, ointment, gauze, tape-both RockTape, Goat Tape & medical tape, band aids of all sizes, scissors, flip flops, change of clothes and towels. I also stash my cash, ID, keys and cell phone deep into the backpack. I decide last minute if I plan to take my gloves on the course or not. Less is more, in most cases.

I don’t pack snacks in the bag that gets checked. Mostly because, the heat, and placement of some of these bag checks are right out in the sun. I don’t take a credit card or large bills with me, obviously, for safety purposes. Although I’m sure my cell phone or keys would be the better grab, if that were to happen. All bag checks I have used in the larger scale races are being run by athletes, themselves, they volunteer, and get discounted or free races. So, security in the larger races does not worry me. However, I have been to some smaller races where the kids running the bag check were being made to do so for service learning hours (it was obvious they didn’t want to be there), or the adults were paid employees of the race. Only once have I felt uneasy leaving my belongings at a bag check. Maybe it was because the chick taking my money, wouldn’t look up from her cell phone or tell me how I could claim my bag after the race? Or maybe it was the idea when I returned to get my bag, no one was manning the bag check at all, and racers were retrieving their own, unguarded bags?

Regardless, take some good, quick and easy to use medical supplies. Think open cuts and nasty water/mud. Take an extra set of clothes, and have easy slip on sandals to slide on after taking your muddy shoes off. Rinse stations aren’t spa showers. They run out of gas in the generator running the pump, that is pumping from a pond, they have little pressure because 20 hoses are being used at once and the constant water usage makes a sloppy mess at the rinse off station. Most places say NO SOAP, to please the environmentalists. Some, if they have traveled far, stop at a truck stop like Flying J, Pilot or Love’s who offers showers for a fee on their way home. Either way, a few huge towels on hand is nice, and if you are changing in the car, its nice to have enough to sit on! I have brought gallon jugs of water with me, to leave in the vehicle to “warm up” while I race, in order to help clean up. Works great, but don’t leave those jugs in your vehicle for long, science kicks in and they start to leak with the heat the summer day in Florida can generate inside a vehicle.

Mud Endeavor 8

After my first ever Spartan Sprint, first ever obstacle course race, I immediately started searching for more races. Just so happens, the following weekend after that first ever OCR, was a little race called Mud Endeavor 8. Mud Endeavor puts on races here in Florida mostly in Tampa/Surrounding areas.

After reading through their web site, scrolling through their Facebook, I signed up the night before the race. It’s about a 2-1/2 hour drive, one way, to the venue. I attempted to get someone to ride down with me, but with such last minute notice, that was impossible. I took a later wave time (start time) in case traffic took longer than expected. I left our house that morning, at 7:30am, and it was 85 degrees out. Once I reached the small town of Brooksville, Florida, where this race was located, the balmy, humid, 96 degree heat hit me in the face as I got out of my vehicle. I instantly had a moment of “Maybe I shouldn’t have came all this way, to race, in this heat, by myself” moment. But then, when I finally reached the top of the hill, I saw what used to be a quarry pit, with 3.12 miles of mud, water, obstacles and water slides, that thought quickly vanished.

It was like I was a kid again, walking up to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. I got my race bib, signed my waiver, and lined up at the start line, right on time. Oh, it was hot. Probably to this date, one of the most hot & humid races I ever did, thankfully their races are always 5ks, and they never skimp on water stations.

Mud Endeavor’s obs18738719_10209130736615589_6104386124165990688_otacles are very well built for being a small organization. Very safe, sturdy, no splinters and they offer racers less advanced options on some of the more difficult obstacles, making it great for anyone, from kids to weekend warriors to beasts.  This is one exception to Florida Swamp/Farm Mud, retired quarries have tan mud, not black…And quarries make awesome viewing options for spectators, not many obstacles are hidden, if any, on the course.  You are basically in a large bowl, and the spectators are on the rim of it. They also have volunteer organizations involving kids, supplying you with water at their water stations.

I crawled on top of culverts, walked through and kind of had to swim through some mucky water holes, go up and down a muddy and slick motocross track set up, swing from rings, go down LONG water slides, 3 to be exact, climb


cargo nets, tire walls, scale walls, and climb rope. Mud Endeavor has a forever customer/racer with me. They are very well organized, priced fair, and give out a super soft t-shirt for the event, and always a finisher’s medal.  They have a great selection of races every year, and I am anxiously awaiting their 2018 schedule.

Lone Wolf Racers are never alone on the Course…

I very rarely race with a “team”, and when I do, its only when my best friend from many miles away,  can come visit. While there is no better entertainment than you and your best friend crawling through mud, throwing each other over walls, and  saying “WTF?” about every little hiccup in the race, I do not mind going “Lone Wolf”, either…good thing, because travelling from Maryland to Florida or Florida to Maryland can get pricey.

I never have had problems doing things alone, maybe its because I’m an only child, or so introverted that I may be classified as “anti-social” at times, or maybe its due to being put in crappy school work groups, where one kid in the group never pulled their weight? Ha. Who knows. But one thing is for sure when it comes to racing,  its not because I think someone would slow me down, or I couldn’t keep up with them. As mentioned before, my first OCR, I had a team. With all of us being newbies to the scene, we found many fellow racers helping us throughout the race.  This was an introduction of how it goes out there, and it has continued throughout my journeys and races.

That’s what is hard to explain to others when you tell them you did the Spartan Beast iFB_IMG_1507725003020n Spartanburg, SC, by yourself. I am never alone when running an OCR. The community within obstacle course racing is huge, and full of wonderful people. For example, from personal experience, I have had random racers come up to me and help me put my timing bracelet on before the race (which is hard to do without help!), I am always offered assistance at obstacles that I take a moment to analyze, and if you stumble, or begin to slow down, another racer is always asking if you are ok and yelling motivational  lines like “You got this!” or “You’re almost there! Keep going!”

One of the best racer humanity moments I witnessed, was a terrible clothing malfunction no where near the end of a race. A fellow Spartan chick ripped the seat of her pants, from top to bottom on a climbing obstacle. You know, if you are out there on the course, there isn’t an easy way to deal with a full moon situation. While her bestie was lying to her, telling her  “it’s ok, its not THAT bad,” and attempting to magically put seams back together, a random guy came up to them. He was shirtless, and had basketball shorts on. He said a few things to them, and before you knew it, he stripped down, giving the girl his shorts, and continued on the race in his compression boxer briefs. She strapped those shorts on, pulled the drawstrings tight, and yelled, “how will I get these back to you?” and he responded, “I’ll see you at the finish line,” and disappeared into the crowded trail path.  It was honestly bad enough, I questioned if I could go on, if the same thing happened to me. My guess is NO, and I don’t think she would have either, unless that fellow racer offered his shorts.

I am definitely not the only LonFB_IMG_1499550299622e Wolf Racer out there, either. But it surely isn’t for everyone, especially if you start to get emotionally/mentally tired. I tend to shut the brain down when I feel that coming on, it seems to help.  Sometimes, during race chit chat, some will say their friends stood them up, or no one else could get off work. I always say, its really something I love to do and will do what it takes to get here, if someone wants to do it with me, they are more than welcome, but if not, its ok, I will still do it.

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