Nothing could have been a better way to welcome spring back than a weekend at Savage Race! While the weather was unpredictable (is Florida weather ever predictable?), there was fun to be had by all who attended Savage Race’s season opener at the Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City, FL. All of us lining up at the start line Sunday morning were excited to try the new obstacles that had been leaked via the Facebook page for Savage in the last few weeks. While all the obstacles are fun, new challenges are always welcome in the OCR community. By the time the first wave started, we were all raring to get on the new course!
Traditionally Savage Race has started their courses in Florida with Shriveled Richard, the ice bath obstacle, but this year they decided to let us warm up a bit before shocking us with freezing water! The first mile was more running than obstacles, but we took on Barn Door and Sawhorses before coming into mile 2. This time we went backwards over the Slippery Incline Wall, climbing up the ladder side first before sliding down the rope side. Squeeze Play was the first new obstacle we came to. It was a fun challenge, after which we attempted to hold on to the tiny hand and foot holds of Kiss My Walls. In the last two times I’ve done Savage Race they’ve definitely increased the difficulty of this one.
Coming into mile 3, we encountered On the Fence and Pole Cat. I liked On the Fence but it definitely destroyed my grip trying to stay in the rungs of the chain link fence without hitting the water! I wasn’t able to successfully make the transition from the first two poles to the second on Pole Cat, the obstacle that replaced the balance beam Nutt Smasher. (Side note: I really love the names they give these obstacles!) Finally right after the mile 4 marker we hit Shriveled Richard! I’ve done ice baths several times now, but I still can’t get used to how cold they actually are! I was so shocked that I didn’t even register that Sam (Savage Race’s founder and CEO) was saying hi to me! I did turn around to say hi back once my brain freeze wore off 😉
At Wheel World, I desperately tried to maintain my grip on the slippery rungs this time, and while I made it further than I did the previous time, I wasn’t able to make it all the way across. Blazed was next and I’m so excited they got a good shot of me fire jumping! Historically during the times I’ve done Savage Race in the past they always seem to miss me jumping the fire. I actually think this was one of the better fire jumping shots I’ve gotten!
We went over the ‘mystery obstacle,’ an angled wooden wall we had to climb using small hand and footholds, before crawling under the Big Ass Cargo net to come to Sawtooth. Easily the most challenging monkey bars I’ve ever faced, these were slippery and wet and I was again unable to maintain my grip on them. If there’s one thing I love about obstacle racing it’s that it exposes your weaknesses- I definitely need to work on my grip strength! We made our way through a barrage of other obstacles- Tubular, Backscratcher, Thor’s Grundle, Wet Willy and one of my favorites, Mud n Guts. The muddier the better in my opinion!
Getting closer to the end of the race, we hit Lumberjack Lane next, another one of the obstacles I enjoy. Normally carrying things isn’t my cup of tea, but this one is fun. They usually have a photographer at this obstacle and they captured a pretty cool shot of me here.
Davy Jones’ Locker was next. This is one of the worst obstacles for me as I have a pretty debilitating fear of heights. I was very hesitant to complete this obstacle due to not having my teammates with me. My boyfriend, being the encouraging and wonderful person he is, told me “I’ll be right here cheering you on.” Although I was nervous, I decided to go for it and I’m very glad I did. I still don’t like obstacles like these, but each time I do them they become a little easier. It’s like that really high roller coaster you’re afraid to ride- once you do you’re always glad you did it. I only wish they had gotten a picture of me here! Colossus was the last big obstacle we came to before the Savage Rig- one of the things I had been looking forward to trying. I’ve encountered rigs at both Spartan and Battlefrog and have been unable to complete them, so I was itching to try Savage’s version. I made it further across this time than I have at past rigs, but I hit the ground trying to transition from the rope to the bars. (Had I known you could use your legs I would have done that and not put my feet down, but there’s always next time!) At least I had fun!
After a short sprint, we crossed the finish line. This was a much needed race for me. I didn’t do it for time- it had been my boyfriend’s first time doing Savage Race and I wanted to make sure he had a good time and enjoyed the obstacles. We took our time and had fun and that’s the most important thing! Despite the fooling around and not trying for a certain time, we still managed to beat my best time at Savage Race and come in around 2:30- and that was with five additional obstacles and about a mile added to the course! I’m really glad I had the opportunity to do Savage Race again this spring and look forward to coming back in the fall- I will conquer you yet, Sawtooth!