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Spartan Beast Breckenridge

2017 Breckenridge Spartan Beast and Sprint Race review

Spartan Race Breckenridge 2017

Who does a Spartan Race?

People have funny reactions to Spartan races. For some, there is an instant “Hell No!” reaction. For others, there is a little curiosity but it is centered around why someone would do this rather than the event itself. Then you have those that are hooked. From the first time I saw the black banners waving at Fort Carson in 2016, I knew I was all in. Terrified and nervous but nevertheless all in. Obstacle Course racing or OCR, has that primal kick that is lacking in our safe, sedentary lives. Some do it compete against others, most of us do it to find out about ourselves. Work on building a little grit.

Most Surprising Part of the Weekend?

The most surprising part of the weekend were the sheer number of people who had never done a Spartan race before and signed up for the Beast! That takes guts.

Time for a little Backstory.

Back in 2016 I saw the goal of achieving a Trifecta as part goal and part fantasy. The 5 mile Sprint race had basically chewed me up and spit me out. Very humbling for a fitness coach and at the same time opened up a number of new doors for me. The Trifecta is an award given when you complete the 3-5 mile sprint, 8-10 mile Super and 12-14 mile Beast in one calendar year. The Sprint has 20 plus obstacles, the Super has 25 plus and the Beast has 30 plus. These are approximations because every course is different and because they don’t want you to know the lay of the course until the day of the race.

Breckenridge was the missing link to my Trifecta and I couldn’t have picked a better place. Originally I had planned to go to Seattle. One, I would have an advantage by going to sea level since I train at 5,900 feet. Two, it would not be as hilly. Then I started feeling a little ashamed. Colorado is my home and I am not going to back-door this challenge. Give me the highest elevation race and I will either do it or not. The whole idea of Spartan is not to make life easier but to challenge yourself. To sweeten the pot a little more, I decided to do the Sprint the next day.

The Venue

Beaver Run Breckenridge

You probably need to know two things about the Breckenridge Spartan.

  1. The course goes from about 9,200 feet above sea level to 11,200. And down, then up, then down. And yes, there are obstacles and burpees at 11,000 feet.
  2. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

This race has the makings for an adventure of a lifetime. But you need to be prepared.

How to deal with altitude.

Breckenridge

I was really shocked by how many people started the Beast without carrying any water or supplies. When you are at elevation, you need more water and electrolytes than you think. A lot more. The air is dry, there isn’t enough of it and you are going to be going full blast for 4-7 hours. If you don’t refuel, you will blow yourself up at some point. I saw a lot of carnage but most of it could have been prevented.

  1. Take a sports drink with you.
  2. Take food.
  3. Bring mustard packets or electrolyte tablets in case of emergency or just to share with fellow runners. It is a nice thing to do.
  4. Take your time. You know the race course creator is going to try and trick you into gassing out early. Be smart, take your time and enjoy the scenery.

This isn’t rocket science. You start at a base of a mountain. where else are you going to go?

Breckenridge Spartan 2017

 

 

Coolest Obstacle

The Water Crossing

Breckenridge River CrossingBreckenridge River crossing

 

Here is an obstacle where it works in your favor to be tall and wide. They said it was 50 degree water and after a mile I was hot already so this was a pleasant way to cool off.

Line of the day came from a woman from Mississippi who shouted “My vagina is frozen!”

Worst Obstacle

The bucket carry was just brutal. Usually I am pretty good at this but at 10,000 plus feet, I just couldn’t catch my breath. In addition, we were putting damp sand into the buckets instead of rocks. You guys got me on this one! The slow incline just sucked the energy out of me. The log carry and sandbag carry were a breeze compared to this.

Would I do this again and should you do the Breckenridge Spartan races

Of course I will be doing both races again. The key for me is getting in the right frame of mind. The chance to earn a Trifecta, for me, is a celebration of life. I earned the right to do this race and I basically set out a game plan to do this.

