Oh Savage Race, Savage Race, Savage Race, how I love thee. March 18 & 19 was the Spring Savage Race event weekend taking place at Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City, FL. Savage race is known for their stellar event production and they have always impressed me in their layout, design and obstacle quality. This Savage Race would be my 5th Savage in the Florida arena and I continue coming back for more. Savage holds a special place in my heart because of several reasons.
1) It was my first Obstacle Course Race I did and actually trained for, way back when, I was new to the sport.
2) It taught me to face my fears years ago when the last obstacle was Tazed. The one obstacle which participants low crawled under and received shock from electric wires hanging down. Electrocution was and still is one of my biggest fears.
3) After meeting my husband and several other friends, Savage has always been the run we all run together with in and help each other with obstacles.
4) It allowed me to qualify for OCR World Championship in 2016! I didn’t go, but the honor of knowing that I could was humbling. Thank you Savage Race.
Since I’ve began running Savage I have always been surprised at each race. The Race Director and Course Designer have a way to change things up over and over as to not be repetitive in a market filled with redundancy. This past Savage Race brought a few new obstacles to the Florida playground which encouraged people to challenge themselves, pushed the Elite wave participants, and gave returning participants something new to try out.
A lot of the new obstacles were primarily placed in the last quarter mile of the race. This allowed for Elites to test their upper body strength and skills in a strategic order meant to burn out their arms. I have to say, watching these elite runners struggle on some obstacles made me think wow, if they are having a hard time there is no way I’ll be able to do these! One of the newest obstacles was Twirly Bird which was a rig based obstacle with ropes participants had to grab to get through. Holy moly upper body strength and grip strength was a must! These ropes would have been fine, except to add to the challenge Savage Race made them into a “Mop Head” type of grip structure. Grip strength had to be on point and sadly many people didn’t complete this obstacle without the help from others. A fun new obstacle they added this year was called Hangarang. Essentially this is 2 logs held on by chains over water that participants had to balance on to cross. This obstacle focused solely on balance and taking your time. It was fun being able to watch the people succeed, and those who didn’t fall into the water laughing.
This particular day I decided to run with a large team, IronANT Fitness, which consisted of friends with varying skill level. Our goal for the day was to enjoy the gorgeous land, have fun, help each other, and motivate each other through the course. None of us were worried about finishing in a specific time or not having the physical ability alone to complete an obstacle. We all worked together, we all helped each other out, and we all motivated each other. Several people on our team had never successfully reached the top of curved wall at Colossus. As a team, we made it happen for them. A few people had always been scared to jump into the Shriveled Richard obstacle. Together as a team, we helped them take the ice cold plunge. A few of the obstacles like Thors Grundle, and Pole Cat were done several times just to take pictures. A small handful of us decided to challengeourselves and run the course barefoot just to see how we liked it. Sawtooth became a training obstacle where some team mates were showing others how to grip the bars allowing people to go farther than they ever had before.
The day was long, but it consisted of positivity, laughing, smiling, mud pit fights, and good times. When we had finally crossed the finish line as a team I looked down at my watch and it told me I had been out on the course for 3 hours and 50 minutes. Typically, this time would have angered me because I know I could have done better. But today, my abs were sore from laughing, and crossing the finish was a different kind of accomplishment. It was the completion of something together, helping people make memories, allowing others to share your love of OCR’s, and building friendships that will last for years.
Savage Race did not disappoint me one moment during our close to 4 hours on the course. There were plenty of water stations, smiling volunteers, and fellow runners who make the day worth going. If you are a seasoned veteran to OCR, or a newbie, you can find your way through Savage Race and hopefully love it as much as I do. Thank you again Savage Race for a beautiful day spent outdoors!
Register for your next Savage Race HERE.
Find out more about Iron ANT Fitness HERE.
Visit Iron ANT Fitness on Facebook HERE.
Photo Credits: Jack Goras Photography