Tougher Northeast - Race Recap Battle for 4th
Previous Year: Placed 6th Overall at Tougher Northeast
Current Year: Placed 4th Overall @ 1:43:34
2 hours prior
½ cup oatmeal, 1 cup of coconut milk, 2 tbsp peanut butter
16oz water with 1 nuun tab (electrolytes)
30 Minute Before
(1) Stinger Gel
During: Non, energy felt consistent.
Course Profile: Mountain Course w/2,500 feet of elevation gain.
Pre-Start Warm Up: 5 minutes of lunges, high kicks, butt kicks, short 5-10 seconds sprints, and some jumping around using calves.
Start Mile 1 : The course started uphill and the positions almost immediately sorted themselves out, I was in 1st up until about halfway through mile one that the faster climbers took the leads in 1-4th place.
Miles 2-5 Battle for 4th: I was right behind 4th place within ass grabbing distance of Grayson Keith. We approached some rolling hill, observing that he was bigger than me, I strategized my take over for 4th. I ran fast enough to settle in right behind him and inhale/exhale audibly so that he knew I was right behind him, and one of two things would happen, he’d either run faster to escape thus killing his energy or the adrenaline/pressure of having someone that close would make him slow down. Well one of those happened on an uphill section where I reminded myself too 1. Increase my cadence and take shorter steps. I kept repeating “STEADY on the uphill CAPTAIN, don’t burn those legs out”. Then we came up to one of our first obstacles “Just the Tip” him looking a little heavier I knew he would be slow through it and I just flew right through the obstacle. Once I completed it, no time to settle, let’s create the biggest gap possible. Fortunately there was a steady decline and I opened up my stride, ran the straightest possible lines, and activated TURBO and average sub 8:30 miles and at one point a 5:30 pace.
Miles 5-7: Having locked in fourth it was time to put in more work and just continue to haul ass. Around mile six we approached this insane incline, maybe 40-45%! I just told myself, don’t look up and this is what all of those front squats, walking lunges, weighted lunges, 2-3 inch weighted lunges were all about and my legs, honestly, didn’t have the slightest burn in them...reminded myself “increase cadence and shorten the stride”
Miles 7-8 Reach the Peak: Mud Mile obstacle somewhere in the middle of climb, this is the first time I saw 5th and 6th after completing it, “shit time to turn on the afterburners”. The remainder of the climb would be combination of uphill running and fast hiking, I kept looking back and they were nowhere in sight but I didn’t want to risk it and continued to push through.
Miles 8-10 Stupid, stupid, Javier: I didn’t fail any obstacles on the downhill sprint to the finish but I did make one big mistake, I didn’t have any gaiters to protect rocks, debris and mud from getting inside of my shoes. This was one of the most painful finishes because I didn’t want to stop to clear anything and risk losing my place. So I kept repeating to myself in a Deadpool voice “stupid, stupid Javier”.
Finish: No issues with the finishing obstacles and sprinted to the finish and interviewed with Obstacle Running Adventures about my finish.