Friday, November 24, 2017

FLORIDA FALL SAVAGE RACE 2017... a review.

Although Pure Florida is primarily a nature and Florida rural life blog, it's no secret that I love Obstacle Course Racing (OCR).
So it is time for another OCR review.
This time it is the SAVAGE RACE and specifically the Florida Fall Savage Race that was held on November 11-12, 2017.
Let's not waste time here ... I LOVE SAVAGE RACE!
Here's why...

Look at that course map above.
The folks at Savage jam 29 obstacles into 7 miles.
29!
By comparison, I ran a Half-Tough Mudder in October, and while it was fun enough, the 5 mile course had 10 obstacles.
About 5 of those were challenging or at least creative. It was fun, but for a similar length run, it had much fewer real obstacles.


I run Savage every Spring and every Fall, so I think this recent run was number 8 for me.
So I know something about this course.
Savage likes to advertise that their race is "the perfect length", and I have to agree.
With a 7 mile course, you have more bragging rights than the typical 5K run, and with Savage it's never long until you come to the next obstacle.
At 59 ... almost 60, I appreciate the break in running offered by lots of obstacles.

Below: Not every Savage obstacle is super challenging, but these timbers aren't made of Balsa wood.
This year there were actual mud/water obstacles at the Savage Run thanks to a very active 2017 hurricane season.
Mud and water are fun, but the main focus at a Savage Race is upper body challenges.
They do a superior job at this, and every season, new tougher obstacles are added.

Above, I'm getting my "mind right" as Tony Horton would say, before I start the "Wheel World" obstacle.
The score so far is Wheel World 1, Powers 2. I failed it the very first time I tried it, but have had 2 victories since then.
The pinwheels spin and their are 4 or 5 of them to navigate. The important thing is to not lose your momentum. 
If you get hung up on a spinning wheel, you are probably toast.

Above, that's my, "Holy Smokes, I've lost my momentum!" face. It happened on the next to the last wheel, and it felt like an eternity before I could calm that spinning wheel down and make a lunge for the last wheel.
It was close, but I beat it again.
The nearly vertical slide is your reward after you beat the warped wall known as "Colossus". It is ridiculously fun and fast.
I'm just holding my nose so that when I hit the pool of water below, I don't have filthy water forced up into my sinuses.
No need to risk inviting one of our Florida brain-eating amoebas into my head.

I do the same thing on the 15 foot high water leap obstacle too.
 It's the biology teacher in me.



Leaping over fire near the end of the run is not difficult, but it can result in some cool, "Yeah, I leap over fires all the time" sweet pics.

So let's talk about race photographs before we close this review. 
I always wear a GoPro and I often run solo, so my video is almost 100% POV.
That means I really count on those free race pics that most OCR's offer post race.
This Fall Savage Race had the best pics of any race I have run and I've been OCR'ing for 5 years now.
Rugged Maniac and Spartan do a good job with this too, but Savage is holding the first place spot currently when it comes to quantity and quality of free pics.
(TIP: don't pin your race bibb to the back of your shirt or too low on the front. You find your post race photos by bibb number, and if it doesn't show in the photo, the software wont' match the photo to you. Also, a low on the front bibb may get rubbed off crawling through obstacles.)

I'm ending where I started, I love the Savage Race. 
Some reasons in a nutshell:
  • Extremely well run.
  • Very reasonable price.
  • Reasonable bag check and parking prices.
  • "The perfect length"
  • A multitude of obstacles
  • A beautiful venue (in FL).
  • The right mix of obstacle difficulty.
  • New creative obstacles every season.
  • Great post-race pics.
  • Great volunteer staff.
One change I would make is reinstate the corral fencing aisles at Colossus. These used to be present and they offered just the right amount of static crowd control. Without them, the crowd of runners are kind of a an unorganized blob and they are too close to Colossus, so the "run-up" distance is shorter than it used to be.

Savage Race is a gem in the crown of OCR and I already have my ticket for the next one in the Spring.

But, before that, I have to survive the "12-14 mile" Spartan Beast on December 9, 2017.
I love Spartan Race too, but ... what the hell was I thinking when I signed up for that one?



A few highlights of my Savage Race follow:


4 comments:

Anchor Cottage said...

That's "rock star" attitude!

paullamb said...

Your arms must feel shredded after that!

Thanks for the lesson on Gu!

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