Montana Spartan: Damn… STFU is Hard Work


I’ve been running some good times on the road lately. And I’ve been loving just training and running. But not having raced an OCR since World’s Toughest Mudder, it was time to get back in the mud.

Plus it was weird not being covered head-to-toe in so many cuts and bruises that people ask me if I’m “ok” at ballet pick up.

Yes sir, it’s been too long since my last shower game of mud or blood.

Saturday’s Beast was over 14 miles and designed by the notorious and slightly evil Norm Koch.

There were lots of steep climbs and decents, plenty of running through brush, and more than a few vault obstacles. Enough to make me wonder why my belly hurt on the outside later that evening.

And I had a rough start.

I missed the first real obstacle and as such, did my 30 burpees and spent the rest of the race trying to catch up.

It was one of those crazy sets of up and down monkey bars with the fat tubes. But it seemed the rungs were really far apart. Many of the elites made it (but many didn’t). I heard they closed it down for the later open heats since few were making it across. Anyway, it sucked failing something so early on in my first race of the year!

Thankfully I did pretty well otherwise. The new zig-zag traverse wall was fun and the American style über heavy herc hoist was rewarding to conquer.

I also missed the rousing running game of what’s under this brush: Mud? Water? Rocks? Flat ground? Nothing?  You never know!

Had this been a short course I would have lost by a mile. Thankfully I was able to run down the lead pack. I never did catch the front runner track star, Faye, who was eternally “5 minutes ahead” as per every person I passed. 

I missed the spear throw and the rig (rings to pole traverse to tarzan ropes) and yet managed to hold onto second place.

I was exhausted off the start from a baby that never sleeps more than a couple hours and a bunch of all night partiers in a hotel room on route. 

I felt more challenged then I wanted to and vowed to, above all, have fun in the Sprint the next day.

I slowed down and sped up when I wanted to. I still missed the same three obstacles but my spear stuck long enough for the crowd to cheer and I made it to the tarzan ropes before hitting the dirt.

I came seventh and I was somewhere on the mountain still when Rose and Amelia jumped the fire.

But… I had fun and finished with a huge smile. It was a win.

Speaking of Rose and Amelia, they waited at the finish to watch us mortals come through. Amelia even gave me a cup of water and wished me a happy Mother’s Day. It’s a small gesture but it went straight to my heart. This lady is physically inhuman, dominating in every distance… and yet profoundly sincere, humble and thoughtful on the inside.

Just another reminder about why I love this sport. 

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