This weekend was my first time going to the Asheville Super/Sprint weekend. I had missed it last year so I was looking forward to checking it out, as I had heard the area had some amazing views!
However the entire week leading up to the race, it rained in North Carolina and they had flood warnings. We drove in Friday early enough to go to the Open House and it was a swamp! The festival area was especially rough, the muddy water was over your ankles in many spots. It even rained several times during the Open House. Getting out of the parking lot was a mess, several people got stuck and had to be pushed or towed out.
Saturday morning it was cool but not raining! Very happy with that. Got our packets and got ready to race. Getting through the festival area was quite the adventure, your feet were immediately soaked and covered in mud upon entering. But everyone was in great spirits and ready to race.
Got in my starting corral, heard the announcements and then we’re off!
Just going to go over the highlights of the race instead of every obstacle.
First obstacle wasn’t until about a mile into the race. Lots and lots of creeks and rivers to run/walk through. You couldn’t see anything in the water so when there was a drop or big rock, it would catch me by surprise. Bashed my knees a couple times, so I took my time going through.
Z Walls were in the middle of a swamp of mud. The water was so high you were starting with mud soaked shoes no matter what you did. So that 1st block was super treacherous. Took my time and maintained contact, and was able to get around and hit the bell.
Things went south after that. Next obstacle was Multi-Rig. A mixture of rings and short ropes. I always start on the lanes on the end because that’s where the red blocks are on and since I’m 5″ 5, I need those blocks. Started swinging and I’m on the 3rd ring, reaching for the next one. All of a sudden this guy knees me in the back, causing me to spin around like a top. I managed to grab my ring with both handles but was unable to hold on and fell off. Too say I was mad was an understatement. Not sure why a fellow AG racer would be so out of control on the rig that they hit another racer that hard. Fortunately I was able to control my fall. Walked over and did 30 burpees.
Inverted wall and Rope Climb were covered in mud and very slippery. First time I almost failed inverted wall. Had to really make sure I had a good grip before I pulled myself over. The Rope I had to do quickly before I slipped and lost what little grip I had.
Tire Flip followed. It was in a grassy area that was soaked. Tired were soaked as well of course and there was lots of water inside the tires. Not sure why the tires don’t have small holes in them to allow them to drain. Struggled for about 5 minutes trying to get the tire over. Could barely make it budge. Never was able to get my hands under it fully. When I would try to lift my hands would slip out. Gave up and did my burpees. Burpee pit was full, with men much bigger than me failing it as well. So I took a little solace in that.
Olympus was next. One of my favorite obstacles. Haven’t failed it in a long time. My arms were tired from the burpees though and I had to stop several times. Got to the end to reach for the hole by the bell and I slipped right off. No idea what happened, felt like my arm just gave up on me. 30 more burpees. We’re at 90 now.
Monkey bars. Forget about it. My arms were exhausted and the bars were so covered in water that I could see the droplets hanging from the bars. Gave it my best shot but I could feel my grip giving out. Felt like I was going to fall right off so I dropped down. I’ll be honest, fear had taken over me and saw several bad falls. Took the L and did 30 more burpees.
After this we’re a series of climbs that lasted forever. You would turn a corner and continue to go up. They really used all the elevation they could on the course!
To say Bender was treacherous was an understatement. Super slick. Took my time and made sure I had a firm grip. Falling off that would hurt!
Up next was a new obstacle pictured above: Great Wall! It’s the Stairway to Sparta obstacle but they filled in some of the gaps with boards that had hand grips on them. There was a decent backup at this obstacle as people didn’t seem to know how to tackle it. For me the easiest thing to do was basically pull myself up until I could get a foot on top of a grip. If you’re good at doing pull ups, this obstacle shouldn’t be too tricky. Was pretty awesome to see something unexpected at a race.
Had to do Armer and then Twister. Again same issues. My arms had nothing in them at this point and the bars being wet didn’t help. Fell off about midway through. 30 more burpees. 150 now.
A Frame was in the middle of the quarry. Amazing view Bucket brigade after that was short and flat. Thank goodness!
Back to the festival and a long barbed wire crawl. We even went under a wooden bridge. Got to the spear throw. 8/10 so far on the year. Throw was straight but didn’t have the power and fell short. 30 more burpees.
Over the bridge and to the last obstacle: Herc Hoist. I tried several ropes. Could not get the bag to budge. Think it was a combination of the rope being covered in mud, plus my arms being completely exhausted. 30 more burpees. 210 total. Ironically the men’s first place elite male Ryan Kent also failed Herc Hoist and had to do 30 burpees. So that made me feel not as bad.
Sundays Sprint was basically the same thing but several less obstacles and less climbs.
One thing about this sport: it humbles you FAST! I went from a burpee free race at Palmerton, to a PR 210 penalty burpees at Asheville. 7 failed obstacles. I’m pretty sure in the 10 previous races this year, I haven’t failed that many combined! Just wasn’t my weekend at all. I have a lot of things I need to work on. My grip and strength need to get better, as well as my endurance. I don’t want to have another race like this again!
As always, thanks for reading. I welcome any comments or questions. Also if you have suggestions for things I could post about, let me know!! 🤡👍🏽👍🏽