Hot on the heels of a Super & Sprint Weekend in Jacksonville, I hit a double dose of adventure in San Antonio! Mi Amigo DJ Aztec was DJing the whole time and I was thankful to have Jack “The Professor” Gazzo set the running pace for both days. Beautiful weather, a great venue, and almost no mud were the themes for the weekend.
Similar Pandemic Restrictions in San Antonio but this time: spectators were allowed! And “The Speech” was very condensed in the chute. I think they were sending us out every three minutes. As opposed to every five minutes in Jacksonville. Both days we barely had any time to warm up before it was time for three loud AROOs and then onto the course.
Racing with The Professor is one of my favorite adventures. He’s an excellent runner with high visual acuity and an intuitive affinity for good foot placement on the trail. I have no shame saying that I tuck in a few paces behind him and match his pace as well as his footing. (In fairness, he generally has to slow down for me because his natural pace is at least 10% faster than mine.) As an added bonus, when he’s leading the way he is very friendly and boisterous. If he’s not saying, “Good job,” to folks we pass, he’s grunting out, “On your left!” or he’s shouting warnings over his shoulder for my benefit. Like “Rock!” and “Stump!”
Whenever we get to an obstacle, we swap roles. I’ll find the least congested lane and push us through as quickly as possible. Left to his own devices, The Professor is much more cautious than I am. So it isn’t uncommon for me to yell something rude to put a fire his veins. Then when we’re finished, he runs us to the next one.
San Antonio was an interesting mix of narrow wooded trails, wide open fields, and an unusually long stretch down a (thankfully dry!) riverbed. On the Sprint we did like 7 obstacles in the first 2ish miles and then twice as many in the last mile. On the Super we had some rocky uphill climbs, treacherous downhills, and a brief recovery on an access road. Unlike Jacksonville, no water!
We crushed the strength obstacles. Though the first day when we hit the Bucket Brigade, we were in for a shock because it was VERY treacherous footing and a major uphill climb. You could hear people dropping the buckets every couple of seconds and the trail was also pretty narrow. Second day on it was easier (once we knew what was coming.!) But that Bucket Brigade registers as the toughest one in my memory. The other strength obstacles went as expected and our training had us ready for all of them.
We hit the Bender and noticed the safety mats were in the wrong position. Usually when you start (and finish) the obstacle the mats are directly under you, for cushioning. For some reason the mats were about 3 or 4 feet away, under the angled end of the obstacle. Sure, if you fell of the top you’d be glad to have those mats there. (I’ve never seen anyone fall!) But when you came down, if you weren’t careful you would have a significant drop directly onto hard ground. For some reason, this really messed with my head and I was concerned my knees could get injured by a bad landing. So I took extra time and didn’t notice The Professor sailing past me. No injuries resulted, and we were back on the run.
Couple of major victories across both days:
- The Beater loomed large on the Super and it was the SAME setup that Burpee-ed me at Jacksonville! (A TRIPLE Beater with the middle piece very much higher than the first or last pieces.) Thankfully, I had practiced it the day before and tried a new One-One Two-Two technique and officially finished it for the first time! Seconds later, The Professor did the same! I wish we had a picture of him ringing that bell or the look on our faces as we started running to the next obstacle. We were high as kites and made of titanium at that point.
- First time I ever hit a Triple Twister on a Super! And (thankfully) it was the first time I rang the bell. However, it chewed up a LOT of hands and there were folks all around us that got torn up by the time they hit the third stretch.
- The Multi-Rig on the Super had a similar setup to Jacksonville but I was able to swing to the bar this time then transition back to rings and finally ring the bell.
- We both flew across the Monkey Bars with no trouble and lots of strength left in our grips. The Professor can lock-in like a champ and rocks the Sideways Style. I do it Spider Monkey style and zipped across so fast that I did a chin-up on the last bar before ringing the bell.
Everything else was par for the course including several rapid Wall Climbs, our favorite: the Rope Climb, and the Spear Throw. In the end we finished with smiles and as we crossed the final flames, I looked skyward in memory of our friends and family who are no longer with us. They inspired me while they were in my life and I carry their lessons and memories of them with me on all my adventures.
For Saturday we wanted Sub-2:00:00. We got: 1:59:52.
For Sunday we wanted Sub-1:00:00. We got: 55:18.
Next up? A Beast in Seattle and an Ultra in Dallas! AROO!