Reebok Spartan Race Carolina Sprint – 3rd in Age Group And Qualified for OCR World Championships!

Pre-Race

The 2015 Reebok Spartan Race Carolina Sprint was my target race for the 2015 Obstacle Course Racing season. I was incredibly excited to run this race. I had ran the Spartan Beast the day before, but wanted to really rock this one, so I had ran with Amanda the day before.

It was even colder this morning than it was the morning before. We’re talking the port-o-pottys had frozen cleaner on them cold.

Amanda and I had an interaction I’ll never forget. She was exhausted from the day before and she doesn’t do cold very well. It’s one of the reasons that I think she’ll end up crewing me if I do WTM instead of racing in it herself.

Anyways, during the entire ride there, she was going back and forth as to whether or not she wanted to run. We were walking up and I was getting ready to go in to the festival area and Amanda had a look of pure fear when we were talking about the first water section from the previous day. Words don’t really do justice to the look that she gave me that morning. It’s one that I’ll never forget and had never seen before. She said that she didn’t want to disappoint me, and I told her that there wasn’t any disappoint at all. We asked about the deferment policy and I went into the festival area after Amanda wished me luck.

The Race

The race started well. A couple of guys went out super quick but I got them back pretty quickly. The same water and mud of the first mile went by super quickly. I was running in fourth place in the heat through a mile. No burpees yet and it was cold.

I come to a sludge and mud pit almost immediately after a mile in. I’m moving through it, and mud comes up into my eye. And it hurts. I can’t open my eye. I literally stop and try to spit on my hand to get the mud out. Doesn’t work. I spend 15 seconds or so while walking and then end up ripping my contact out. Yikes.

The worst part is that I’m still seeing a huge haze of brown over my eye. I’m still having a tough time keeping my eye open as it wants to stay shut on me. I’m trying to wipe my hands off as I’m running, spitting on them, and trying to make the eye feel better.

This continues throughout the race.

I come up to the sandbag carry. One area of growth here is I’m going to attempt to run with sandbag to try and save some more time. Move through that and use the water to wipe off my hand and continue to try to fix my eye.

Ryan Sandbag 2

I get back to the festival area. Jump up over the inverted wall quickly, climb the rope, and I’m off to the traverse wall. I get 2/3 of the way through and fall. First burpees of the event.

I keep moving, go and memorize my memory test again, hit the barbed wire crawl, the logs, and I hit the memory test. It ended up being a fast race.

Ryan Barbed 2

I run to the tyrolean traverse and sprint to the spear throw. I’ve really grown to like the traverse. I take a moment, collect myself, and throw it. I baaaaarely miss it, and crank out my 30 burpees. I sprint to the slip wall and then try to get through the rig. I fail the rig and crank out my last 30 burpees. I cross the finish line sub one hour and have ran my best Spartan Race to date.

Overall Placing: 22 of  2,260

Male: 22 of 1,433

Age Group: 3 of 282

Post-Race Thoughts:

This race was huge for me. I absolutely ran the best I’ve ever ran at a Spartan Race and still had a lot left to give in regards to running. I’ve still been holding back to ensure that I don’t crash but I haven’t been pushing enough in these OCRs. I know that I can go out and race more like I do in a 5K. I’ve gotten in significantly better shape and can run much quicker.

Ryan Victory Wall 1

My obstacles are going much better. The training is going well. I need to continue to work on the Platinum Rig, and I’ve got a training plan for that.

I ended up hitting the medical tent on the way out and got my eye flushed as it was still bothering me. I finished that up and headed to the car to see what Amanda wanted to do about racing. Ultimately, she ended up wanting to race as it was significantly warmer at 10:00 AM than it had been at 8:00 AM and she ended up racing well again that day.

Overall, I absolutely love this race. It was a huge race for me. I learned so much going into 2016 about where I am in regards to my fitness. I’ll share my goals in the upcoming 2015 review.

As always, many thanks to LEGEND RACE for being a fantastic sponsor.

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