“I am a warrior I have not fear, no one will conquer me, I will not die here.” -dirt wormz
After my 4 spartan “races” and a 60 and 70 mile run week (see prior post) I was hoping I was fitter. I took this optimism into my title defense of Rugged Maniac here in NYC. They condensed two days of racing into one meaning there were two champions with comp’ed entry from last year , me and the other winner from 2015 plus another pro triathlete and a few guys I know from ocr podiums including my training partner Jazz who rarely doesn’t see a podium. Pre race I had my normal Boston Commons coffee with a double shot of their espresso. I am calling this “John Hirsch Race blend.” And a carbboom gel. The start was wide open and long and we ran a mile without any major obstacles. I must be getting more into OCR because I raced in nothing but my Team Continuum Tri shorts by Champion Systems and no top. Sexy beast mode! Hahahaha
The other champ of 2015 and Will the other pro triathlete were ahead quickly and I was in third. The other champ missed a turn and I followed. I figured it out and yelled at him then waited. Honestly I didn’t want second place like that. Will was GONE. While this was sportsman like of me it was painfully stupid and what happened after that was 2 miles of neck and neck racing right to the line.
The final obstacle is a ramp you run up like a half pipe for skate boarding that then goes to a cargo net climb to a 50 foot water slide. We were neck and neck until the top when I got inched out and came down the slide second. Worse, I was on the outside and there wasn’t any water! A lot of friction burn later and I was behind and couldn’t catch up! But the reality is had he not taken the wrong term he would have been ahead the whole time.
I took 3rd and was happy to just feel fast for the first time in a long time.
With 3rd came free entry into NJ Rugged Maniac. Again pro triathlete will showed up. Amazingly me and him found ourselves in the first k when a bunch of people went off the front. I was super confused, questioned if I sucked all of a sudden. But a k later and will was first and I was second and that was the running order. The final 2k was miserable as I was paying for the poor pacing at the start. Lucky for me 3rd was a bit back and I got to pace myself to the line for second.
Some quick talking and I got a VIP entry into the following day and decided to have another go. They are that much fun! It had rained and 10,000+ ppl came through on day one and the course was a mud version of a slip and slide! My Brooks Pure Grit are amazing but nothing stopped people from sliding all over the place!
Again the fired up freaks of OCR took the start out fast and again I just let them but this time I dialed it back. At the 2k mark it was down to me and 2 others then we hit the first barbwire section and I really crushed it. Mostly because I don’t mind barbwire ripping up my head and back I think. I have issues 🙂
By half way through I was in the lead by 30 seconds with two more barbwire sections where my lead continued to grow. By the end I knew I would win if I didn’t mess up which is easier said that done as there are balance beams to cross, a series of rings to go hand to hand too and the 15 foot skate board ramp run which was now all mud and slippery. Lucky for me I scored a pair of Warrior Pak gloves and my grip was improved which was key because I almost didn’t make it.
At the top of the slide I lined up properly with the water and enjoyed the ride. Crossed the line and I had gone from 3rd to 2nd to 1st in the three races I did. Progress!