4-0-300 Blog 080
Late getting this review out but after it’s hard to write a review talking about what you need to improve on when you’re dealing with injuries and can’t do any work on your weakness. I also had my friend’s death that I talked about in the buildup article. Having him pass away two nights before the race had my head in a weird place contemplating racing at all. If it hadn’t been the Red Deer race I probably would’ve bailed but it’s my favorite venue and strangely enough having a really killer throwback music playlist on the drive up made me ready to go. I can’t believe this is already year four of running this course (3 sprints and 1 super). Every year it continues to be tweaked enough to still be fresh and enjoyable. This is my favorite Spartan Race of the year, I was happy Spartan chose to move the date up earlier into the year again.
Location: Heritage Ranch, Red Deer, Alberta
Weather: Was really sunny when I got there however by the time my heat started it was beginning to slightly rain on and off. It was 20°C so not to bad didn’t need to load up on the sunscreen as I did.
Festival Area: Spaced out nicely, some new cool booths this year.
Course Conditions: Lots of packed single track with the occasional stretch of pathway or open fields. Dry conditions for the most part but a little rain during the day made a couple of the obstacles a little more difficult.
Course Layout: Long for a sprint which seems to be Spartan Canada’s MO lately. Also using the structure of longer running sessions with obstacle clusters closer to the spectator areas which is also their go to right now.
Favorite Obstacle: Despite failing it I’ll go with the rig. I made it further than I ever have on that obstacle. This shows my training is working, but I couldn’t finish the last two holds so not quite enough.
Favorite Aspect: Running in the trees alone with the rain falling on the leaves was so peaceful and therapeutic for me given the events of that week. While I still don’t call myself a runner if I could run in those conditions full time I could run forever, it was so relaxing.
Race Synopsis: I like the layout Spartan is using for these races making for the ability to just focus on running and obstacles almost separately. I felt fast and enjoyed the course, I also crushed the strength obstacles quite easily however my usual weaknesses showed up on the grip/pull obstacles which I’ll talk about lower down. The course seemed to be designed for the obstacles to hit one area back to back with rig right ahead of Olympus or the rope climb right before the sled drag making the second obstacle that much harder than usual. One of the best parts of the Red Deer race of late is right when you’re getting tired they throw in a short swim no more than 20 yards but just enough to cool down the core. Another key with Red Deer is the stairs, which always seem to signify being close the end so once you conquer those you get another kick of energy to get to the fire jump. I would prefer if they would hold closer to the 5K distance sprints are billed as instead of going closer to 8, it’s hard to tell if your improving if the distance keeps getting longer resulting in slower times.
Total Penalties: 120 burpees
Had frustratingly close calls on multiple pull strength obstacles. On the Rig I failed two holds from the end, same with Olympus and I made it two-thirds of the way up the rope before crashing out. Missed the spear, put a little too much hot sauce on my throw as it stayed perfectly flat right over the top.
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Biggest Critique: I don’t know what happened with the photographers at this race but the photos are the lowest quality of any OCR I’ve raced, took two weeks to get and somehow despite the photographers talking to you while taking the picture they are missing people as well as whole chunks of time.
- Work is paying off however still far from where I want to be so got to keep working.
- The playlist on the way to the venue is key.