I've been thinking a lot about how to handle this blog post. I decided I'll share my thoughts and comments strictly about this race and my experience on Saturday without letting my thoughts and frustrations about the canceled Spartan Sprint on Sunday get in the way. In case you missed it, Spartan Race canceled the Spartan Sprint in Temecula, CA on Sunday, Sept 14 due to extreme heat. I'll keep my comments and thoughts about that in a separate blog post tomorrow. Believe me, I have lots to say about it! But for today, I want to focus on my experience running the SoCal Beast on Saturday.
We took our time heading out of Vegas on Friday morning and ended up in some major 2 hour delay traffic jam on our way to Temecula. Once we finally arrived at our hotel, we pretty much went straight to bed after setting out my clothes and gear for the next day. Of course, I hardly slept. I was too anxious to sleep, so I tossed and turned a lot until it was finally time to get ready to go. I had my coffee and ate my go to pre-race breakfast of a banana and half a bagel thin with almond butter. Once we got to Veil Resort we parked and made our way to the registration area. Everything went very smoothly and we had no problems checking in and getting ready. I met up with my friend, Eve, who ran alongside me the whole time. By the way you must follow her on instagram! Here's the link to her profile: http://instagram.com/ninjaeve Sidenote: Eve will be participating in World's Toughest Mudder this November and I can't wait to be there supporting my girl!!!
On with the race, I won't give you a play by play of every obstacle, but I will say that this was a brutal course. 6.2 of the 12 mile course was all uphill. These hills, although I'd like to call them mountains, were no joke. The first half of the course went by pretty quickly and I felt great about completing every obstacle up to that point. Just like for the Spartan Super, the bucket carry was by far the toughest obstacle for me. My calf cramped up towards the end of the obstacle and thank goodness I'd read an article about mustard helping with leg cramps and had some mustard packets in my hydration pack. About 2-3 minutes after taking it, I felt ok enough to finish the obstacle and my calf didn't cramp up again afterwards. I will always carry mustard packets with me on a race from now on!
For the second half of the race, the temperature started to creep up and we could see so many people that just weren't prepared for the heat. Both Eve and I had our water backpacks and although the water was already warm after a few hours, it was still helping us keep hydrated. We'd also put electrolyte tablets in our water before the race and I had my Island Boost packets too. The race had plenty of water stations and one of the last stations also had gatorade and salt packets for dehydrated runners. Even with all the warnings and emails from Spartan Race about preparing for the heat, some athletes just weren't prepared for the 100+ temps and many were not able to complete the race. So many runners weren't carrying water and guys were running with no shirts, even after being warned of the extremely high temperatures and given clear instructions on what to do to prepare for it. Spartan also ended up shortening the race by several miles for those with later start times. Like I said, Eve and I had prepared before and during the race and we finished strong. Eve got her 2X Trifecta medal and I was on my way to getting my first Trifecta. Of course, I couldn't have done it without her help throughout the race and literally pulling, pushing, and carrying me over some of those obstacles. Big thanks to a few other racers who took the time to help me up a few walls and of course a massive thanks to my hubby for all his support before and after the race and for taking these awesome photos. Thanks also to my friends and family for all their encouragement!
Sadly, things didn't turn out as planned and the Spartan Sprint on Sunday got postponed until January. But, at the time, we had no idea that was going to happen. I was totally ready to take on the Sprint on Sunday with my hubby and 4 other friends that had traveled from Vegas to run it together. Like I said, be sure to come back tomorrow for my thoughts about their decision and what we ended up doing since we couldn't race.
As for the Beast, it definitely lived up to it's name and I can't wait to do it again!