Race Review: X Warrior Challenge Stadium Sprint

4-0-300 Blog 076

 

Second year of running the X Warrior Challenge Stadium Sprint for me. This year I chose to run a lap with friends first, then followed it up in very quick succession with a solo lap for time. So for this race review when I talk about my race or penalties it’s based off the second lap.

 

Location:  Stampede Grandstand, Calgary, Alberta

 

Weather: Really nice sunny day with the temperature at 22°C

 

Festival Area: Much like last year the festival area had vendors using the space between the stadium seats and the rodeo infield. A wide variety of vendors were there with everything from gyms to a motorcycle dealership. One change this year was the McDonald’s truck was only doing coffees or iced coffees not McFlurries which I think with the emphasis on health OCR promotes this matched up better.

 

Course Conditions: With a mix of dry, hardpacked dirt and concrete the course was smooth and in good shape.

 

Course Layout: The course started off right on the dirt chuckwagon racing track before quickly moving inside in the Grandstand which meant lots of concrete and stairs. Some spider crawls ascending the stairs broke up this running dominated section. After about a kilometer of weaving through the Grandstand it was back outside. From there the course would settle into a nice flow of running sections leading to a couple of obstacles then back to a running section. The first section was monkey bars and then the bucket carry. One of the easier bucket carries in this area as it was flat and short, not deadly steep or manically long as Spartan tends to do for its races around here.

A quick run led to the best obstacle of the day “Tarzan” which was four vertical ropes you had to swing across to get to a platform on the other side. Now the combination of giant bottle neck due to one lane being repaired, receiving some wicked rope burn on the team lap, and needing to be done in time to see my boys run the kids’ lap I chose to go straight into the penalty this time around. The next running segment had a couple of walls thrown in before leading to a couple of strength obstacles with a tire flip and log carry consecutively. After another run/wall section we made our way to the sandbag carry (which was slightly lighter than average for this obstacle) going up the stairs and across the top of the smaller infield grandstand before heading right into the rope climb. This rope climb was different from most other versions of this obstacle as you started off on a platform and jumped out to the rope but this meant you were already about halfway up the rope to start, making it easier than usual. After the traverse wall we had one last running section before a finishing gauntlet of an Inverted Wall, Tip of The Spear, Axe Throw, and X Dragon (Dragon’s Back).

 

Favorite Obstacle: Tarzan was cool, I failed the team lap after making a tactical mistake. I tried to bypass the second rope and swung straight over to the third rope but I had no give in the ropes and couldn’t generate any momentum to keep moving after a minute of trying. It was unfortunate that one of the three lanes was being repaired my second time through as I would’ve like to try again.

 

Favorite Aspect: Having not run with friends in some time it was really fun to do that. It’s a very different dynamic that makes running multiple laps much more enjoyable.

 

Race Synopsis: I finished with my best time over a sprint yet so I’m very proud with how my race went. I was able to overcome one of my consistently failed obstacles as I was able to finish the rope climb twice on the day. I finally was to get both technique and strength to match up at the same time after lots of trial and error. My running is really improved over 2017 as I didn’t need any walking breaks during the race and was able to hold a good pace, so now it’s time to improve the speed a bit.

I was very happy and impressed with this race again this year. For a smaller event it would be easy to fall back on what worked the previous year and just “copy-paste” the same event. X Warrior doesn’t do that which is a real credit to them. X Warrior is the best event for any rookies to come out and try OCR for the first time while still being challenging enough for the seasoned racers which is a difficult balance to strike. The Stadium Sprint is my favorite event each year and I can’t wait for registration to open for 2019.

 

Total Penalties: 40 burpees and 40 mountain climbers

Had two sets of 20 burpees penalties, as I said I choose to do them at Tarzan but also missed the Axe Throw. Slipped on Tip of the Spear which meant 40 mountain climbers as that penalty. On the team lap it was pretty similar as I failed Tarzan and my axe hit but didn’t stick, I finished Tip of the Spear but fell on the Traverse Wall with fresh rope burn being the biggest reason, that obstacle was also a mountain climber punishment.

 

 

Scorecard

Access A+
Course Layout A+
Incorporation of Site A
Course Marking A+
Location A+
   
Overall A+

 

Biggest Critique: Two relatively small notes here.

  • The registration process at the start of the day was poorly organized and I’m not a fan of moving to a digital waiver requiring my government ID being scanned into an app (no thank you that’s personal and I’m sure identity thieves would love to hack that app).
  • Having a few walls is ok but there are far too many on this course, they need to switch that up a bit.

 

Lessons Learnt:

  • Hard work and I think more importantly consistency is paying off.I’m getting my workouts and runs more dialed so I’m seeing better and better results.
  • For me personally the team laps are very important. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole and only look at results. Enjoying these events for the fun that they are while enjoying the conversation, helping teammates and introducing others to the sport is the real big picture lens I want to try to continue to look at OCR through more often.

 

x warrior challenge 2018 scotty voodoo monkey bars

Scotty Voodoo

I am a proud father & husband. A former semi-pro skier, turned rugby 7’s player, I’ve now worked to become a OCR racer. You can find me at races wearing an arm sleeve, which I wear to find myself in race photos faster.

A level 2 NCCP certified coach, I also hold coaching certifications in 3 sports.

 

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