Despite a strong second place finish (my best in an OCR event), the Rise Above the Mud race wasn’t my favourite.
Upon arriving at the event 30 minutes early there were no bathrooms are facilities available. Alec and I had to drive to a restaurant to use the bathroom. When we returned the event coordinators had opened a building with washrooms but we didn’t need them at that point.
The elite category only had roughly sixteen people in it so the odds of placing high were pretty good. It didn’t really matter to me since I always plan to race my best no matter the odds. But it helped me secure a second-place finish. So secure in fact, it was almost twenty minutes before third place crossed the line.
The race went well for me from the moment the gun went off. I captured second place after the first rope obstacle and never lost it after that. The obstacles themselves were pretty much the same as the Ragnarok race, with one new obstacle thrown in. The new obstacle was a peg board that was easy to complete if you can do pull-ups. The 8’ wall seemed the most difficult at the event and can be tricky to get up. (I later heard there was no referee governing the need to do the wall without the wood blocks on the ends typically reserved for females).
My heart rate was maxed out in the 170’s through the race. I lost to Mike Swift by five minutes. Mike remains my main Ottawa competition outside events like Spartan who brings out some pretty solid competitors (Jesse Bruce). There were no big hills to speak of, which isn’t to my advantage as a lover of hills and a slower flat terrain runner.
Overall I wouldn’t change much about this race. If I could have gone faster I would have, but I did well with everything else and wasn’t bogged down by the obstacles. My nutrition was pretty good although I could have used a little more water and possibly a gel pack half way through the race, but I don’t think it would have changed the outcome.
The next event, which the team is attending as I write this, is the OCR world championships, which looks like a whole other level of difficulty.