Sometimes, I don't race elite.
And when I don't it's for a solid reason.. You know.. like.. I'm whiny and don't wanna get up that early.
Coming out of last month's long-lasting respiratory infection and an injured foot, I knew the Seattle Beast wasn't one to try to dominate. Looking for an excuse to hop in an open wave instead, my prayers were answered when @TheMudCrusher announced she would be coming to Seattle.
I thought, "I shall force her to be my friend and let me copy-cat her."
We were there bright and early to cheer on the Elites and hop in after competitive took off.
Haruko "The Mud Crusher" is a positive light of a person. She smiles at everyone, is happy to snap photos with people and send them immediately, boasts of her family and genuinely asks about YOU.
She is complimentary and loving to strangers and known friends, as evident by her letting me tag along on her adventure this weekend. If I wasn't already obsessed with her accounts, I would be now! She joked about her lack of muscles; but with how she lifted others' spirits up all day, I'm not sure there are stronger women out there. Check out her IG, Twitter, Tumblr for gorgeous photos and positive vibes.
DEFINITELY say, "hi!" to her on course! She'll be at Dallas this weekend. Expect more Plant/Crusher adventures in the future!
Also, I have no idea how she manages an entire course in that hat. That was a struggle
Now, the course!
Course Designer: Steve Hammond
Location: Meadow Wood Equestrian Center in "Snohomish" (It's really Monroe, WA)
Length: 12.4 miles
Multi-Rig: Shorter ropes this go around. Baseballs seem to be here to stay.
The Olympus: A great, new obstacle that debuted at Tahoe. Be careful. It becomes all about the biceps when wet. Your feet are useless.
Bucket Brigade: There were TWO BBs on this course, making that note-worthy. Both, however, were flat and fast with little technical work required of the feet.
Atlas LOG instead of the stone carry. While I found one nice and light, they were a mess of different sizes and in mud/water. Your log could easily be double the weight it was supposed to be.
Cormax Flip: A change from the log and tire flips we have seen in the past. I appreciated this as it means a more consistent weight between them all, although they could use to make them heavier.
A few things about Steve. He likes to give you chances to run, but that doesn't mean he won't check your grip and make you burpee in front of friends. Two miles into the course you hit the Rope, Rig, Olympus right in the festival area. I thought this was great to have so early on. Had I been racing elite, it would mean that the field would spread out sooner. As open, it was a chance to lose some bottlenecks and wave to people.
Easy rolling hills for those that are strong with hill repeats and tons of flat, muddy trails, single track only became a problem in the post-typhoon flood areas where everyone slowed to watch their steps.
Aggressive lugged OCR shoes are a must for this course, but I don't recommend the Inov8 X-talons anymore. I'm still hoping Topo will answer my prayers, because I have yet to find an OCR shoe that I like. 3 days later, my Achilles is still killing me.
The Herc Hoist obstacle was completely in water, so the bags were significantly heavier than normal with soaking, muddy ropes to pull. Ankle strength is a must here in Seattle with all the slipping you can do. (We'll talk about ankle work in a different post.)
This was the first year they brought the Beast/Sprint weekend back to this location (although it's been standard for the super), and I was thrilled with it. Easy to get to, easy parking, little traffic before and after the races, and stunning scenery. I hope they continue to make this the location for both the spring and fall races.