My First DNF-The Ultra Beast

Carrie Adams asked us to write what it meant to DNF the Spartan Race Ultra Beast.

Looking back, I  had so much ego going into the race. I can even be heard saying to Margaret that I “hoped it was 15 miles per loop”.

On the outside, I was saying that I respected the mountain, its terrain, and the distance. Clearly, I did not.

Clearly, I did not train even close to hard enough of what it takes to be an Ultra Beast Finisher.  I thought because I had done a few 20 mile trail run/hikes up a local mountain that I was going to be prepared. I thought because I had enough food, gear, and warm clothing that I was prepared.

I was not prepared to hike at a fast pace, I was not prepared to do 200 burpees and what that would take out of me, I was not prepared to push myself for the 4-5 hours straight per loop it would have taken to be an Ultra Beast Finisher.

I also was not prepared emotionally for what the down side to not finishing would be. I have been useless to my family and my business for the last 2 days. I am a humbled racer. I can’t even talk about next year, it would be more ego talking. I need a few more days to figure all of this out.

I think this photo says it all for me. My wife titled it “Pensive Spartan”. The byline I put is “When one medal is not enough”


Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.

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1 comment
  1. I feel ha. My first dnf was the sun peaks ultra beast last September. I was ready for the burpees. I was ready for the distance I thought but what did me in was a cramp that I didn’t know was a cramp. My thighs seized up and put me into this weird hobble. Last five miles were all down hill and I though I had spent days training for descent running I couldn’t run. If only I had of taken the salt pills in my pocket. I didn’t make the cut off for the second lap.

    It took me a lot of days to get over it – especially since my race partner did finish. Holding his medal afterwards was crushing.

    But like every spartan race – I learn something about myself – usually a weakness and I come back stronger the best time. Next UB I will be ready for the mental fight that the impending second lap is And of course the cramping :)))

    Good luck this year!!

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