NAVIGATION

The Death Race – Reflections

Share

Death Race 2011It’s just about the eve of the Spartan Death Race. I am not making the trek to Vermont to go attempt to slay that beast again. My time with the Death Race as a competitor has come to an end, I prefer to try to slay races like Peak 100 and quite possibly one day even try to take on Peak 500 after some more years under my belt. But as my newsfeed, and inbox has been flooded with updates and questions, I have spent most of the week thinking about the DR.

 

It was in 2009 when I first heard about the DR a friend Rob Niles had done the race three times already. The DR was not the popular race it is today, back then it was a bunch of random Vermonters who sort of just showed up and did this crazy thing, a mix of physical labor, psychological games, and random puzzles on Joe’s mountain in Pittsfield, Vermont. At the time I thought, there is no way I would ever be able to do such a thing, but yet I was intrigued from the moment I heard about it. Two friends from the ski world have completed and won the race Doug Lewis and Stever Bartlett, so the DR is something I knew about, at least a little. Then the New York Times did a video on the race and Madmotion made but is still the best race video from the DR.

 

 

Death Race 20112011 DR, in 2011, I was such a newb at this all. I had met Joe Desena a few weeks early and had been talked into coming and helping out with the race. I met some of the greatest people the night before the race began at the now famous Joe Crupi pasta party, a tradition that is being carried on by others for the third year in a row this year. It was at the 2011 Death Race I first met Hobie Call in person and his brother in the background, whom now has become my other half in life, and it all started with a chance meeting on a rainy day. In 2011, it was the year Michelle Roy was taken away by ambulance, we did not know each other at the time, now she is one of my closest confidants. I met Ray Morvan, well really his wife as Ray was probably lost on the mountain. Val is an amazing woman. I met Robin Crossman and his wife Melissa. I met team Glamazon, Johnny Waite, Kevin Lowe, Frank Fumich, and many many others. 2011 was my indoctrination into the world of Peak Races and Death Race, prior to that I was just some woman who lived down the road and had done a few Spartans. Little did I know from helping out at that race I would make new friends, new training partners, and that weekend really started the friendship I have with both the Weinberg and Desena families. 2011, we the year I was welcomed into the family of DR.

Death Race 2011

 

 

WDR 2012, the winter DR I was there to crew for my friend Jason who was not racing the DR but attempting the 100 mile snowshoe race. Between, coaching Joe and Andy’s kids on the mountain (skiing) and then doing a 1/2 marathon on snowshoes myself, I ended up helping out the WDR for the majority of a weekend. In the depths of the night I found myself leading the charge for the WDR as participants held axes above their heads for hours. I would walk around talking to everyone assessing where they were at and relying the news back to Joe as he sat in a warm car. At this point I knew the ins and outs of the DR and spent that whole event tweeting and Facebooking about the happenings of the athletes involved.

 

 

DR 2012, a full year had passed since my first DR experience. This time I would enter the race as a participant. It had been over a year in the making and the expectations of what the race would be and should be were high after being so involved with the last two races. However, helping out and racing it are two very different things. The key to a great Death Race is to have intrinsically a reason and drive to do it. For I found when you lose the drive within yourself at the DR, it’s over. It’s not a place for puffed up egos, for all or nothing personalities, or for those wanting to be in the know. It’s raw, it’s real, and you learn something about yourself along the way. I did 2012 DR for all the wrong reasons, but still loved it, learned from it, and then went back after I quite and helped with the race for the rest of the weekend and into Monday morning. I love the DR just as much after quitting as I did before I started. It’s the DR once it creeps into your skin it’s a part of you forever.

177527_311368682286121_885000203_o

 

 

TDR2012, Another race I was not an actual participant but as I was running the Ultra Beast my friends were participating in the first ever Team DR. As I looped the mountain for the final times before my move out west. Some of my best DR friends were also on the mountain, carrying heavy bags of sand, while their teammates navigated a brutal mountain bike course. The encouragement from those in the TDR propelled me faster on the trails, and I know it was their words of encouragement that kept me moving in the race. Seeing Don, Ray, and Johnny on course were rays of sunshine along the day. Sharing a meal with them as it poured rain outside after I had completed my race, but theirs was still very much in full swing, was a highlight of the day and one which I hold dear to me. Even when not racing it the DR is close to me.

