Conquering the Beast, Conquering the Mountain

June 13, 2015 – I have done 1 previous Spartan Race called the Military Sprint in Fort Carson, CO leaving 2 other races needed to complete the Spartan Trifecta and become a Trifecta Tribe member. One of the 3, and the most difficult was held at Breckenridge, Colorado’s ski slopes, starting and ending at the Beaver Run Resort at the base of Peak 9. A little over 9,000′ in elevation. The summit for this race was as evidenced by the photo I took from my GoPro below. The highest any Spartan Race has gone at 11,238′:

DCIM101GOPRO
Beast Elevation 11,238 feet

The terrain alone for this Spartan Beast (half-marathon+ obstacle race) was brutal on its own.  I had an 11:15am start time and was concerned for the possibility of rain, cold conditions, cold water and not overheating from 12.2 miles of running up and down ski slopes both on rocky terrain and snow, along with the possibility it could also snow.

GEAR: Here’s what I decided to wear for my sake and to also keep from getting terrible sunburn at this altitude as well:      The socks and shoes worked marvelously! The duramax socks are merino wool and did not weigh down with water or mud.  This combined with the Reebok Spartan All-Terrain Super shoes which are designed to drain water/mud did just as advertised.  They also held up well on the rocky paths, snow, wood, grass, dirt, mud and other things I had to run across.  My ankles on the other hand, are still feeling it.  I highly recommend them.  As for my legs I wore three things: CW-X Compression pants for all the uphill/downhill I would be doing, NeoSport Wetsuits XSPAN Shorts because I knew I was going to be going through cold, well frigid mountain water (which turned out to be cutting right through a lake, and then a mountain stream), and over both of those 2XU Men’s running shorts. They keep water and mud from accumulating from the fabric and no pockets.  There is a small rear pocket big enough for a small item or items depending on what you need.
Up top I wore a Nike compression half sleeve heat gear shirt, on that I had a inov-8 Men’s Base Elite 150 Merino Long Sleeve Base Layer Top and over that a red Nike heat gear t-shirt that I wear for my Spartan races.  I also had Under Armour gloves that I forgot and left sitting on the sink in my hotel bathroom.  Turned out I didn’t really need them but there were a couple spots they would have been handy.  Also I wore elbow and knee sleeves with the barb-wire crawl in mind.  This also came in handy as not only did we have a mud/rock barb wire crawl, but there was also a barb-wire crawl going uphill in snow.  That got chilly quick and these helped save my elbows and knees.

On my head I wore an Under Armour Men’s Mesh Skull Cap 2.0. The sole purpose of wearing this was to keep my scalp from getting burned by the high altitude sun and it worked.  I wore my Bib headband over it and a GoPro Hero3 Black on my head as well, so it also acted as a barrier for that with the straps.

RigOn my back for water/electrolytes/fuel I wore the Geigerrig “Rig” hydration pack, with 2L bladder.  What is nice about this pack is that there is a small air pump that I can use to inflate/pressurize the water bladder so the water shoots out of the mouth spot.  This helps to clean mud off the mouth piece or spray water into other people’s mouths (if you’re sharing).  It’s made with ballistic nylon which held up except it got a little worn down at the top where I had 2 different sets of logs sitting as I had to carry them and then a 40lb Spartan pancake behind my neck.  I also managed to put in a bunch of electrolyte gummies, gel packs and power bars for the race in the inside zipper or sitting on the bottom of the pack.

I’ll be writing another post about how the race itself went soon…

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