The bib numbers have been released. Yours truly will be racing as bib 70164. There is something validating about seeing the words FEMALE Ultra Beast next to your name…
We are expecting over 4,000 obstacle racers. The athletes doing the Beast are facing some stiff competition, as I counted over 400 names in the elite wave alone! The Ultra Beast lists 383 registered participants, mostly male racers.
Predictably, most of the elites are doing the shorter course, including Hobie Call and Rose-Marie Jarry, the top ranking obstacle racers in the series. Despite the necessary muscle required, obstacle racing still seems to favour faster runners, overall. On the flip side, those same faster runners are disadvantaged on longer courses. After doing the Ottawa Beast myself, and talking to many racers about their experience, it seems that fueling for longer distances is what threw most of them for a loop. And, indeed, once you’ve been running for longer than 2-3 hours, it becomes a completely different ball game.
Today and tomorrow are my scheduled off days as per my taper week. I dragged myself through the last weights workout yesterday.
The psychosomatic symptoms started kicking in on the first set. “I think my hamstring is pulled.” “Uh-oh, my wrist feels funny.” “I have a knot in my back.” I’m literally walking around, afraid of people sneezing on me.
There isn’t much left to do. There are only so many ways I can pack and repack my bag. For the next 60 hours or so it’s about getting enough rest, eating clean, and drinking lots of water. In other words, NOT doing anything new. And breathe.
Last year Carrie Adams, the brand manager for the Spartan races, finished her write-up of the Vermont Beast with a video of “After the Storm” by Mumford & Sons.
Get over your hill and see what you find there, With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.