Fuego y Agua 2013 – Part 3


26349_4562045448712_921770534_nAfter my race was over there were still many that had a lot of racing ahead of them. The next bamboo challenge was a climb up a tree to retrieve another wrist band, once retrieving that one they pulled the pole up the tree connected it to another tree, traversed across to get a fifth bracelet, finally climbing back down. The competitors would then climb almost to the top of the volcano only to turn around and head to the bottom. This station would prove to be the 5pm cut-off. The thirteen racers successfully made this time cut-off and would go on to chop down a tree at this challenge, then take off back up the mountain carrying a small bag of coffee. The racers would later find out this is where their third medal was hidden.

563106_4557993147407_1578463911_nThe racers were instructed to keep the coffee dry and told to head back up the volcano. As the reached the top of the volcano they would next reach a lake in the middle of the dormant volcano. Where they found the next aid station and next challenge in which they swam to an island grabbing yet another bracelet. Upon returning to the aid station, they showed their wristbands and received an egg. This egg needed to stay attached to their forehead as they trekked along the crater through part of the trail called “jungle gym”. It was a mix of vines and roots along the edge of the crater. The egg was not aloud to leave their forehead nor break along the way. The technical trail weaved its way down the mountain and back onto the road.

31454_337715993006300_54717834_nAs I departed the finish line, I saw local man, Johnson Gudiell Cruz Barrios the eventual winner of the 2013 Survival Run, coming into the area in first place. He was running in followed by an entourage of local Nica’s following him cheering. He would have two more tasks to complete the race, a swim out to Monkey Island (eggs attached), there he would retrieve a large piece of wood, swim back to shore, then ceremoniously throw the wood into the bonfire at the finish, winning the 2013 Survival Run. Not long after he finished would be the only other finisher in the race two time World’s Toughest Mudder winner, Junyong Pak. Morgan McKay, 2012 Death Race finisher would be the next closest to finishing the race, making a wrong turn at the end, which caused her to miss time cut-offs. Out of 36 racers there would be only 2 finishers in the 2013 Survival Run.

Commentary on the Race:

With this race in the books and another DNF to my name, days later I can reflect back on the race and feel good about all I personally accomplished. This was the most challenging race I have faced to date. It is arguably the most challenging extreme/obstacle/challenge based race there is currently. Survival Run not only forces you to race and race fast, but it also tests your physical and mental strengths. It exposes weaknesses, and leaves much of the time little margin of error. That being said it is my favorite race to date, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the race.

The complexity, danger, and extreme element of this race are not one to be taken lightly. I am forever grateful to have been part of this race in its first year. It will never again have the same element of surprise as it had this year. For those who are toying with sending in an application for 2014 in order to finish the Survival Run you must be able to run the distance (75K) but also be able to self sufficient in the woods for long periods of time. You must hold not only physical strength but also the mental strength to push beyond your limits.

Is this race for everyone? No. This race is for a special type of person, and is not for the casual racer. This isn’t like the Ultra Beast and it isn’t like the Death Race, you are truly in the jungle racing, and Survival Run is a perfect name for the race. Athletes trained months for this race, and only two finished. If people asked me what they should be able to do before attempting this race, I would say:

  1. 1. Have completed an ultra or two. Ultrarunning is much different from obstacle racing, there are many times where you go 6-10 miles or so without an aid station. Learn how to be a self-sufficient racer.

  3. 2. Be comfortable swimming distances. I would say be able to swim an ironman distance, never in the race did we encounter a swim that long but when fatigue sets in you want to have a very strong swimming sense.

  5. 3. Get use to being in the woods alone. Many of the racers got caught coming off the volcano on technical trail in the dark. Hiking and running in the dark takes practice.

  7. 4. Learn how to climb a tree. Trust me you need to know this.

  9. 5. Finally, be ready to roll when a local has pulled a course marker or other bump in the road happens. This is not your groomed road race or obstacle race where markers are abound. You have to be very vigilant and keep watching for markers. It’s a foreign country they are not use to races all the time. Stuff happens.

Overall, Survival Run in an incredible race for the right type of racer it combines all the best in distance trail running and obstacle racing. Josue Stephens has created his own category in the execution of this race. I look forward to it in 2014 and seeing how the race has evolved.

Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
This entry was posted in Race Recap. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fuego y Agua 2013 – Part 3

  1. fightguy says:

    Good read and good tips! I am excited to do the 2014 race!!!

