This morning I participated in the “extreme BlackOps style” 5K obstacle course race called CampTITAN. I participated in this event last season and gave it another shot because it had some of the best obstacles and was pretty challenging. Since this is not nearly as commercialized as Warrior Dash or ToughMudder, it usually draws a smaller audience, but also means you wont be stepping on people every time you try to take a full stride. The remainder of this post is dedicated to my overall race preparation and then the deeper dive into the pros and cons of this course.
This morning I did my normal Jake ‘race morning rituals’ that I always do; this usually consists of waking up early enough to have a cup or two of coffee (black), enjoy putting something in my stomach and yup I top it off by slapping on my board shorts and shoes. Food-wise, I made myself a blended shake consisting of bananas, a bit of chocolate protein powder, a packet of chocolate breakfast shake (well-balanced nutritionally), some ice, a little water, a bit of Silk almond milk, and top it off with a raw egg. After it was well blended, It was delicious. Side note, I left some in the fridge for the wife; I let her sleep in from a night out with the girls. Then as always, I jumped on my bike (NASTY) and peeled out for Buck Hill Ski Resort to take on this foe once again.
Check-in and Warmup:
Upon arriving, I am in a really good mood. It was a slightly brisk ride out to Buck Hill and I was feeling really good, but when you ride for 40 minutes or more your legs get a bit stiff. So I went through the check-in process, which was a bit of a drag but the line went quick enough. One thing that i didn’t like too much were the generic bib numbers that they give you and they had us adhere them with duck tape instead of pins. In addition, there were no T-shirts this year, so you can forget walking away with any swag. But I am not really upset that they went a cost-effective route. All the proceeds of this race are donated towards Haiti earthquake relief, so at least I know why they are more frugal. Upside – parking was free!
Next, I made sure to get some good stretching done before my wave time (@ 10AM). I got a solid warmup and took time on my ankles, as they have been hurting ever since the ToughMudder, likely due to all the downhill impact during the race. Next, they corralled us together in our wave which were identified by different color wrist bands. Lastly and perhaps my biggest gripe is that they did not provide a timing chip and so the race was not technically timed.
Race Experience – Green Wave
After the necessary precautionary speech our wave was let out of the gate. Normally I shoot right to the front, but this time I figured it would make most sense to not gas myself right away. Within the first mile I was only behind 3 other guys; two were military and one was a younger kid (and man he was quick).
The obstacles for this year’s CampTITAN were weak at best. They consisted of several ‘mud mounds’ and some army crawl activities and of course the 8-9 foot walls that you had to pull yourself over. None of the obstacles I thought were very difficult but the overall course itself was the biggest challenge. There were six different paths in which you had to go from the bottom of Buck Hill to the very top and then back down. It really tested the strength and endurance of your legs.
Remember those three guys that I said were ahead of me? Well I took the marines out pretty much at the same time as I was scaling one of the tough uphill stretches of the course. The younger guy was a formidable competitor, It took me until approximately the 2 to 2.5 miles into the course before I surpassed him. It was the 20 lbs sandbag that we had to carry up the hill and back down that seemed to take it out of him. I passed him on the way down and never looked back again. I was on a roll and wasn’t about to give up the lead. The last ascent of Buck Hill seemed unending and when I finally hit the apex I “Rocky danced” for a couple of seconds and then hit the decent. The rest is history, I blew through the finnish gate – 1st in my Green Wave!
The feeling of completing this race was really good, it was really mentally challenging and pushed you to remain positive and keep putting one foot in front of other the whole time. When I finished I got a pretty cool dog tag as my medal of completion. I will add it to the stack from the many races that I have laid to rest!
Overall Race Experience: B-
I think I did it in about 32 minutes, but without the timing chip I cannot be sure. I had a decent time on the cource, however, this years obstacles were lacking and hope that they focus a bit more on that piece. Greater participant / fan crowd base would have been nice too. Another one down for the 2013 season!