My 2018 season officially ended after the OCRWC. The OMM was a fun event that I planned to do with a friend to mark the end of months of high pressure racing, and to mark the start of the off season adventures. Winning the Spartan World Championships in Lake Tahoe didn’t make me change this romantic plan, I still went to the OMM and followed through exactly how I had planned to, I just bolted on a ‘bonus’ event the weekend after. This was in the form of the Spartan Trifecta World Championships in Sparta, Greece. To win this would keep me in the running to win all the spartan world championship events (and apparently a million dollars).
My trust of this million dollar challenge extended about as far as I would trust drinking the muddy water in an OCR, but I figured a trip to sunny Greece before winter came would be nice, no matter how my presence was used.
The Trifecta World championships is not a single race but a combination of the three spartan race distances: Sprint (5-8km), Super (12-16km) and Beast (21-32km) all in the space of a weekend. Saturday morning would be the Super, Saturday afternoon the Sprint and finishing with a chasing start Beast on the Sunday to crown the overall winner.
My main goals with the first race, the Super, was to stay injury free and not to push too hard, whilst not loosing too much time to the other athletes. Smashing up my knees, ankle and hand by falling over on the first proper downhill and remembering the wrong memory test code screwed my goals up… still though, I was less than a minute behind when I crossed the finish line in third place.
Next up was the Sprint. Pushing harder than I had planned I won, earning myself a little over 30 seconds head start before Albert Soley Castells in second and Richard Hynek in third.
Come Sunday morning I was banged up and stiff from the previous days exploits, I was exceedingly happy to finally be able to race hard and leave everything out on the course. Trying to save energy in a race isn’t overly fun and I think the lack of concentration can easily result in mistakes being made.
As with any spartan race there isn’t much room for error. Only one attempt is awarded for each obstacle and failing results in a 30 burpee penalty. It’s an easy thing to screw up a balance beam or a slack line when under pressure, even easier when you have to hit a spear throw or remember a set sequence of symbols on a memory test.
My focus levels were high though and I slowly ticked of each obstacle that I figured I could fail. The kilometres ticked away too and my watch had logged over 30km by the time I was crossing the finish line, still in first.
I hadn’t made it easy for myself the day before, but still being able to start first was nice and I am proud that I managed to hold it together all the way to the finish without any mistakes.
Within seconds of crossing the line I was bombarded with question about Iceland and the ‘million dollars’ bonus. It has been a few days now and my answer is still the same. For now, I am happy to have a few days to rest and to see how my body feels. It has been a long season and I can’t think of many athletes that would race as much as I seem to.
It seems there is also a question of qualification. Spartan are claiming that I haven’t qualified to race in Iceland. I take this as either a personal slight, where they are saying I am not good enough to toe the line, another hoop they are lining up to make it harder for me to win or simply another opportunity for them to use me in spartan promotions. Whatever happens, I’ll be basing my decision to race or not on how I feel and what my most trusted advisers think…