  2. Ambassador Valerie says:

    This truly sounds like an amazing journey and experience you had. You should be so proud of what you did since so many of us just wish we could do it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to posts:

  •   Hyper Vest SXY and FIT from
  • Instagram

    • While working on some website updates to coaching offering today I came across these #flashbackfriday photos. Honestly, I was hesitant to share but a friend encouraged me.
These were from a photo shoot I did shortly before the launch of my book in 2014. I did a series of headshots and promo shots for various press.
While the photos exude confidence, honestly this was one of the most uncomfortable moments in recent history.
I don’t wear makeup much, so the when the makeup artist put what felt like layers of gunk caked on my face I looked in the mirror thinking - who the hell is this? - but soldiered on.
The photographer kept prompting me to connect more with the camera and look deeply into it. I was freaking out inside. But tried my best to keep it cool. It was frustrating and at times I wanted to cry. I remember just wanting it all to be over.
For years I have kept these photos to myself feeling like a fraud. But only now realize, what she captured that day is part of who I am. And pushing myself to do the shoot and now to share it is part of my journey.
The fact is I look great in the photos. They are from a bit of a different phase in my life, but it’s still me and part of my journey.
Pictures don’t always tell the whole story and I share this because even the most curated photo could have a completely different story behind it.
#beinghonest #vulnerability #morethanmeetstheeye #mentalhurdles #multifaceted #onceanathlete #authorphoto #fitnessworld #selflove #flashback #perfectionisbullshit #nooneisperfect
    • Our mugs are currently firing over at @meanmugspotteryco tomorrow I get to see how they came out!
Before we fired this morning we offered the kiln goddess offerings for a good fire 🔥
I could not live the women behind the scenes at Mean Mugs. Every step of the process is a gift.
#meanmugs #handmademugs #madewithlove #kilngoddess #dirtinyourskirt #slcmade #womenownedbusiness #womensupportingwomen #artisanmade #kilnfired
    • New podcast out with Natalie Ross of @dreamfreedombeauty and @selfcareclubbb talking about why it’s important to follow your truth, shine light on your shadow, and self care.
#dreamfreedombeauty #selfcareclub #womenpodcast #podcast #selfcare #elders #lightworker💫
    • My body and mind in meditation 🧘🏻‍♀️ up in the Uintas Mountains ⛰. During a 25 minute practice today my friends captured this photo after they got out of the water doing some Wim Hof Training.
Love friends who continue to push boundaries and grow. A day of mindfulness, consciousness expanding conversations, mountain lakes, and vitamin community.
📸: @shellz883
#utahgram #uintas #meditations #musemeditation #mindfulnessmeditation #mountaintherapy #getoutside #natureiseverything #selfcaresunday #meditating
    • Mug update! Went over to @meanmugspotteryco today to see how the project is coming along and it was glazing day! Most of the mugs are being baked or out of the initial bake and onto glazing.
Glazing is an amazing bit of alchemy knowing the dull looking raw glaze will pop into a vibrant color after its glazed!
So excited for the firing process and for you all to get your hands on one soon when they go up for sale.
These mugs have so much work and love put into them. I know you will love them as much as we do!
#meanmugspottery #slcmade #womenownedbusiness #madewithlove❤️ #utahgram #womenhelpingwomen #handmademug #potterymaking #dirtinyourskirt #behindthescenes
    • Lisa Menna of Cause to Wonder joined me to talk about how she travels to the most remote places on earth promoting equality for women through magic.
That is her message and she wants to spread the message throughout the world 🌍 🌎
Many of the places she travels to women hold no rights and even until recently in some places husbands could murder their wives with no recourse.
Lisa is working from the ground up to change the conversation. Find the episode on the website or your favorite player.
#womenpodcasters #changeforabetterworld #womenhelpingwomen #changemaker #helpingwomen #magician
    • The precariously hanging branch held only by the limbs of the standing dead tree.
I feel like there is a metaphor there. But as the trail passed right under it all I could think is...
I hope this isn’t the moment it falls.
#widowmaker #trailthoughts #utahgram #emigrationcanyon #trailthursday #hiddeninthewoods #trailadventure #utahhiking #adventurewomen #trees🌲 #treescape
    • Stop and sit. I love the go go go lifestyle, so much so I often work myself into fatigue. Especially during the obstacle racing championship season.
One of my goals for 2018 has been more self care, more personal time, and taking the moments to put down the computer and step away from being accessible 24/7. I have been learning from experts both in books I am reading and guests on the podcast.
Progress report - two steps forward and one step back. I have reclaimed my weekends. Set aside more me time and for this summer prioritized my day around time to include trail runs for the run of running, reading, and just learning how to be bored again.
As I type I love this device and sharing but learning once again to be bored and let the creative mind wander has been challenging and rewarding beyond any post.
Also who doesn’t love putting down the computer and phone and playing with your dogs or digging in the garden!
#selfcaretime #selfcaretips #realtalk💯 #makingmetime #learningtobebored #homeofficelife #urbanfarm #backyardoasis #movementmatters #loveyourspace
    • Diana Rodgers the powerhouse behind @sustainabledish podcast joins us to chat about sustainable agriculture, small farming in America, regenerative agriculture, and her new documentary project Kale vs Cow - how she wants to rewrite the story around “ethical meat.”
Tune in on your favorite player 📲
#sustainableagriculture #smallfarms #regenerativeagriculture #ethicalmeat #kalevscow #sustainabledish #womeninagriculture #womenpodcasters #paleolifestyle #paleoliving #womeninag

    Follow Me!