I woke up the morning of my first Savage Race with a scratchy throat and not feeling great. I blamed my nerves, the open window I slept beside, and the very out-of-character lonely cocktail I had the night before. My nerves continued to build on the drive and during my warmup. The obstacles in this race flat out scared me as they were big and focused on grip strength. There was also an ice bath, water jump, and a huge slide -- none of which I am a fan of. I quite honestly wanted to skip this race, but I am so glad that I didn't!
The race started off at a fast pace but I settled into a pace that would last me the 6.4 miles with enough energy left over to handle the 29 obstacles that were scattered about. The first few miles included some random crawls, planked walls, the ice bath, and other objects to climb over. I was doing my best to hang with a couple that were keeping a solid pace, which seemed to be about 13-15 minute miles.
More climbing and a balance obstacle before the 8' Great Wall. I knew that I could climb any wall that I can securely grab the top of. After two weak attempts I decided to run hard at the wall and was able to grab the top, walk up it and swing over the top. I could feel the many, many bruises on my body I was creating. With less than a third of the course left I tried to keep moving, but exhaustion was definitely setting in. 6 miles in general is still a tough workout for me and these obstacles were definitely taking a toll on my body. I crawled through some mud and carried a log around a pond before coming up to Mad Ladders. This obstacle didn't seem to be quite as challenging as it looked, and I hit the bell rather easily smiling from ear to ear. At Davy Jones's Locker I launched myself off the 15 foot platform as quickly as I could, splashing into the water and remembering exactly why I hate jumping off things!
My first attempt up the very large half pipe revealed just how shot my grip strength was. I slid back down the ramp and scraped my arm pretty badly. The second time around I had my friend grab a second guy and they both helped me to the top -- this was not the time to risk injury. I had been rather scared of the size of this obstacle, but after being on it I realized I will be able to conquer it in the future no problem. The huge slide on the other side of the half pipe had literally been daunting me for weeks leading up to this race. I forced myself to drop off the ledge as fast as possible. It was completely unenjoyable, but I think next time I won't even hesitate!