  1. Either finish or be carried of the course.
  2. Do the race right. Try all obstacles, do all burpees. No exceptions.
  3. Enjoy the moment and have an adventure. Look at the magnificent scenery, make some new friends and leave a bunch of emotional baggage at the top of the mountain.

This was truly a special weekend for me. I would say life changing but all Spartan races are life changing. As always, these races are flawlessly executed and the experience was a 10 out of 10.

 

Warrior Dash 2016 Larkspur Colorado

10 Reasons to do a Warrior Dash.

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Obstacle course racing is one of the fastest growing sports, yet people who don’t do it know little to nothing about it. The Warrior dash is maybe the best race for people who want to see what this stuff is all about.

So I am going to do my best to see if I can’t get you interested in signing up for a race.

Why would anyone want to climb over obstacles, crawl in mud and jump over a fire pit?

Good question.

Let me be totally upfront with you. I always dismissed these races as gimmicky and well, stupid. Yes, I said stupid.

Then I thought about it one day.

What was it that I didn’t like?

Then it hit me, I was scared I couldn’t complete all the obstacles. I was scared that I would look silly!

That was the game changer for me.

I was avoiding something I felt I couldn’t do.

Then it hit me.

An obstacle course is a metaphor for the obstacles in your life.

You learn to conquer the physical obstacles so you can overcome the mental ones.

The idea is to test yourself. Prove something to yourself.

Once you start dealing with the things in your life that scare you or make you anxious, you grow as a person.

So to answer an age old question, “why do an obstacle race?”

Answer: Because you are not sure if you can.

That is the best reason I can give you.

So here are 10 facts about the Warrior Dash.

Fact #1 Anyone Can do This.

Yes anyone.

You can walk the course or you can run the course.

You can take as much time as needed with the obstacles. There is no pressure.

 

Fact #2 It is a Fun atmosphere.

Warrior Dash 2016

 

Just look at these yahoos. Oops, how did I get in that picture?

Actually I did the race with my friends, the Steiners. It was their first time.

And see…they’re smiling!

 

 

 

 

Fact #3 It is a Relatively Short Course.

5 K is 3.2 miles. This is a distance where most people can do it between 40 minutes to 1:15.

But it doesn’t seem long because you are always doing something.

 

Fact #4 Doable Yet Challenging Obstacles.

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You can even go the warrior dash website,

www.warriordash.com and they will show you what obstacles are

on the course and how to best deal with them.

Very nice of them if I do say so. There aren’t any strength obstacles here, most of them involve climbing,

going under stuff, walking over stuff and getting very muddy at the end.

 

 

Fact #5 Do Something You Have Never Done Before.

You know you are bored with your gym workouts. Get out of the air conditioned prison you call a gym and go run around in the woods for an afternoon.

It is good for the soul!

Fact #6 See exactly how fit you are.

Oh yes, you heard me right. I am talking to you. The person who thinks they are fit because they can run 3 miles on a treadmill.

Or the average weight lifting guy. Take that gym strength and endurance and see how you do on a hilly course that will cause you to

use muscles you never thought you had.

Fact # 7  The Warrior Dash is the Best Gateway to Obstacle Course Racing.

If you are still reading this, you may be thinking of what race to start off with. A lot of it depends on your personality. I jumped right into the Spartan

race because I wanted my butt kicked. Tough Mudders and Spartan races are longer and harder than a Warrior Dash. So if you are really gung-ho about this, do those events.

If you want to take a little pressure off of yourself, give the Warrior Dash a try. I see it as a great way to go out to the mountains workout and get a little muddy.

Fact #8 They have the Best Fuzzy Viking Helmets

Photo courtesy of Warrior Dash

Photo courtesy of Warrior Dash

It has been scientifically proven that the best way to attract a mate is to wear a fuzzy viking hat.

 

 

 

 

 

Fact #9 Free beer

See picture above. What is even sexier than a fuzzy viking hat is someone with a fuzzy viking hat and a beer.

I would not recommend the pretzel beer. Kinda weird for my traditional taste.

Fact #10 Get Muddy For a Great Cause.

Warrior dash has team ed up with St. Judes. Nuff said.