As many of you will know, I have a bit of a love / not-love relationship with mud / obstacle races like the Spartan Race / Tough Mudder / Mud Hero, etc. events. Firstly, I absolutely love the actual races. Running in the woods? Hopping over and under stuff. Risking life and limb while getting really dirty and possibly destroying whatever you wear? Sign me up! However, what I’m not a huge fan of is the chance of huge crowds trying to do the same thing at the same time! The line-ups are long, the race crowds are think, and traffic jams are inevitable. However, there are a few tricks if you plan to actually COMPETE there. First, sign up for the 1st wave (‘elite’ if they have it). Second, Toe the very front of the start line. Third, and obviously, arrive EARLY. With that, allow me to fill you all in on my experience at Mud Hero’s inaugural Ottawa event to kick off their 2013 season. I grabbed a few pictures, and also covered things for Get Out There Magazine, so yes, there is a video that will be embedded at the end. So with that, read on friends!
Get Out There Magazine
Hey all, sorry it’s taken me so long to put words to the page for this race report. No doubt most of you have already checked out my 3-part video review of the event, but as always, I also like to follow up with a proper blog post with some additional thoughts from me on the event. The main reason for my delay was an awesome 3-week vacation with Deanna in Switzerland that we just got back from. Although I had intended to do some writing while over there, I was truly more interested in hiking, wine, cheese, and chocolate than opening up a keyboard and typing ;-). Surely you can all understand. Regardless, I’m now back, and ready to fill you all in on this awesome weekend adventure that I took part in and also covered for Get Out There Magazine. Don’t forget to check out all the pictures I took as well.
Off the top, no, the power napper was not me. However, this was going to be absolutely necessary to ensure finishing the race as a TEAM. That, my dear friends, is what adventure racing is all about. Doing the right things at the right times as a TEAM in order to get to the finish line. Of course, I’m reporting to you all on the 2012 Wilderness Traverse Race. This is the 3rd time the race takes place, and the 3rd time I participate. Also, for the third year running, I ended up racing with a completely different team. I figure as long as I keep racing with new people, I’ll eventually get ‘called up to the majors’, right? Every race more than 24 hours is a unique challenge. This one would prove so more from a mental standpoint than a physical one, but more on that later. This year, I was invited to race on a a variant of Team Spirit, a team that has been around since nearly the dawn of AR! Two of my team-mates (Dave Hitchon and Mike Popik) have reams of experience on the international, expedition-length circuit (think Eco-Challenge, Primal Quest, etc.). The third member was actually the 16-year old son (Will Hitchon) of our captain. I was also covering the event for Get Out There Magazine, and it seemed like it would make a pretty cool video to follow this rookie in his bid to complete his first ‘overnighter’. This was so true, that I ended up making it a 3-part video (See Part I, Part II, and Part III). I also took loads of pictures on course. Now read on for all the gory details!
They say everyone has a doppelganger somewhere in the world. Well, apparently, I may have inadvertently crossed paths with my ‘sporting’ doppelganger at the recent inaugural Muskoka Grind Off-Road Tri. You see, I finished this race in 4th place in my category, a mere 1m14s off the podium. Okay, 1:14 isn’t that close in a 2.5hr race, right? Well, it get’s interesting event by event. For the swim, this fellow was a mere 3 seconds faster. The bike? He was only 16 seconds faster. And the run? Well, I took that one by 16 seconds! So in reality, our moving time was only 3 seconds different!! However, where I lost time was in transition, and with good reason. I had to get cameras mounted and ready for the bike and run, since I was on-site covering the event for Get Out There Magazine. As a result, I once again have a nice race video and some pictures to share with you all. Read on for the whole story about this well-run race at the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve.
Looking back on my various race and event results, I have now been a pretty physically active fellow for almost exactly 10 years. I have done countless events of every type and description. Short 5k runs, up to 7-day major international events. I’ve done grass-roots style events and slick corporate-backed mega-events like the Boston Marathon. They all have one thing in common. Registration and kit pick-ups. This is sort of the ‘welcome mat’ to an event, and sets the tone and stage for what follows. It says a lot about the overall event’s organization and ability to execute. In these 10 years, I don’t believe I’ve ever had to wait more than 30 minutes to deal with this part of a race. Until GranFondo Ottawa. So shall begin my little post on this inaugural event in Ottawa, and my PERSONAL opinions of the entire weekend. I also covered it for Get Out There magazine, so you can check out my ‘official’ video review which will be a little kinder than this post will be. You can also check out some pictures that I posted from our group. Now, please read on to get my full impressions 🙂