The Ultra Beast – Part 1
I have raced many Obstacle Course Races since I began racing in 2010. I think at this point the number, well honestly I can’t remember. Having over a dozen races under my belt for this season alone sometimes I just cross the finish line and chalk it up to another race. The Spartan Race Ultra Beast was none of that.
Going into the Beast and Ultra Beast I knew it would be an emotional day. The day before the race I was interviewed on Matt B. Davis’s podcast and asked about my intentions for the race and how I felt I would do. For weeks I had put the Ultra Beast out of my mind, I had focused in on the Beast. A rolled ankle a few weeks ago and months of minimal training and probably too much racing did not fair well for a 30 mile obstacle course race. I went into the race as a realist, I would do the Championship Beast Race then somehow make my way along the second lap and had no expectations for success or glory.
Days prior to the race I did something new, I logged offline. This was made easier with a move looming in the future and a boyfriend getting into town in Thursday before the race. My mind was not exactly 100% on the race and thus I had no time to worry about it. I joked all week that the race would be the easiest thing I would do all weekend. The days before the race became consumed with packing up my life, airports, meetings, emails, and well life forget about any last minute training. My focus had been as much on training Chris Davis recently as it had been on myself.
The eve before the race I opted for a quick packet pick-up then headed down to the Forerunner Ski Shop which is now selling Dirt in Your Skirt merchandise. A few people stopped in but mostly it was a quieter evening with friends. We headed home and went to bed. My boyfriend would be filming Chris Davis the whole next day on the race course and I would hear his alarm go off at 2:00am then leave the house by 3:00am. From that point on I would toss and turn a little always on edge about forgetting to set my alarm correctly.
As my alarm went off I knew it was race day. I took a shower, stretched out, meandered around my house then made my way up to the race. I stopped along the way as I do these days for my pre-race coffee. This race was all about the familiar and I was home. I parked, dropped my transition bin for the Ultra Beast, signed in and then it was time to race. Luckily, Chris Davis and crew came through the race venue right as we were getting ready to go and I was able to catch a glimpse of the group and cheer them on.
Then it was my time to go, I lined up surrounded by familiar faces. The energy in the morning was electric. Final rules were explained, as I gazed up at the mountain I knew this day would be a memorable one, then we were off…