222188_10151229006731535_472789425_n

DR 2013, it’s the eve of the DR once again. It’s only been a few years since I first became part of the DR. Although I am not racing, nor will I be in Vermont this year. My heart will be with those in Vermont this weekend. All the friends I have made throughout the years who keep going back year after year seeking an internal unknown or those that just find it a fun weekend in the woods with Joe and Andy. To all those who it is there first attempt, don’t take yourself too seriously, don’t make finishing the only goal, take the experience as it comes, one step at a time. There is not future, no past in the DR only the present moment and task at hand. We all learn about ourselves in the DR as a volunteer, as a participant, as support, and as spectator. It’s a special race, a special place, and Joe and Andy have created something over the years that unless you are part of you can truly never explain it. Best of luck to all those attempting it this year, have fun, stay safe, drink lots of water, and have food stuffed in random places. Welcome to the 2013 DR!

 

 

 

PAST Death Race Posts of Interest:

2011 Experience – Live From the Death Race

2012 Winter Death Race – The Year of the Burpee

2012 Death Race – The Race Part 1

2012 Death Race – The Race Part 2 Quitting

2012 Death Race – Part 3 Changing Sides

 

Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of DirtinYourSkirt.com. 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 MudRunGuide.com. She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
This entry was posted in Race Recap and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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 Hyperwear.com
  • Instagram

