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11 hours ago, EricMN said:

Holy Shit Why Is It Not December Yet

 

Yes! So much this!

 

11 hours ago, EricMN said:

OCRWC coverage has started in earnest and I am far too geeked up about that.

This is going to be soooo epic!  I can't wait

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

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Tuesday

starwarsheader.jpg

 

I am too excited to function and I am barely able to concentrate, and this is coming from a man who has spent his whole adult life learning coping skills to battle ADHD. 

 

Tuesday was my last workout before I head to Canadia. My friend Mary gave me a short pep-talk at the gym yesterday. She has known me since the beginning, when I joined the first Focus Group at the gym back in 2013 as a sedentary, out-of-shape middle-aged desk worker who weighed over 230lbs (down from a high of around 260), couldn't do laps around the gym without gasping for breath, and couldn't do a single pull-up. I told her I'm genuinely concerned about finishing last among Age Group competitors. She reminded me that even if it happens, it didn't matter because I had qualified to be there not once but twice this year, to quit thinking like the fat man I used to be, and stop doubting myself. Yeah, she's pretty cool like that.

 

I am pretty much packed except for my racing shoes and my hydration belt. I picked out 3-5 items to use in the gear swap. Pretty sure I should be able to trade one of my NSS jerseys for something pretty damned cool.


Run:
Goal: Run a minimum of four days per week.
Result: Thought about it. Knees were still not happy. I want to run on Saturday. Discretion, valor, blah blah blah.


Strength:
Goal: Strength Training Classes 2x per week.
Result: 

Spoiler

20171010_Plus01.jpg

 

20171010_Plus02.jpg

 

 
Goal: 16 pull-ups per day, at least 8 with the towel
Result: Hm.
 
Eat:
Goal: Be at or under my macro goals every day.
macros.jpg

Result:

KCal: 1,885
Protein: 121g
Fiber: 33g
Sodium: 2,834mG.

 

The jersey is going to fit.

 

Last night, during the OCRWC live broadcast, the course map was dropped:

2017_OCRWC_Map.jpg

 

This morning they stopped trolling us.

Spoiler

22384188_1473681972745478_7796082617975336379_o.jpg?oh=7fb8b33ebc3d57dfb851b715df8b8fd5&oe=5A6E21A5

This is a disturbing number of quarter- and half-pipes, warped walls, and ramp walls. 

 

I'm excited about #19, the Sandstorm Monkey Bars:

22219675_10104790652510879_7347555754694866173_o.jpg?oh=f805b93a3273f8cceec12d1b9fb32510&oe=5A80D38B

Bring it. Bring it. BRING IT.

 

This is my last update before I fly out. Let's see if I accomplish anything at all today.

 

22308953_1472786212835054_6484140873028387313_n.jpg?oh=b9bb68b2164e87fa833c38f785c73fab&oe=5A88AF0C

 

19 hours ago, The Most Loathed said:
19 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:
20 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

The Rangers need to band together and send a camera crew to follow and film EricMN live on race day. I'm so stoked for it, I wish I could be there in person to cheer you on!

RangerVision! Now in hi-def.

I'm glad that Sloth is on board for this because I imagine him on fat tire bike with a GoPro following Eric around the course.

Most mountain courses on ski hills mostly follow mountain bike trails so I'm sure Sloth would be right at home. In the meantime, we will make do with my GF using the ski lifts to track me through the course until I run into the woods.

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3 minutes ago, EricMN said:

My friend Mary gave me a short pep-talk at the gym yesterday. She has known me since the beginning, when I joined the first Focus Group at the gym back in 2013 as a sedentary, out-of-shape middle-aged desk worker who weighed over 230lbs (down from a high of around 260), couldn't do laps around the gym without gasping for breath, and couldn't do a single pull-up. I told her I'm genuinely concerned about finishing last among Age Group competitors. She reminded me that even if it happens, it didn't matter because I had qualified to be there not once but twice this year, to quit thinking like the fat man I used to be, and stop doubting myself. Yeah, she's pretty cool like that.

 

Mary is smart. I like Mary.

 

2 minutes ago, EricMN said:

Pretty sure I should be able to trade one of my NSS jerseys for something pretty damned cool.

 

*cough* #bleedyellow *cough* :D

 

5 minutes ago, EricMN said:

This morning they stopped trolling us.

 

That course looks amazing. But, OMG! How much running?? I like how obstacle 4 is "hill climb". surely ALL the running will be hill climbs!

