Mile 16: Event Day Experience – Savage Race…My First Solo OCR

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It wasn’t my choice to run this race by myself. We registered for this race right after the Merrell Down & Dirty from an advertisement on Facebook. Who are the “we” you ask? Cait, Keith and John all registered for this event with me. It seemed like we were going to have a pretty good team. To make a long story short…Keith and Cait scheduled their engagement party for the same day! They never realized it prior to sending the invitations. As for John, he got a late start and missed the start time. So, there you have it. This is why I raced all alone on this miserable day.

This race was in October and the weather in this area is either warm or cold. Turns out it ended up being cold. To make it worse it was raining. When I got there I still didn’t know that John wasn’t going to make it. Since I had to get to the engagement party I couldn’t wait for John to show up. We could have joined a later wave, but at this point I just wanted to start and finish. So I began the race with a bunch of strangers.

It was so cold. The entire race was so cold. At no point did I feel warm at all. The first obstacle was Shriveled Richard. You might be able to figure it out by the name, but if you can’t I’ll explain it. I plunged into a dumpster of ice water, swam under a board and came back up as fast as I could. It was numbing. I’ve still never experienced that “feeling” since. For the remainder of the race I had a pretty bad headache. I blame it on that obstacle. I tried my best to warm up, but with the rain and no sun it was difficult.

As I went through the race I found it to very difficult. The obstacles were pretty challenging and my mental toughness was being challenged. I honestly think I felt this way because I didn’t have the team with me. It was at this point that I realized how important it is to run with someone. I won’t lie there were times where I thought about just going back to the car and heading home. I thought about it, but I didn’t do it. I knew I was better than that.

The Savage Race had a lot of water obstacles. You already know how I feel about water obstacles. I tried each one with the exception of Sawtooth. Sawtooth are monkey bars that go up and down over 10’ of water. It looked like a lot of fun, but it was one of the last obstacles and I had nothing left in me to even doggie paddle my way out. I did try Davy Jones Locker, which was a plunge into 12’ deep water. Obviously I didn’t drown or you wouldn’t be reading this. Another obstacle they had was Thors Grundle. This obstacle was nasty because the walls were in water and instead of going over you have to go under. I had so much mud in my eyes after it. There was a woman who gave me her water so I could clean my eyes out. She definitely didn’t have to do that, but that is what OCR is all about.

There was a mud obstacle that had so much mud and water in it the only way to get through was to swim. It looked pretty funny from a distance. All you saw were people swimming on land. Now I know why people question these types of races. The mud almost swallowed my shorts too. I was hanging on to them the entire time. It really would have made for some awkward moments and photos. I got through with my shorts and all.

Tip: I have no tip for this. Just hope it doesn’t rain.

The last obstacle was Colossus. It was a half pipe slide that I had to run up and someone would help me over the top. There is where I missed my team the most. If I had my team I probably would have been able to do it. I attempted, but when I got to the top there was no one ready to grab my hand. This was partially my fault, but the guy didn’t even try to help. I slid down hard on my arm and leg. The slide left a pretty nice burn. Sweet, a battle scar! I crossed the finish line and got my medal, which was dinky, and t-shirt. Since I wasn’t that muddy I decided to skip the rinse off for this one. I heard a lot of people complaining the showers were too far away. It was still raining at this point so all your dry clothes would have gotten wet anyway.

Side Note: Savage Race is now offering better medals. The one I received was pretty disappointing, but I’m glad they listened to their customers and changed them.

I said I would never do another Savage Race after this one. Between the water obstacles and some injuries I didn’t feel it was worth it. I didn’t register for the 2015 event, I’m registered for the May 2016 event. I need to give this race another chance. It’s not their fault that it rained or that I ran alone. Those two things definitely impacted my experience. The lesson learned from all of this is simple. You can’t make a judgment about a race based off of one event. I’ve had so many positive experiences at other events that I know this was just a random negative one. Next time I’ll have a team and it will be better!

In the next mile I’ll talk about our final race of the season…The Zombie Fun Run, which is my all time favorite OCR!

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