Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Race Review -Spartan Racers Dominate Alpha Warrior!!! - Written by guest blogger Jeff Bent

As the sport of obstacle course racing (OCR) evolves, new & unique races continue to emerge. Each new race brings a great excitement to those of us who are fueled by this extreme sport.

This past weekend, an inaugural race took place in San Antonio, Texas. The "Alpha Warrior" was assembled in the parking lot at Retama Park Racetrack.  Unlike any OCR to date, "Alpha Warrior" is an extremely obstacle heavy course with twenty challenging & unique obstacles spread evenly throughout a half mile course.

I caught up with Spartan racing friends Corrine Kohlen & Marko Vennerholm. We arrived early, had a few minutes to view the course, and were in awe of it & its obstacles. With a childlike excitement we began assembling for the 8am elite heat. Approximately 75 in all signed up to toe the line for the elite heat. With some brief instructions we were off -  released every 60 seconds in heats of 3 with Corinne in the 2nd heat and Marko & I in the 3rd.

Obstacles included:  3 consecutive giant carpeted rollers, a side-ways traverse of a cargo net, a long ring traverse, several horizontal bar traverses, a hanging vertical bars traverse, a vertical ropes traverse, a low ladder traverse, slack line traverses, trampolines, and the home stretch included a large structure referred to as "Alcatraz". Alcatraz included cargo crawls, 2 different & unique forms of monkey bars, long jumps to carpeted boxes, a long descent of a loose cargo net, then a high jump down to a padded landing. Several obstacles are difficult to explain without going into great detail but all-in-all an über fun & challenging course! 19 minutes total for me, placing almost 6 minutes behind the winner :( Corinne took home the ladies title by more than 10 minutes with a 22 minute course domination!

Corinne, Marko & myself spent the morning in the race area which was well laid out to be extremely spectator friendly! Being with the ladies winner we were given "special" treatment. Lol. We shared time with the owners, co owners, Alpha Warrior staff & their ambassador "American Ninja Warrior" finalist Brent Steffensen which O-btw are all super cool people. And all whom have the same OCR thought process as us, more obstacles-less running :)

The festival area had a pull-up bar with some unique hand grips & several barbells for doing clean & jerks or presses I suppose. The meal tent had a good menu including several half way healthy chooses such as fruit bowls and quinao salad. They also had various sponsors assembled with tables/tents as well.

The finishers medal is as cool a medal I've received at any OCR, the shirt although solid black is made of nicer material & the "No Mud, no miles, no mercy" motto on the back is über cool! They also gave us a energy bar, I believe they are selling, as well when we crossed the finish that was yummy!

If it didn't come across thus far, I loved this race! I can't wait to do it again! I feel the experience I have from my first race gives me a chance to make top 3 at my next. I plan to do as many of these as possible the remained of this year. Hope to have ya-all join me :) Namaste.

- Jeff Bent

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