Jeff Cain, Taylor Clark, Mitchell Dyer, Chris JohnsonNice race!  Yes, it was cold (30ish), snowing, and all the obstacles were covered with ice, but it was only a sprint, so easy enough to tough out for 30ish minutes.  This 2nd installment of the Rampage was held at the Kentucky Horsepark, apropos for a speed race.  Five aspects of this race caught my attention.  1.  It was flat   2. There was lots of running in a creek, which I thoroughly enjoy.  3.  The aforementioned ice/snow on all the walls.   4.  There was a bonfire, which was a great way to keep finishers from bolting directly to their vehicles.  5.  The course was very well marked, the importance of which cannot be overstated considering that the leaders don’t have anyone to ‘follow’.

At 8:00 a.m., the horn cut through the frost, signalling those of us competitive enough to sign up for the elite/competitive heat to get a move one  It was a good quarter mile sprint out of the gates before the first obstacle: a series of deep trench jumps.  After that, the real running began.  Taylor Clark, who I had the pleasure of talking extensively with afterwards, bolted out first and set a blistering pace.  I kept him in catchable sight for awhile, but realized that my base training wasn’t enough to sustain that throughout the entire race.  Besides that, Mitchell Dyer was right on my heels.  Mitchell overtook me on one of the wall climbs after I made the mistake of taking the steepest wall with the unknotted rope.  That rope was nothing but a flexible piece of ice and did absolutely nothing to get me up that slanted, yet almost verticle wall of ice .  I finally switched ropes and scrambled my way up and over.  Mitchell pulled away a little and the race was decided after that.  One or two guys were close behind me, but I gradually lengthened the distance through the creeks and fresh-cut trails.  With a mile or so to go, I could see Mitchell, but no one behind me was in sight.  It was about that time that I finally got comfortable with the run and picked up my pace through the end.  I finished considerably stronger than I started, probably because I always hate the start of races when I feel like my heart is going to explode.  Injury report??  Well, after getting home and taking a hot shower to eliminate the cold-induced numbness, I can feel my knee and foot injuries, but nothing so bad to prevent me from starting the next race.

Simple Brandz Granola and Inov-8 Roclite Super special thanks to Inov-8 for providing me with the Roclite 295s that enabled to zip up, around, and through the mud and to Simple Brandz Granola for fueling me to a 3rd place finish in the competitive heat!

After the race, I found my way to the bonfire for awhile, changed out of wet clothes, chatted with Taylor and Mitchell, waited for the awards ceremony, and then stuck around to watch my neighbor (and friend), David Masters (there’s the shout-out!), race at 11:00.

There are still more dates on the 2013 Extreme Rampage schedule.  I don’t always say this, but I can safely iterate that for one of the smaller, start-up regional races, the Extreme Rampage is coordinated pretty well.  If you’re in the area, you might as well give it a try.