Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2013 Kansas City Ruckus Run Obstacle Course Race Recap - 4/6/13 - by @RuckusSports

By now, you probably have realized I ran the Ruckus Run...
As a part of Man Vs Triathlon, Endurance and More.  The Ruckus team was gracious enough to grant me and my daughter complementary entries into the Challenge and Mini Ruckus.  I ran the challenge and my 5 year daughter ran the Mini, in case you were wondering if I opted for the kids course.  ;)

Some background...
Check out my review HERE.  It gives a little more in depth info about what I thought of the course and the event overall, aside from my personal performance in my wave.

Results can be found HERE for the Champion's Heat winners.  While I didn't race the Champion's Heat, I think I might have qualified.  More on that later.

My Results
So, what you really want to know is how did I do?  We'll just jump to that right now so you don't have to speed read the BS to get to what you really want to know.  ;)

Well, my goal was to get into the Champion's Heat.  After racing in 2011 and 2012, I figured I had enough background to know what works and enough aerobic endurance to make it happen.

Here's what I ended up with:
  • Time : 36:22 minutes
  • Pace : 9:06 / mile
  • Ruckus Challenge Overall Place : 49/915, 5.4%
  • Age Group Place for Male 0-44 : 46/481, 9.6%

NOW, technically to make the Champion's Heat, I had to reach the top 10% of my age group, which I was at the 9.6% mark.  So, technically I qualified.  Why didn't I hit the Champ's Heat?  Well, we had  5 year old that had called it good after racing the Mini course 7 times and changed her clothes.  Her day was done in her eyes.  So, after looking around and waiting for the results updates to be posted on site, I glanced at the qualifiers around 11:20AM and my name was still not on the list.

We opted to head home to get the little one some rest time and called it good.  In retrospect I'm not sure if my name would have shown up if I would have waited?  I hit the 9:40 start time, so to wait until at least noon for a final confirmation would have put a strain on the 5 year old. It would have been fun to go one more time, but the winner run a sub 30 minute race and there's no way I'm going from 36 to sub 30 on the course for the second time in one day. I knew I had no shot at winning the coveted golden helmet.  Oh well.

That is a 3 minute improvement from 2011 and 2012.  But, since they change the course up every year, it's hard to really compare.  The start was a lot more cross country running and my goal was to stay out in front away from the crowd.  More on that later.  It's an improvement, so I'll take it.

Yes, I ran MY race.
It was as simple as my suggestions and tips.  Stay in front early to avoid obstacle congestion and be as comfortable as possible where my only issue to focus on was breathing.

I was immediately anaerobic running the close to 3/4 mile at the start with no real obstacles besides a couple of little creek crossings.  It worked out great as I stayed behind the lead dude in my heat and was only passed by one other guy.  I figure coming in 3rd in my heat was a significant achievement in itself.

I did get hung up at Mt Ruckmore where there were lines forming for the cargo net from previous heats.  It was a slippery slope (in more ways than one) to somewhat ignore "sportsmanship" and not wait in line.  One on hand you're racing to get to the champion's heat, and on the other sportmanship would dictate that you wait your turn.  I opted to compromise and climb the edges where the footing wasn't as stable.  I guess it worked.  No one cussed me out and I didn't fall.

Let it also be known that when you plunge into 40 to 50 degree water and jump back out into 50 degree temps with 20mph winds, your legs tend to stop working as well.  Lets just say that after the 4 to 5 water obstacles and climbing mud hills, it was all I could do to keep one foot in front of the other and not start walking and call it good.  The Ironman shuffle comes to mind on that last mile.  It's a good thing it was through the spectator area to keep you motivated, or it was going to be tough sledding with no adrenaline to keep you going.

Ankle Socks
Trail Running Shoes - old and laced TIGHT
Compression Shorts
Running Shorts with a Waist Tie
Form Fitting MVT T-Shirt

It all worked great.  They did have an army crawl on steel pipe beams that required using the toes of the shoes to avoid rope burn by hooking your ankles.  After all the water and mud, my shoes just slid off so I ended up hanging and traversing with my hands.  That zapped me a little bit, but it got me through.

It was a good day all around
They had plenty for kids, they had plenty for adults and there was enough going on for spectators and racers.  I had a great time as did my daughter running the Mini course 7 times.

They only things I would change would be the charging for spectators this year and the down-grade of t-shirt quality.  2012 was super nice tech t's, and this year was white cotton t's.  Mine had mud on it as soon as they handed it to me at the finish line and it's probably forever grimied up from post race handling.  It's all good.

But, that's an expensive day with parking and if you wanted to buy food there.  Luckily I had an entry for me and my daughter, but it would be a pricey day to race, park and have people come and watch.

When looking at my race calendar, I'm not a big 5k person and generally try and keep the disruption to family life at a minimum.  I pick the races I really want to run and Ruckus has become one of them.  It's also special to have been in each race for the past 3 years trying to improve my time and placing.  The course and event is great as you can get out whatever you want to put in.  If you want a good workout, it's got that.  If you want to test yourself, red-line your heart rate for 30 minutes and see what you can do.

The race was well stocked with staff and volunteers.  Every obstacle was manned and racers didn't have to go through one if they were not comfortable in doing so. It appeals from the occasional 5k racer to Ironman triathletes alike.

I wonder what 2014 will bring for Ruckus Kansas City.

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