-In the starting gate, move all the way to the left side. When you get to the first water obstacle, stay left. I got boxed out to the right and had to swim about 30 meters, while those who were well left, were only submerged to their chest.
-The uphill runs completely threw me off. In other races and in training I can maintain a good short jogging stride up most hills. However, with the rainy/muddy conditions you have to choose your next step more diligently and it takes you out of your rhythm. Plus the stickiness of the mud is like running in sand. I had to walk uphill more than I cared to. Find a path on the side of the trail that is a little more dry and stick to it
-Downhill descents were also very tricky. Their was not one sure step I took downhill, where in dry conditions, you can pretty much wing it. I found that the thickest mud allowed your foot to stick vs. sliding, but the light mud was more slippery. I also used the sides of the trail because they were the driest, most untouched areas. As you do a couple of descents you will quickly learn what terrain is a trusty foothold and what is not
-The monkey bar obstacle was tougher than last year, just because it was wet and muddy. I would recommend trying to get through it with the fewest amount of “strokes” possible. The longer you hang there, the more likely the grip will fail.
-the sand bag obstacle: I would recommend shouldering the bag. Carrying in front or side-saddle is not the way I would go
-Spear throw: last year I was unsuccessful but this year I stuck it! I used more of a sidearm throw this time, but not sure if that was the difference. Just make sure to get a slight running start and follow through!
-Cement block pull: get an aggressive hand over hand rhythm going right away. The rope is slippery and if you stop, you may lose it. Lean back as much as you need to, using the weight of the block as a wedge to pull it up
-barbed wire: what a nightmare! This was way tougher than I remembered from last year. I tried rolling on my side, crawling forward and scooting backward. It was very slow going for me, the rolling sideways dizzied me and made me want to puke. Here is the one thing I wish I knew: after the barbed wire, the race is pretty much over. So once you get through it, it’s a short jog to the finish. Get through it any way you can, and keep in mind you are 95% done at that point
-have fun! It was a really fun race and I would do it again next year for sure. The area you race in is actually really scenic, so look around and try to enjoy it once in awhile. It takes your mind off the suck and gives you another wind. Don't over think this either. As Mike Tyson said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." Go at your pace, and remember, you guys are ready for this!
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