As I headed to the starting corral, the short race went off in waves. Each of us had our own starting corral. Coach Pain was there delivering the pre-race speech and he has such an amazing way with words, the just hit you. It is hard to explain, but the emotions I felt at that exact moment in time as my children and friend watched me standing there, ready to take on this course was so surreal. My heartbeat was fast. My adrenaline was pumping. My nerves were a mess. My mind was racing. And then there it was…”Ladies conduct your business!” and we were off!
As I began to run up the hill and reminded myself that this race was about me doing my best and not getting hurt as the big race was tomorrow. The first obstacle was hurdles, which while they weren’t high, I am short and my foot hit the top of one of them and I almost face planted, but thankfully I didn’t. There were some obstacles, such as the Q-Steps, that I have seen before and was able to breeze through. When I arrived at Toughest’s Dragons Back, this was one obstacle that really scared the crap out of me! You had to climb up the muddy wall and then not once, but twice leap from one surface to the other grabbing onto the pole in front of you and hoping you were able to leap far enough and grip the bar before face planting or falling directly to the ground below. As someone that is barely 5’3” this leap and height that I would fall felt like 10 feet, although it was probably closer to 6’. I stood on the edge and took a leap and made it! Then I did it again! All I could think of was “wow, I just rocked that obstacle and kept my band!”
Shortly after that I arrived at the Samurai Rig. I had never had the opportunity to do this obstacle before so I had to watch others maneuver it before I tried to attempt it. My first try, I made it almost to the end, falling off at the very last log. So I waited and tried it again, but this time I didn’t make it as far before sliding down. So I waited and tried it again, but this time I only made it to the first log and as I made the transition to the second log, I felt a sharp and weird pain in my right knee. I dropped and waited for a few minutes, then made the heartbreaking decision to have my band cut and continue. I didn’t want to risk hurting my knee any more than I already did before tomorrow’s race. On a side note, my knee is still not 100% recovered as of this post.
After my band was cut, suddenly it was like my nerves settled and I just was going to enjoy the course. Next up was the Platinum Rig and the configuration of this one was not made for someone like me with a short arm span! I tried to cross the rig 4 times and each time no matter how much I swung my body to reach the lateral rectangular bars I could not even get more than just my fingertips to touch the bar. After feeling my shoulder pull, I decided to take the penalty and move on. After the rig was a rock wall we climbed up and shortly afterwards the Wreck Bag Carry. There was no difference between the male and female weight, all bags were 50 lbs. I took my bag and proceeded up the mountain, over the wooden steps, then ran with the bag back down the mountain.
When I arrived at the 8 foot wall, I just took a minute to assess the wall and made it on my first attempt. In many of my previous races, I have continually struggled to get over the 8 foot wall because of my height it is difficult to jump up and grasp the top of the wall well enough to pull my body up and usually takes me a few tries. The best part was when I got to the top of the wall, the volunteer made a comment that I had made that look effortless, which really made me feel good. My continuous training efforts had paid off!
After I did the wall, the Dead End Race Monkey Bars were next and I breezed through them. This obstacle was a combination of ladder-style even monkey bars followed by long suspended poles. After completing this obstacle I arrived at the Irish Table (which replaced the Sternum Checker thank goodness as that was the obstacle that I cracked my ribs on last year and was completely dreading). I ran & hopped over the Irish Table with ease and shortly after heard my children calling me. It was an awesome feeling hearing the cheering for me. I ran to the side and gave them all kisses and continued to the Skyline. This obstacle was tougher than it looked and I ended up falling on my back twice when I attempted it because you have to slide down, you literally get stuck and then have to find a way to jump while you are suspended to get the handles over the bump without falling so you can slide o the next bump and do the same. After the third bump, you must ring the bell. I fell off of this one twice and then there were some issues with the handles going off track so the retry lanes were backing up quite a bit. I decided since I fell twice and didn’t have my band I would just take the penalty and continue on.
Next up was the Suspended Walls. This was definitely one of the obstacles that I was nervous about after seeing it in the OCRWC sneak peeks of the obstacles but it turned out to be one of my favorite obstacles of the day! I ended up completing this one on my first try and it was so amazing hearing my children cheer me on saying “Go Mommy! You got this!!!”
Urban Sky was next and this one gave me quite a bit of trouble. It reminded me of Savage Races Wheel World, only they were turning all different ways. You had to make the first set of wheels, climb over some poles, then onto the rings that turned as you moved. This required you to be able to swing fast and grasp each one at a precise time or you would turn too much and burn out your grip and arms. I struggled with the final transition of the big rings section and failed in the same spot three times! It was so frustrating but after feeling my shoulder pull and knowing I had a big race that I would have to do it again tomorrow, I decided to take the penalty and move on. The final obstacle was the Finish Ramp Wall and then it was a straight run to the finish line.
I decided to run the short course only after they closed registration and then re-opened it and I am so happy I did. It was honestly one of my favorite OCR’s to date. While only 3K in length, it had a little bit of everything, including fun! After crossing that finish line I was even more excited and looking forward to the big event the next day! My only gripe of the day was after the race I waited on a very long line for some OCRWC apparel and people were cutting in line and I was not very happy no one on the staff was addressing this.
After I cleaned up, we headed to one of the restaurants in the village to eat and then we headed out to see what the mountain had in store for me the next day. We were able to ride the gondola for free with my athlete pass so we took that to the top and saw them constructing some of the obstacles for the 15K the next day, like Skull Valley and the Platinum Rig 2. We took a long hike all around the mountain enjoying the beauty of it all. The views were breathtaking. The weather was perfect! We were able to see many of the obstacles set up for the next day, such as the Warped Wall, Quarter Pipe, Stairway to Heaven, Barbed Wire Crawl, etc. We hiked so far on the trails we ended up by the Scenic Caves so we decided to explore them.
We walked through the trails and through the caves and then I let the kids play in the park for a little while before we decided to head back to the room. We decided to make dinner in so I could rest up before the race tomorrow so I asked the front desk where the closest store to buy food was and she directed me to a store in the village. This was fantastic…I didn’t have to even leave the village to buy food to cook. We bought pasta and chicken fingers for dinner along with salad and just relaxed that night in the room. My legs were a little tired from the race and all of the hiking/exploring we did so it was time to ice the foot, foam roll the body, and rest up for the big event the next day.