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Stairs and Rain: Citi Field Sprint

If you don’t like stairs, don’t do anything related to the Spartan Stadium Series. If you do like stairs, then I will always recommend Citi Field. It was my very first Spartan Race in 2015, and I intend to do it every single year I can. First, I live in NYC and don’t have a car so getting to Citi Field is the easiest of any of the races I’ve ever done. This year I was lucky and a friend drove (door-to-door service---I felt so special!). There is tons of parking if that’s your option. The 7 Train is also right there if you’re coming in from the city. Second, I do like stairs. You can count on never-ending stairs at Citi Field. Just when you think there can’t be any more stairs left in the stadium, there will be stairs.

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I’m here for the Trifecta…

Maybe it’s the fact that I live in the great Concrete Jungle. Maybe it’s that, for years, I attended and then worked at a very rustic summer camp where hiking, swimming, canoeing, and getting dirty in the woods were part of the deal. Maybe it’s that, like many out there, I live for the thrill of mud (or stairs), lifting heavy objects, and burpees for fun. Whatever it is, I was hooked after my very first Spartan Race, the Citi Field Sprint in 2015. I had intended just to do the one race on the insistence of friends. I’m an actor who started in personal training as my support job—quickly learning to love it—so Spartan Racing was not exactly the focus. By the end of 2015, I had completed the Tri-State Sprint in Tuxedo, the Virginia Super in Wintergreen, and the Fenway Sprint in addition to that first Sprint. My friends also thought I was crazy. The next year I was determined to plan things out better and complete a Trifecta. I managed Citi Field and the Virginia Super again and then the Hawaii Beast to do so. I also ran Fenway two times, the second time being the culmination on my SGX Coaching certification. Now my friends were certain I was crazy, but I had managed to recruit several into the Spartan Family regardless.

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Rise of the Sufferfests Review

You run an entry level obstacle course race. You sign up for another one. You join a few Facebook groups, update your profile pic (fire jump picture of course), and add a bunch of new friends on social media that you met over the weekend. More training, more races, more mud and obstacles, and more friends. Those involved in obstacle course racing know, it is a unique breed of people that seek out this lifestyle. Why do we pay (often a lot of money) to “suffer”? Is it truly for our own challenge? Is it for the sense of accomplishment we feel at the finish line? In today’s sedentary society, in a world of automation, are we seeking an experience that's closer to our long lost ancestors? Are we trying to replicate their struggle to survive in the environment? Is life just too comfortable and boring now? Or… could it be purely narcissism? With the boom of social media, are we looking to shock our Facebook friends with our new muddy profile pictures? Is it to boost our own ego? Scott Keneally attempts to answer these questions in the documentary, Rise of the Sufferfests. A must watch for any OCR athlete.

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Average Joe’s Sub-par Ultra Beast

Before I begin talking about the physical and mental romance story of my Spartan Ultra beast experience, I want to address a few things. First off, I am not someone who wakes up every weekend and runs a different OCR, marathon, or your favorite mud run. I am a full-time college student studying pharmaceuticals (which means that I devote a fair amount of time to my school work). I stay active through pick-up basketball and lifting a few days a week. Fitness is important to me and I make sure to fit it in between my school work and various other activities. I write, because like many of you who may be reading this, pondering the feasibility of completing a Spartan Ultra Beast, I too was immersing myself with as much knowledge about the Ultra Beast as I could. I found that most extensive articles were written by people who eat, sleep and breath OCR (ironically enough this is featured on OCRaddict). I wanted to give a fresh perspective from someone who wasn’t training year-round to run 10+ mile obstacles races. I was someone who enjoys a beer with dinner, French fries, and skips days at the gym (guess I’m busted now…). Don’t get me wrong I love OCR but it is far from what I spend most of my time doing. Now that all of this is out of the way, the real story begins…

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Is The Problem With OCR, or With You?

People talk about epic failures at Spartan, Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash constantly: medal size complaints, being bored by the “same old obstacles,” a delay in getting the photos or results. These are all things I have personally had to defend as a volunteer for these race series, yet people still gladly pump out $140 to $245 for an event selling them out in mass, thousands, even tens of thousands, racers being reported as the official registration numbers. Then an imaginative new upstart has an issue with getting results posted, photos out, or not being a fan of a new finisher medal and the masses call for their heads, demanding that no one ever try one of these races. All while paying as little as $40 or so for an equivalent distance course with some obstacles new to the community, or even worse a $60-$80 race that is a superior product, well executed and no they cannot get more than a few hundred people to show up.

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A Guide to Your First Spartan Race

There is one thing I love to do more on the course than running; it is talking to people. When I run with a group, we tackle the open heat; it is just more fun. I get the great privilege of talking with people on the course; and for many of them, it is usually their first or second Spartan Race. If there is one thing I can take away from most of these discussions, it is that people had little to no guidance before race day.

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14 Weeks Until Killington Ultra Beast 2016

Here we are, 14 weeks from Killington and starting a critical turning point in training. This week would be a standard week, but the plans for next week have started already. For the most part, things would remain normal this week, with the addition of a trail run to get some technical terrain under my feet. After all, road running doesn't do much for stressing the ankles. The end of the week will have me at Tuxedo, NY for the Spartan Sprint, no weight training this weekend.

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15 Weeks Until Killington Ultra Beast 2016

Getting a late start on this week's countdown. The week was action packed with me getting back on the horse. I ramped up the activities a bit during the week in preparation for my first ever Hurricane Heat in Barre, MA (HH-088). Running has become far easier than it has been over the last few weeks, it seems my body is starting to heal a bit.

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