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SISU Pro Team Member, Glenn Racz's Recap of the 2015 Spartan Race World Championship
23rd place. 2:51:30. Around 3,800' elevation gain and 14.7 miles per my Garmin.
I felt good during the quick start running behind Hunter McIntyre and Chad Trammell and at least a dozen others. The monkeybars at around mile 1 were still frosty/icy and I almost failed it due to cold/numb fingers. I'm not surprised so many guys failed it. After this the big hill ascent began and the field spread out. I was probably somewhere around 15-20th place near Brakken Kraker and Isaiah Vidal. My hands fortunately thawed out by the time we hit the heavy hoist (150lb maybe), and I barely completed this obstacle around mile 3-4. Ryan Woods pulled ahead a bit, and we all cranked up the next long hilly section that was maybe 10-20% incline for a few miles. There was a log and sandbag carry, and Matt Novakovich and Isaiah Vidal pulled way ahead of me, along with a couple of European guys near the top of the mountain.
Then I started to really lose my position as about 5-7 guys passed me during the first, longer descent around mile 7-8. I believe my Plantar Fasciitis (PF) was acting up at this point and it slowed me down on the downhills due to my forefoot and heel sensitivity. I was aware of this issue, but I was hoping I could power through it on race day - I was wrong!
Per my GPS data, I almost never broke 6:40 pace the whole way down, which greatly affected my race since I prefer to be at 5:00-6:00 pace, generally, on sustained downhill trails. The barbed wire and lake swim were tough as I felt the leg cramps coming on, but they didn't completely cramp up, so I was happy just to be able to run after a couple of those longer obstacles. I was disheartened a bit during my slow downhill running, but Brakken Kraker was good company as we hobbled down the mountain together. Matt Kempson was also giving good words of encouragement during the bucket carry, and guys like Jimmy Sliwa helped me to want to run faster down the bucket carry section.
Then just a bit more crappy downhill running for me, and then the final long rig at end was the most fun part of the race. It probably felt so easy because I was running so slow the second half of the race (relative to my competition). It is tough to go from last year's 9th place finish to 23rd this year. One bright spot was that at least my obstacle failures from last year (3) went down to 0 this year. I am thankful to be able to race and that I wasn't injured.
Looking ahead, I may re-evaluate my training plan with my coach Yancy Culp to maybe focus on more of the Sprint and Super distances next year since the Beasts and World Championships are so much out of my comfort zone. But as for now, I probably shouldn't focus on this upset, but as Paul said: "But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:13-14. So as for me, I am excited for what lies ahead in both life and racing!
by Glenn Racz, SISU Pro Team
Posted On: 10/10/2015
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