“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – William Shakespeare
Since it reared it’s long, grueling, ugly head in September of 2012, The Spartan Race Vermont UltraBeast, has been the toughest obstacle race on American soil. In it’s first 3 years of existence, it has had a ridiculously low completion rate, and has claimed more DNF’s (and orphan sandbags), than any other obstacle race by a long shot. It’s hardware – a glow in the dark medal in 2012 and 2013, and a giant buckle in 2014 – is to many, the most coveted bling in OCR.
The 2014 Sun Peaks Ultra Beast, in western Canada, was notably easier than it’s big brother in Vermont, yet participants got the same giant belt buckle the Vermont Ultra Beasters got. Some questioned whether this was right? Should the most prized medal in obstacle racing be the same for 2 races that are very different.
This was seen on an ocr racer’s feed sometime this afternoon.
“Winning Times of the four Ultra Beast locations.
2013 Sydney UB: 4:50:07
2015 Hawaii UB: 6:35:50
2015 Ottawa UB: 7:04:16
2014 Vermont UB: 9:41:36
All UB medals/buckles are earned…but not all are created equal.”
This year, you can do an Ultra Beast in Ottawa (eastern Canada), Sun Peaks (western Canada), on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, at the new Spartan Race World Champion site in Tahoe, and of course back in Killington, Vermont.
Obstacle racer news feeds were filled this morning with UltraBeast finishers from the Hawaii location. Everyone proudly showing off their giant belt buckle for all to see. Most racers saying it was the farthest they have ever run. By mid afternoon, there was some pushback from the community. Did they really do THE ULTRABEAST or just an ultrabeast?
However, just as quickly as there were haters, there were those ready to come to the new UB finishers defense. In one Facebook group, Norm Koch, the man most responsible for the destruction that takes place every year at Killington, and who also designed this past weekend’s Hawaii course said
HEY all of you need to get off your high horse!!!! VT had more than 1000 show up, and 23% finished. Hands down VT may always be the hardest. But the people who came to Hawaii had to work for there medals. The temperature and Humidity was killer. The terrain insane. They did double sand bags, 3 miles in a rocky Creak, up and down the steepest muddy terrain. I put ropes in some places to keep anyone from sliding out of control. Bla bla bla. Yes like all races people cheated, we are currently DNF 40 for only doing one lap. I took many chips, didn’t think a picture depicting that was needed or appropriate. Many tears just like any other race. This race was no joke. Many showed up ready and have trained since there failure last season. And out of those that showed up the number was only 350 for the UB. So chill out. Worries about how your race is going to be. I’ll be at Killington starting Wednesday. Game on!
Should they get the same reward as those that left blood, sweat, and tears in Killington, Vermont? In that weather, on that mountain, with that elevation, in and out of water that cold, with those stakes?
If they are doing that, is it appropriate those other locations get a different name or perhaps a different reward?
We’d love to know your thoughts, so comment below.