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2020 Races: 
CANCELLED! Spartan Trifecta: Beast: 18-APR / Super :11-JUL / Sprint: 12-JUL

Summer Nuts: 5/6-SEPT / Nuclear Blast: 12-SEPT / Nuclear team race: 04-OCT 

"You have the heart of a Rebel"

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3 hours ago, EricMN said:

Tuesday was my last workout before I head to Canadia. My friend Mary gave me a short pep-talk at the gym yesterday. She has known me since the beginning, when I joined the first Focus Group at the gym back in 2013 as a sedentary, out-of-shape middle-aged desk worker who weighed over 230lbs (down from a high of around 260), couldn't do laps around the gym without gasping for breath, and couldn't do a single pull-up. I told her I'm genuinely concerned about finishing last among Age Group competitors. She reminded me that even if it happens, it didn't matter because I had qualified to be there not once but twice this year, to quit thinking like the fat man I used to be, and stop doubting myself. Yeah, she's pretty cool like that.

 

3 hours ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

Mary is smart. I like Mary.

 

x2. Mary is awesome. Eric is awesome as well. Go kick ass, Eric. 

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21 hours ago, EricMN said:

Pretty sure I should be able to trade one of my NSS jerseys for something pretty damned cool.

 

If that fails for some reaosn just use your Master Jedi mind tricks to something pretty damned cool ;) . What are you thinking you might be able to trade for?

 

SO proud of you sir! 

 

Wolf

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Know, O prince, that once the sun burns out and the earth's core becomes solid and cold, there will come a man to provide the endless energy needed to sustain life and for the planets to keep moving. He is the source of light and the warmth of hope back into the hearts of humanity...." - Dark_Raider

 

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Romans 8:28 (CSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.

 

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I'm a little jealous of Mary getting to give you that pep talk. She is right of course.

 

There is no fear, there is only EricMN's Badrangerassery

There is no failure, only the inevitable victory of EricMN.

There is no defeat, only EricMN.

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I hope you have an amazing time, Eric. Go smash it!

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2020 Races: 
CANCELLED! Spartan Trifecta: Beast: 18-APR / Super :11-JUL / Sprint: 12-JUL

Summer Nuts: 5/6-SEPT / Nuclear Blast: 12-SEPT / Nuclear team race: 04-OCT 

"You have the heart of a Rebel"

"I'll take that as a compliment"

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Go kill it Eric!

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" Always aim for something stupidly crazy." - Charlie Quinn

2019 Races: Cliveden MTR 06/01 | Nuts Challenge 02/03 | Reading Half Marathon 17/03 | W.A.R 27/04 | RRDW 11/05 | Nuclear Oblivion 19/05 | Man vs Lakes 20/07 | Spartan Trifecta Weekend 05-06/10 | OCRWC 11-13/10

 

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I saw a few North Star Spartan shirts when watching the live videos. I hope you're having a while of a time. The 3km course looked amazing.

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Current: Assassins / Instagram

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2020 Races: 
CANCELLED! Spartan Trifecta: Beast: 18-APR / Super :11-JUL / Sprint: 12-JUL

Summer Nuts: 5/6-SEPT / Nuclear Blast: 12-SEPT / Nuclear team race: 04-OCT 

"You have the heart of a Rebel"

"I'll take that as a compliment"

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2017 OCR World Championships

The Blue Mountains, Ontario, Canada

 

2017_OCRWC_Flag.jpg

 

I'm a little overwhelmed trying to process everything from last weekend.


I'm blessed to have been able to travel quite a bit in the past three years while I've been chasing myself as an Obstacle Course Racer, from excited newbie to competent enthusiast to competitive age group racer. Through the whole experience, my GF has been there. I've literally dragged her to the four corners of the lower 48 contiguous US states. We've taken a lot of cheap, crappy flights and stayed in some sketchy hotels. This time, we had saved some money, took decent flights on reputable airlines, stayed at well-reviewed hotels, and ate good meals. Aside from a couple poorly-timed flights that resulted in a couple of short nights' sleep, this was the vacation she has deserved for nearly three years of following me from one out-of-the-way venue to another, leaving her standing more or less in the middle of nowhere for two to ten hours at a time in extreme heat, bone-chilling cold, and conditions that have been variously dirty, dusty, rainy and muddy while I run off to prove... something.

 

Thursday morning we woke well before the crack of dawn for our 6:30 a.m. flight from Minneapolis to Toronto. We drove an hour or so directly from the airport to Niagara Falls and spent a couple hours sightseeing on the Canadian side of the border before having lunch at the Skylon Tower.  It was spectacular.

 

20171012_Niagara.jpg

This would have been worth the trip all by itself.