    • Donna Cameron was always nice but realized being nice and being kind were two different things.
.
She started an experiment - a year of living kindly - and blogged about it along the way. She researched the science behind kindness as she experienced kindness in real life.
.
Her experiment led to a book deal and ultimately her book - A Year of Living Kindly - out next week.
.
She joined me on the podcast to talk about kindness - both giving and receiving it - and how we can truly change the world with the power of kindness for ourselves and others.
.
#kindnessmatters #podcast🎧 #gratitude #spreadingkindness #livinginkindness #womenauthors #kindnessismagic #kindnesschallenge #kindnesschangestheworld #womensvoices
    • It’s fall in the mountains! It’s hard to believe that wildfires are taking over more than 70,000 acres of wilderness and inching closer to homes about an hour from our house.
.
Lucky for me the wind changed direction making the air clean enough here for a morning trail run with my favorite running partners.
.
Can you spot one of our trail dogs?
.
#fallcolors #utahfall #millcreekcanyon #womenwhotrailrun #optoutside #utahisrad #trailrunningviews #weekdayrun #selfcare #trailtherapy #utahgram #womenrunstrong
    • New hidden gem in Salt Lake City... @elevatedfloat
.
A friend recently told me about this magical float, apothecary, massage, and overall rad place. Like walking back into VT in downtown SLC.
.
This place is one you have to see to believe. After driving by it for months (it’s right down the road from @meanmugspotteryco) I finally got to step in, take a float, and have a great conversation with the owner (who happens to be from VT) and some on tap Kombucha. Some might say stepping into the apothecary is like stepping into a hobbit house but for me it immediately felt like home.
.
I can’t wait to go back and so happy that @primal.love.warrior told me about this place and I was able to experience it.
.
I’ve floated before at other places and each float is illuminating. This float an interesting theme came up. I constantly had to remind myself I can take this time for myself, it’s not selfish, it’s nourishing, it’s self-care, and I deserve it.
.
Now I need to sit with why the feeling of guilt and not worthy of the time for myself completely came up.
.
It’s amazing what complete silence brings up. If you haven’t floated, I recommend it. If you find a magical place like @elevatedfloat 💯 go!!
.
#floattank #floattherapy #elevatedfloatcenterslc #slc #slchiddengems #smallbusiness #apothecary #feelingthevibe #findyourtribe #floattanklove #saltlakeisrad #selfcare #selfcarematters
    • Danielle and I met in Nicaragua both muddy, sleep deprived, and having the time of our lives at @thesurvivalrun working on the race.
.
It was only later I found out she was a world renowned Raw Food Chef who has a @tedx_official talk and has traveled and taught raw food around the world.
.
I invited her on the podcast to talk about her passion for food and her work. We recorded at the beginning of the summer and it’s been fun experimenting with some of her recipes this summer and adding more diversity into our diet.
.
While I’m not planning to go plant-based anytime soon it’s great to get a different perspective on food, some new tools in my food tool belt, and new ideas.
.
Even if you aren’t plant-based you might get inspired by a recipe or two @pachavega shares on this episode!
.
#podcast #rawfood #plantbased #pachavega #keeplearningkeepgrowing #womenpodcast #foodwisdom #rawfoodchef #rawfooddiet #rawfoodtraining
    • Mountain Adventure Journal: This summer a group of friends made a decision. We wanted to spend more time together, in nature, in the mountains, doing fun things.
⛰
Nearly weekly we have ventured to the Uintas for hiking, fishing, exploring, swimming, and good vitamin D and Community.
⛰
Yesterday was our most ambitious outing covering over 15 miles, hours of fishing, and high elevation.
⛰
Fueling for a 12-hour backcountry adventure was a little tastier with @drinkorgain Simple Bars. Clean, simple, plant-based bars with 12g of Organic Protein that helped me bounce back after a frustrating fishing line tangle.
⛰
As I jumped up and down (literally like a child in frustration) I remembered I hadn’t eaten in a while and took the moment, sat on a rock and enjoyed the scenery and a OrgainBar then went on to catch three more fish before running back to the car finishing the journey.
⛰
I’ll be picking up another box at orgain.com and using code RAISETHEBAR to save 30% before 9/30 to have a few bars to fuel some upcoming adventures (more on that soon)
⛰
#mountainadventures #fishinggirls #uintas #optoutside #womenwhohike #getpickywithyourpassion #drinkorgain #ambosimpbar #ambcollab #mountainwoman #backcountryfishing #nature_brilliance #outdoorwomen
    • Fancy is currently dreaming of her next adventure. After a weekend home she is already itching to be back in the mountains - running, fishing, cuddling, and chashing squirrels into trees.
⛰
She is ready to adventure, where are your favorite places to backpack with dogs?
🐕
#adventuredog #boardercollie #hikingdogsofinstagram #ruffwear #backpackingdog #dirtinyourskirt #backpackingutah #uintas #weekendadventures #reiproject1440 #campingdog #dogswhohike
    • Anne Champagne @annechampagne made @spartan history when she crossed the finish line at the Stoneham Ultra Beast. She outright won the race by over 45 minutes!
.
Only one other time since the series began in 2010 has a woman outright won a Spartan race. That was @fayestenning_ocr in Tuxedo, NY Spartan Sprint in 2016.
.
Anne sat down to talk about the race, training, her background, and goals for the rest of the season.
.
UPDATE: actually more than one time before has a woman outright won a Spartan Race the initial info I got from Spartan was wrong and @reakolbl actually outright won a couple events in 2017 in Hawaii and day 2 Tahoe Beast. My apologies and correction will be noted next episode on air :) Anne is still the first and only woman to outright win an Ultra Beast.
.
#podcast #ocr #spartanrace #spartan #inspiringwomen #obstacleracing #womenrunning #ultrabeast #obstacleracingwomen #northmanocr
    • Even though I don’t have kids and I’m not in school anymore this time always feels like the end of summer.
.
It’s always a time to think about the adventures and reflect. Time to clean some of the well worn and well loved summer gear before the one or two last big adventures and start to begin to pull out the fall/winter gear.
.
The theme of this summer has been recapturing and cultivating the love of just doing. Finding joy in the moment and just being in nature. It’s been about recapturing a love of trailrunning... this time with no goal, no race to train for, and no invisible dragon 🐉 I’m running after.
.
For the first time in forever I’ve been out fishing, hiking, and running for pure joy.
.
It’s been a huge summer of growth in that aspect. At the same time other parts of my life have been extremely challenging.. the yin and yang of it all.
.
But it’s fun to sit, reflect, and know some good miles have been run, yummy fish caught, and quality family time had.
.
#naturelovers #optoutside #getoutside #utahisrad #fisherwoman #hiking #backpacking #windetergent #findingadventure #adventurewomen #utahgram #uintas #fallreflections
    • The world can be so chaotic... nature reminds us of the simple and real complexities in this world. It’s so incredibly easy to get sucked into the latest dumpster fire online. Sometimes it feels like a sport.
.
Then you step away, step into nature, drive by it actually burning - living in the West - and you realize how insignificant our online world and online fueds are.
.
Instead I realize the things that really matter, the tactial things like catching a fish, petting my dog, stumbling on a trail, picking up trash, and the people who are around us everyday when we remember to put the phone down.
.
I love social media, I get to share a message, get to share my world, my work, and hopefully through that work help create a better version of myself and the world around me.
.
I interview incredible people who constantly remind me all the ways I can be a better person. A kinder person, and as one author wrote remind me to live for my eulogy not my resume. Weird sounding at first but living how I want to be remembered as a person not my accolades.
.
Time in nature is a reset and today I was grateful for the time IRL (in real life) instead of spiraled into a dumpster fire on social media.
.
#grateful #gratitude #natureheals

    Follow Me!