Jay and I have both really wanted to run the Savage Race ever since we first heard about it. The timing just never worked out for us, though. There was always a different race that we had already registered for or some other unbreakable plans that shared the date. This particular event was no exception to the poor timing. My baby sister was graduating high school on that day. There was no way I’d be able run to run an OCR and still make it to the ceremony. And there was no way I’d be able to handle the wrath that would come from a teenage girl upon missing one of the biggest days in her life so far. So even though I had the strong desire and the coupon codes to back it up, I didn’t register.
Then Jay registered us. He counted it as a belated Mother’s Day present. He registered under non-Early Bird conditions and with no discount code – the
cheap-ass bitch frugalista in me cringed for 2 whole weeks over this.
We were registered for the 9:40 wave. Theoretically, we could be done in time and haul ass back to NY in time for the 6pm graduation ceremony. No big deal.
Then something happened that made me almost say “Fuck you Savage Race! I’m outta here”- they gave us a 12:20 wave time. Little did I know that it said in the registration form that the wave times were not guaranteed. That’s not really cool, but they did say it so I couldn’t really get angry over that. I contacted Savage Race about my not being able to do such a late wave because of the graduation. They responded very quickly with an answer that pretty much just said “jump into an early wave” without actually saying to just jump into an earlier wave. Phew. The day had been saved.
The June 28 race day came. The kid got dropped off at the sitter’s house by 6:50AM and we were in TheMiddleOfNowhere, PA (Also known as Skirmish USA) before 9AM. Parking cost $10 but it was right at the event location. No shuttles,. No 2 mile walk to get to registration. Just stumble out of the car and onto the packet pick-up line. We didn’t use bag check because the car was actually just as close as the bag check tent. Cool.
By 9:18 we had met up with teammate Phil (who ran Tough Mudder and the VT Beast with us,) slapped on our bibs, hit the portopotties, and scarfed down some Honey Stinger Waffles. At 9:20, the second wave of the race was taking off. At 9:20:03, the 3 of us looked at each other and then shot into the corral and out of the gate with the last of that wave (with the blessing of the security dude that was standing there.)
We ran for less than 100 yards before hitting the first obstacle. This was going to become a very nice pattern- 5 miles and 24 obstacles made for the best distance-to-obstacle ratio I’ve ever experienced.
The first obstacle was Shriveled Richard. It was really just a shorter version of Tough Mudder’s Arctic Enema- a refreshing dip in a Dumpster full of ice water. It may be a rip-off obstacle, but Savage gets points for the name.
Next up was the Big Ass Cargo Net (seriously- check the website. this is really how they name things,) Slippery Incline Wall and a Low Crawl under a cargo net. Then came a run through some woodsy terrain that they called Trail Mix. Me So Thorny was the next obstacle, consisting of barbed wire above and to the sides.
This was followed by Swamp Ass (running through mucky woodsy terrain) and the 96″ Stiffie (Savage-speak for 8′ wall). Then Lumberjack Lane turned out to be a log carry, but with lumber.
Then I got to become a pretty pretty Princess in a castle!!
In the castle there was Kiss My Walls (traverse wall) which I fell off of. Twice. I would have kept trying but time was of the essence for this race. After leaving the castle there was Barn Doors (slatted walls) followed by a run through more woods to Colon Blow 5000. I shit you not. That is what they call their muddy tube crawl. After that, was more mud in Thor’s Grundle- mucky trench with barriers you had to go under.
More mud came with their true barbed wire crawl, Mud N Guts. It was much higher than Spartan Race’s ≤8″ high wires, but lower than what you’d typically see at a non-Spartan OCR.
Davy Jones’ Locker was a cliff jump a la TM’s Walk the Plank. I was all ready to just run right off that mofo and just get over myself, but, no. My overzealous sense of self-preservation put the brakes on that and left me whining like a bitch at the top and not wanting to jump. I did it, eventually, but still felt dumb.
The Nutt Smasher (balance beam) followed. Then Sawtooth, which was a monkey bar obstacle with an extra bump in it.
Mud Walls were a new concept that I though was pretty cool. Walls set inside a mud trench. The watery mud came up above my knees, so it definitely made it harder to jump up and over the wall. Not super difficult, but different.
Back Scratcher was a set of over/under walls. Prairie Dog was some mud berms and tunnels- easy peasy. Tazed was akin to TM’s Electric Eel- a crawl through the mud with electroshock wires dangling over you. According to Tough Mudder, as a Legionnaire I have the right to bypass electroshock. I exercised that right and skipped the shocks. After that, was Blazed (AKA Fire Jump) which injured Katie did and looked awesome doing it, too.
The final obstacle was Colossus. A half pipe (like TM’s Everest) with a giant water slide down the back. I skipped this one, too. Honestly, there was no good reason. I just knew that I got really scraped up and bruised doing it at TM and didn’t really want that to happen again. Maybe if I wasn’t heading to the graduation later, I would have gone for it.
The three of us triumphantly strolled across the finish line to receive our medals 1 hour and 52 minutes after darting through the start line. The medals were a slight disappointment, being pretty small by OCR standards. What I liked, was that you could go to the merchandise tent and get a FREE decal! Kind of a little bit makes up for the tiny medal because now my car has bling, too.
We didn’t get to hang out at the festival area much because of the graduation I had to head to, but it seemed like it was good. There was a DJ there playing a good variety. The food smelled delicious as there was an Italian sausage and peppers cart that I heard also had Philly cheese steaks. Nom nom. The negatives: 1) you had to buy tickets and use the tickets to buy the food and 2) the beer was Miller Lite.
All in all, though, it was a super-fun, well-organized, muddy good time. Sure, a lot of the obstacles were rip-offs of other events, but I almost felt like this race took the good stuff from all the bigger races and put them together in a perfect storm of OCR awesomeness. I will absolutely be doing this one again. 🙂
Oh, and I did make it back in plenty of time to see my little baby sis walk across our high school’s football field and get her diploma. I may or may not have cried.