 

We then took the two-hour drive from Niagara to Blue Mountain to check in and pick up my race packet and get my briefing. We capped the first day with a nice dinner with some of our friends from Minnesota and Wisconsin, talking racing but mostly talking about other stuff that we don't get to talk about when we're standing in compression shorts in a parking lot at home.

 

The whole event experience was amazing. Just walking through the Blue Mountain Resort Village was exciting as you could hear conversations happening in dozens of languages and thousands of accents no matter where you went. I chose to only race on Saturday for the 15K championships. This was a mistake as the 3K short course was fast and obstacle-dense, and would have allowed me to have a run through the rigs. I won't make that mistake again. We spent Friday morning into mid-afternoon spectating, following some of my NSS teammates through the course as well as enjoying Coach Pain's motivational fire at the start line. The 3k course is sent off in waves of no more than 12 runners at a time, two minutes apart, and Coach Pain did a unique speech for every one. His send-off of the men's 25-29 age group waves were especially inspiring as many members of Team Puerto Rico were there, and he recognized the real sacrifice they had made just to get there, bringing cheers from not only the crowd but every competitor in the corral.

 

 

We spent much of the rest of the afternoon tracking some NSS teammates through the course. The 3k course was awesome and we were able to view the majority of obstacles on the course without having to run a 3k ourselves.

 

20171013_OCRWC_QuarterPipe01.jpg

The Mud Hero Warped Wall was right in the middle of the village.

 

20171013_OCRWC_LaGaffe01.jpg

So was La Gaffe du Draveur.

 

20171013_BattleFrogRig.jpg

The Rigs were only a short walk away.

 

The finish line went from the Floating Walls, over a tall slanted wall with short, knotted ropes, and directly into the village. They live up to their motto: "The Best Finish Line in Obstacle Course Racing."

 

The resort also had a gondola open and free for people wearing athlete credentials, and we were able to ride up to the top and see some of the obstacles that would be on the long course the next day. It made for a great day at the race.

 

We had a great dinner at a lakeside restaurant overlooking Lake Huron. After dinner, we went to the roof of the attached hotel and took in the dusk coming in over the lake. It was a gorgeous way to end the day.

 

Woke up Saturday feeling nervous as always, but ready, and did not rush to the venue since my start time was after 1 pm. We were there in plenty of time to see several of my NSS teammates on the course again. Saturday was the full 15k, and it had rained a bit late in the day Friday and some more overnight. Rain over the course of the evening and early morning was making the hills pretty wet, making the 3,000 or so feet of vertical climb even more brutal and taxing everyone out even before the hard obstacles started to appear.

 

22384188_1473681972745478_77960826179753

Pictured: 3,000 or so vertical feet of "fun".

 

We rode the gondola up to the top where the Urban Sky obstacle was, and caught a couple of our teammates there, before coming down so I could have lunch and start to get ready. Eventually it was my turn to head out of the Athlete's Lounge to the start line.

 

20171014_OCRWC_USA.jpg

Representing team and country.

 

 

And then the "fun" began.

 

The first third of the course was an exercise in endurance, with three death-march trudges up to the summit and back down with some ramp and rope walls in between. The hills were so muddy and beat up that for much of the climb, it had to be done as a bear crawl, hands digging into the mud to keep from sliding backward. My legs were smoked by the time I got to the Sandstorm Race monkey bars. They didn't set up the big arch as expected as they could not dig on the course and without water to splash down, the arch was a safety concern. The rig they set up looked tame, like Spartan but without the varying heights to the bars. The spacing was tight in some places but not quite enough to skip bars.

 

20171014_OCRWC_monkey01.jpg

 

20171014_OCRWC_monkey02.jpg

 

Next up was the warped wall:

 

20171014_OCRWC_qpipe01.jpg

 

This was followed by the farmer's carry, and then La Gaffe:

 

20171014_OCRWC_LaGaffe01.jpg

 

20171014_OCRWC_LaGaffe02.jpg

 

This was a slightly different setup than the preview video; there were only three traverses, but the middle one was a 4x4 with some hockey puck grips. This was deceptively difficult, and knowing that I was fighting for time, I was about to give up my band. I even walked over and told my GF that I was done, but she told me to take one more try, and I hit the bell and headed off on the last Death March up the hill.

 

20171014_OCRWC_hillclimb03.jpg

 

My legs seized up with cramps no less than a dozen times on the way up, but I was still in good spirits, only a bit more than two hours in and I still had my band. But then a light drizzle started and we hit the Stairway to Heaven. I have practiced this damn thing for the better part of a year. I wanted it after a failure of confidence at Conquer the Gauntlet in August. And then I proceeded to lose my damn band. There was nothing more to be done but crawl the barbed-wire uphill to Urban Sky.

