When it comes to obstacle course racing, Beaumont Ranch located in Grandview, Texas is no stranger to hosting such muddy fun; here, the Savage Race Dallas 2015 was to be held. After hearing the 266th fastest growing private company in America chose this area, with flat terrain and maybe a mound or 2, I had to take the challenge and make the attempt to become savage.
The venue had a great atmosphere with very familiar Lone Star faces among the crowd and event manager, Garfield Griffiths greeting racers and taking selfies. Packet pick up and registration was very organized, with knowledgeable staff and volunteers waiting to assist in any way possible. 9am was the competitive heat, which had a decent amount of athletes gunning for the top prize: 1st place takes home the famous Savage Axe and a $1000 prize, 2nd place $500, and 3rd $250.
While at the start line for the Savage Pro wave, Garfield gave the rules and regulations speech on what was expected from the “pro” wave, which required a mandatory completion of all obstacles with no alternative to qualify for the winnings.
Shoving my way to the front at the start line minutes before 9am approached, the national anthem played and a motivational speech to pump our Savage spirits and we were off. The terrain was very familiar with small potholes left behind from the herds of livestock in the area, one false move and you have a rolled ankle. After some bushwacked territory in the first mile, we got right in the mud then took on the “Shriveled Richard” (brrrr!). Once out of the ice cold water, it was time to get the body moving, I have to admit, I actually liked the cold bath to wake up the muscles and mind.
The one obstacle I was excited for was “Wheel World,” and as I approached, it was like Christmas – excited to get my muddy paws on it and give it a whirl! The first wheel took some work to figure out the mechanics, but before I knew it, I was at the last wheel and off. Through a few more obstacles that were fairly effortless but still required energy and time, we arrived at “Kiss My Walls,” which required grip and skills, with small enough rock climbing grips secured to a 10 degree angled wall, you had to traverse your way to the other end and ring the bell. Nailed it first try!
Savage certainly brought more to the field with the “Colossus,” which was a 2 part obstacle, first up a pipe ramp then down a free fall water slide. Assuming I was done with water obstacles, I meandered back on course into “Me So Thorny”, “Lumber Jack” and another water obstacle, which made me face one of my fears of heights, the “Davy Jones”. Running up, I knew I had to make the 15-foot leap into a 15-foot deep pool within seconds or I would psych myself out of an adrenaline rush. The last half mile was a fast race to the finish, but before hitting “Blazed”, the “Teeter Tuber” looked easier than you think. Being tall did not help at all; this took more time than I thought and certainly required inching up slowly and waiting to drop at the pivot point.
The festival area was filled with spectators and racers who socialized while the sound stage played music for everyone to enjoy, and food trucks and vendors lined the venue for all the hungry Savages. With the weather being so nice and sunny, a tent or 2 would have been ideal’- to escape the Lone Star State’s rays. Restrooms were very clean and well taken care of throughout the day, and a changing station where racers could clean themselves off from the debris and mud collected from the course.