Like Hyundai to a Porsche, Taco Bell to Chipotle, and fingers to toes, there are just certain things that are NOT worth the comparison including Killington/VT to Mountain Creek/NJ…unless you found yourself at this Spartan Race Tri-state Ultra Beast and Beast weekend.
With altitude, elevation, and terrain differences between the 2 locations, some might find it blasphemous to liken Mountain Creek to the legendary torture filled mountain of the East that is Killington. However, week-long rains and Spartan Race Director Norm Koch found a way to keep them both in the same conversation while ruining everyone’s hope for a friendly and manageable Spartan Race experience. Several black bears near the inverted wall causing several 10-30 minute delays for the midday racers did not help the cause either. I think official completion time reductions for these racers should be implemented, unless NJ Black Bears are considered to be Spartan Classified Obstacles.
Based on numerous accounts from Elite and Competitive racers, the frigid water march leading up to the Mile 8 Bucket Brigade became the kryptonite to the already embattled field slowing some down to a death march. For others, the green beast wedge cost them the balance of the 2016 Spartan Race Year with injuries that may prevent them from obtaining the new North Region Spartan Trifecta or any Trifecta for that matter. Although no one likes the thought of an active medic tent, the professionals of Event Medics were diligent in meeting the many needs of injured Spartans. I personally witnessed the Medical Project Manager dispatching response teams to and from obstacle locations without delay and in full composure. I salute them all, thanks for the hot cup of coffee 🙂
With that said, the Spartan keys to victory are still mind over madness, reliable cardio, the ability to handle your body weight plus the occasional 25 to 110 additional pounds, and frequent trips up and down your nearest mountain……….then repeat.
One of many inspirational moments was provided by the many racers that sacrificed their course time and bodies to assist paralyzed Lindsey Runkel in reaching the finish line within minutes of final cutoffs allowing her to be one Spartan Super away from becoming the first paralyzed female athlete to earn a Spartan Trifecta!
Another source of motivation came from the handful of teenagers fighting through the Ultra Beast and zombie walking their way into history with bloody knuckles and Finisher Belt Buckles.
All things considered, Spartan Race continues its forward momentum with course improvements, an increased level of difficulty, and creative incentives like the Regional Race Pass that keep us coming back.
Q.Why was the course so long?
A.Because 14+ miles in Sparta equals 15.2 miles for the rest of the civilized world.
Q.Why don’t they change the obstacles?
A.Because they still kick our hind parts.
Q.If NJ was this brutal, what will the Killington Beast and Ultra Beast be like this year?
A.You’ll know at the finish line…or somewhere between the starting line and your DNF.
God Bless & Keep Running!
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