 

Urban Sky was a rig in three sections with three completion bells, but a failure on any section meant the re-try had to be all the way back at the start.

 

20171014_OCRWC_UrbanSky01.jpg

I fell on my first pass through the swinging bars due to poor grip...

 

20171014_OCRWC_UrbanSky01a.jpg

 

20171014_OCRWC_UrbanSky03.jpg

Fell on my second try on the corkscrews after attempting to skip too many rings...

 

20171014_OCRWC_UrbanSky02.jpg

 

20171014_OCRWC_UrbanSky04.jpg

And made all the way through on my third try.

 

And then the rain really started to come down. By the time I made it to Dragon's Back, it had become a cold, steady rain. I failed to attempt Dragon's Back because it was too slippery to scale to the first platform. It closed right behind me for safety reasons. The Big Wall - an 8-foot wall built out of 8x8 timbers - closed for the same reason right before I got there. The last obstacle on top of the hill was the Log Hop, which was unnecessarily terrifying due to the wet conditions. After that came a 2.5 mile descent down the hill on mountain bike trails that were nothing but sheer climbs and drops of mud, rocks and terror. It took me almost an hour to make it down the hill when it should have taken well under 30. At one point I was on a section of trail with a woman from the UK who said "I did NOT come all the way to Canada to die on a bloody bike trail" and she was not sounding confident that it wouldn't happen anyway.

 

The course was closed, period, 20 minutes behind us.

 

I survived the descent but only had about 40 minutes before the mandatory 5-hour cutoff, and still had several rigs plus the Wreck Bag carry ahead of me. I attempted everything, but the rigs were soaked and there was no gripping the bars or the skull holds in Skull Valley. I was irritated because on a dry day, I would have rocked those rigs, but weather is just another obstacle to contend with and I will have to get better. I ran to the Wreck Bag carry and then slid, slipped and crashed on the way up. The hill on the way down literally looked like the world's grossest slip-and-slide, and it was tempting to set the bag down and ride it to the bottom like Chevy Chase and his sled coated in non-nutritive non-stick spray, but the race director was on the hill and telling people not to try it as some of those who had indeed tried to ride had been taken from the course on a stretcher.

 

My grip was shot, my legs were in a permanent state of cramping, I was out of time and I still hadn't finished when I hit the Floating Walls. I made it through the first set but had nothing left for the final climb.

 

20171014_OCRWC_FloatingWalls01.jpg20171014_OCRWC_FloatingWalls02.jpg20171014_OCRWC_FloatingWalls03.jpg20171014_OCRWC_FloatingWalls04.jpg20171014_OCRWC_FloatingWalls05.jpg20171014_OCRWC_FloatingWalls06.jpg

 

The final rope wall was soaked, the ropes were coated in mud and slimy, and I took the penalty like a punk, walked around the wall and jogged it in to the finish. Including penalties, my finish time was 5:35:39.4, 117 out of 123 in my age group, but so far an official finisher of my first OCR World Championships.

 

2017_OCRWC_Finisher.jpg

 

This was the most miserable, amazing, awesome thing I've ever done. I could have never even qualified for this without the support of everyone here. Thank you for your support.

 

I can't wait for 2018.

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That medal looks even better than last years. I'm so very proud of and happy for you.

50 minutes ago, EricMN said:

This was a mistake as the 3K short course was fast and obstacle-dense, and would have allowed me to have a run through the rigs. I won't make that mistake again.

My favorite line from the whole write-up! Can't wait to see what you do next year.

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"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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There is still no reaction to your post that fully expresses how much I love your recap. Watching you work towards this has been such an amazing experience and I cannot wait to see how much further you get next year. Because I have so much faith that you will be better and stronger and even more amazing. 

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Awesome!

11 hours ago, EricMN said:

This was the most miserable, amazing, awesome thing I've ever done.

Sounds like it.  Next year make sure you get the 3k in as well :) 

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread   Challenge Log   Bodyweight Exercise Library   Recipe Book   Shuffle Club 

 

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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This was exciting to read, but once the rain came in and obstacles started getting shut behind you, it really kicked into a hollywood action film where you're running away from an explosion in the background. A ton of congratulations for qualifying, let alone doing and finishing the course. You sir, are an inspiration to us all. Get some rest, you've earned more than your fair share. I'll see you on the flip side in Sparta ;)

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