Savage Race Florida Spring 2016

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The Savage Race Florida Spring 2016 event was held on March 19th and 20th at Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City, Florida. Having run several Savage Races in the past, I was really looking forward to seeing the changes Savage had in store for its 2016 obstacle lineup, and I was not disappointed! After seeing a few of the new obstacles that were leaked on social media before the race, it was clear to me Savage was trying to up itsgame. The parking, festival area, check in, and vendors all looked the same, but the status quo stopped there: from that point on, it was a whole new ball game.

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Savage started off their 7.4-mile course in a different direction than in the past, running us through a mile sprint with a few of their easier obstacles including the barn doors, saw horses, slippery incline, and the new squeeze play. This new obstacle {squeeze play} was pretty mild and consisted of a series of plastic barrels that you had to climb under. Getting smacked in the face was the only real danger here. From here Savage led us to Kiss My Walls. Their version of the wall traverse. It was here that I found the only real problem with their race set up. Savage didn’t allow enough distance for runners to space out before getting to this obstacle and that caused a huge bottleneck. If failed, elite racers had to go back and wait in a huge line before their next attempt. The feeling from most racers was this was an awful location to put this obstacle because almost everyone had to wait some amount of time. From this point on, the course was well planned and exciting.

Savage Race - On the Fence

Once a racer passed this delay, the course went through the block party and the 8-foot wall before leading us into one of their new obstacles called  ”On the Fence”. Savage hit a home run with this new task. They suspended 2 sections of chain link fence over a water pit. This was a fingertip killer and I really enjoyed the challenge. From there, we got chilled in the ice water filled Shriveled Richard and on to another Savage original, wheel world, where grip strength was once again tested. From there, a fire jump and a cargo net were placed before us before our grip strength was once again tested by my favorite Savage obstacle, the Sawtooth. This is a monkey bar style obstacle where one must climb up to a V-shaped traverse and back down over a water pit. Once this was completed, Savage gave us a bit of a break difficulty wise. The easily completed Backscratcher, Thor’s Grundle, and Lumberjack Lane were easily completed before more of the Savage unique obstacles were presented.

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After another mile of running through the cow poo filled pasture, we were led to a couple of crowd favorites: Davey Jones’ Locker, a high dive into a water pit and the Colossus, on which a racer has to climb up a slippery angled incline up to a giant water slide down to a water pit. From there, Savage hit us with the Venus Guy Trap and the large guy killer – the Teeter Tuber. Trying to squeeze through this obstacle was brutal for a larger person. The final obstacle on the Savage course was a much welcome Platinum Rig. If you had any grip strength left you certainly needed it here. This was clearly another way Savage showed they were upping their game in 2016.

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Overall I found this course to be much more upper body demanding than previous Savage courses. There were numerous aid stations along the route, and I found the course marshals knowledgeable and attentive. The new t-shirt and medal designs were nice as well.  Savage is clearly trying to make their event tougher than in previous years and the added, unique obstacles certainly tested racers to the max. Other than the questionable placement of the traverse wall, I found this course to be much more challenging than in the past, and I look forward to racing more Savage events.

Scott Brackemyer

44 year old Scott Brackemyer is a self described "Eliteish" racer from Dekalb Illinois. The father of four loves to travel with his family to races to spread the good word of OCR and living a healthy lifestyle.

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