On September 19th, 2015, Legend Race held its most recent OCR. Located just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, this locally based company is known for its intense obstacles, fantastic trail running, and ability to both be fantastic for beginnings as well as providing enough “umph!” for seasoned OCRers.
Legend Race has also sponsored my OCR events. I wanted to come and represent the team and run very well here.
I did a little bit of scouting to see exactly what I would be up against. I figured that there were two or three people that would ultimately give me some competition, but I wasn’t sure how that would play out. Amanda and I interacted with a number of people that were there, many of whom were getting their first experience into the OCR world. Pretty cool!
I ended up overhearing two important things that impacted my race. The first is that the course was right at 5 miles. This ended up not being exactly accurate as it was only 4.25 according to my GPS watch. The second was that there was a half-mile log carry. These two pieces of information absolutely impacted the running portion of my race. I didn’t quite go as hard as I planned to really attack the race after the half-mile log carry as that made up an entire 10% of the race. Therefore, I wanted to be as fresh as possible while still giving me a shot to win so I wouldn’t lose a ton of time on the log carry.
The gun was off and I quickly found myself in second place. I very quickly analyzed Sam’s (he and I later talked and I figured out who he was) running gait and knew that I was a more efficient runner and a better runner. 4 tenths of a mile in and I found myself in first place. I went off course just before the first obstacle and again found myself in second place. I went into the tire flip winning; Sam came out in first. I caught Sam less than a tenth of a mile later going into the rope climb.
The rope climb is something I’ve really been working on. This particular one was right up my alley because I was able to run and jump into it – the Spartan Races make you start waist deep in water. Here, I ran, never stopped my momentum, jumped as high as I could into the rope, grabbed it, did my “S” hook and slapped the bell. I jumped back down and found myself winning the race again.
We continued to run through the woods. I got caught at an obstacle that I wasn’t quite sure how to do and lost my lead here. I ended up getting the lead at the pole climb into the tryolean traverse. I got to the obstacle in 2nd, climbed the pole the quickest, and was able to use my core to swing my legs up to the rope traverse. This was exciting because I have really been working on my core strength as well. In fact, the guy that ended up finishing second commented on how easy that looked for me. Nailed this obstacle and I was off again!
Sam ended up catching me on the run, and the 7 and 8 foot walls right back to back, and I lost the lead for good.
On the log carry I was also passed, and ended up finishing in fourth.
The post race celebration was small but definitely enjoyable. There was plenty of music, a celebratory beer, and a nice completion medal for everyone to show off.
The biggest take away from the race for me is that I need to continue to work on my carries – I got beat at the jerry can carries as well as the log carry. To this end, I have purchased a bucket that I’m filling with rocks as well as a 50 pound sandbag I’m using in one workout per week.
In hindsight, I absolutely should have attacked the running portions where I would have the lead and let people catch me. I wanted to attack the race after the log carry rather than attacking prior, doing it log carry as quickly as I could hopefully with the lead, and then attempting to hold on. Rather, I let people get too far ahead and me and this ended up not working in my favor. I think that with a different race strategy I could have ran better. There were a couple of times where while I was winning and second and third place couldn’t see me – I should have attacked those portions, dropped the hammer, increased my lead and hopefully demoralize the competition. Rather, I walked those portions, let them catch me in hopes of having more in the tank for the last part of the race.
The biggest negative for me is that I ended up getting destroyed by poison oak/poison ivy. My coworkers who ended up seeing the rash called it a “flesh-eating” event. It was actually pretty gnarly, and I had to go on prednisone to get rid of it.
Overall, this race was a 4.5 out of 5 for me. I truly enjoyed being there, interacting with fellow OCRers, racing well, and getting another check as to where I need to get better.