This past weekend I ran the NJ Beast on Saturday and Sunday. Up until now, I had never run any 2 races on back to back days. But in order to complete my minimum goal this year of a 3X Trifecta, I knew I was going to have to get my Beast races in when I could. Since the majority of them are quite far from me, I knew I would need to get in as many of the close ones as I could. So the brilliant idea of doing NJ twice was formed.
Was feeling pretty good going into Saturday. Had rested well and carb loaded that week so I was feeling strong. Made a mistake at breakfast though: went with a very light breakfast instead of a filling meal and that ended up hurting me in the race.
As soon as I got to the venue I ran into several Spartans I knew from IG and the FB groups. Always cool to be able to put faces to usernames.
Race started and we were off. Decent incline to start separated a lot of runners so there wasn’t too much congestion. Hay bales and wall were no issue. More inclines then the monkey bars. Marshalls were adamant about not “kicking the bell”. I don’t understand why anyone does, seems like that’s more work. But whatever, got through the bars then headed downhill.
Dunk wall was next. More of a mental obstacle. Water was so cold! Definitely woke u up if you weren’t already. Then the Slip wall which was obviously already even sloppier because of all the water from the previous obstacle. But again no issues, just took my time so I didn’t slip.
More uphill climbs then a log carry. Wasn’t bad, was actually fairly short compared to log carries at other locations. Some walls followed plus A-frame. Basically a abbey u climb to the top then climb down the other side.
Tyrolean Traverse followed. Long horizontal rope u have to shimmy upside down on. Hardest part is the wear on your arms and legs. Using compression on your legs really helps to prevent any rope burn or cuts. Plate drag followed this. No issues, actually felt fairly light compared to previous races. Was able to do it standing up. I’m thinking my training has to do something with that since they used the same weight. Progress!
More walls then the multi rig, my favorite. These type of obstacles are usually my strong point since I work on my grip strength a lot in training. Got a little slowed down with the transition from the baseball to a ring, but I was able to recover and finish strong.
Got to a new obstacle, Olympus. Basically a wall with only handholds, holes, and chains to hold onto, nothing for your legs. I got about halfway through and my legs fell down. So I was just hanging by my arms. Was able to power through a couple more holds, but my arms were exhausted and I ended up falling off about 3 holds from the bell. Very disappointed but now that I had tried it I felt better about it for next time.
Missed the spear throw again, so back to back burpee penalties for me. Flew through barbed wire, but I just couldn’t get over the 8 foot wall. I wouldn’t accept assistance since I was running competitive, so more burpees for me. 90 burpees in all so far.
Hurdles next, then a cargo net. No problem. Herc hoist was up afterwards. Struggled with this at Greek Peak so I was determined today. Powered through it, had it almost at the top and my arms started to scream. Was luckily able to finish getting it to the top and bring it down. I had forgotten to put my gloves on so my hands were burning from the rope. Have to remember that for next time.
My light breakfast started to hurt me around this point. Started getting side stickers. Tried to eat some protein bars and that helped a little. Plus I also rolled my right ankle around this point so I was moving a little slower.
Up afterwards was a sandbag carry through a very muddy part of terrain. Was slow going, didn’t want to lose a shoe. Z Walls followed, basically a horizontal wall climb, then another new obstacle, Bender. Basically it’s like 4 vertical pull up bars, and then you have to bend yourself over the bar. Not really an issue, but I could see how it would be tricky for some people.
Atlas carry followed that. Always a tough one for me. Lifting a super heavy rock up, carrying it to one side, 5 burpees, then carry it back. Took my time with that. Tried to roll it up my leg but then I couldn’t stand up. So I just lifted it quickly and powered through.
Long descent down a hill towards the worst obstacle of the day: the Bucket Brigade! This was the longest bucket carry I had ever seen and it seemed like it never started. Filled my bucket at the bottom then started on up. Had to make multiple stops on the way up, arms where on fire. Luckily downhill was much easier, but I took my time with it. Didn’t want to spill my bucket and I knew I was going to need to save some arm energy for the last 2 obstacles.
New obstacle: Twister. Basically rotating handlebars that you navigate down the rig. Think the hardest part is that this obstacle was down at the bottom so there was tons of crowds watching. Gave my arms a minute to recover, then started down the rig. Began with a sideways motion but that wasn’t working so well so I went with a forward motion instead. That worked well for me, and I was able to quickly get through this obstacle. That felt really freaking good, but my arms were quite tired by this point. Rope climb followed and I was feeling really nervous. I didn’t want to do burpees. So I relaxed for a minute then powered up the rope. Tried to use my legs but apparently I still don’t have that technique down so I went with all arms. Was able to get up to the top and swipe at the bell but I missed! Pulled myself up again and made sure I hit that bell! Felt really good but my arms were so spent I pretty much fell down the rope. Picked up my Camelbak and headed for the Fire Jump and my hard earned Beast medal!
Was an awesome course that tested me a lot physically. My goal time was 6 hours and I finished in 5:26 so I felt pretty good about that. Met some awesome Spartans on the course and got to celebrate some finishes. Was bruised up afterwards and feeling it on the ride home. But I kept reminding myself “you have to do this all again tomorrow!”
I’ll be writing a post about Day 2 shortly. Any questions or comments are appreciated as always!! AROO!!