It was cold, windy and 180 people ran. It was a good time. I finished 7th out of 180 with a time of 22:45.
I’ve recently been on a roll running 5k’s, marathons, Tough Mudders and the o2x Summit Challenge in Windham, NY on October 25th, 2014. This year was o2x first year doing racing and I had the opportunity to participate in the last race of the year at Windham.
So what’s o2x? It’s a race series focused around mother nature and her natural obstacles without destroying or alternating the existing terrain. This makes a really cool race environment because its nature at its best!
The races are currently classified in “diamonds” much like you would find when skiing, for example the single diamond is ~1,000 vertical gain and around 3-5 miles in length, the double diamond is roughly ~2,000 vertical gain and 6-7 miles in length and the final most difficult is the triple diamond which is ~3,000 vertical gain and 7+ miles in length.
The race I participated in was a single diamond race in Windham, NY and the terrain consisted of streams, rocks, boulders and a lot of up hill running. The morning weather was cool and the ground on the trail was covered in leaves and wet. Three waves were scheduled 9am, 9:30am and 10am and I was in the first wave. We started at the base of the mountain and quickly made our way up to a massive boulder which we had to crawl through. They had two water stations throughout the course, a few people carried bottles of water or ran with a small camelbak. At the top of the mountain you got a really kick ass o2x water canteen for finishing and some hot cider.Oh and a really cool gondola ride to the bottom!
I’ll be honest I’m addicted to the o2x races and I’m trying to determine if I want to purchase a season pass next year. The biggest challenge is making sure I can attend all the events since I’ll have to travel a pretty decent distance so I’ll have to decide if the trade off is worth it. On the flip side, I like the premise of o2x, I like being in nature and I like that I’m less battered when completed as compared to a Tough Mudder.
The swag bag is also the best I’ve ever seen. It included a pair of mens or womens Lululemon running shorts, tshirt and a Juti bar.
Below are some pictures taken of me during the event. You can view more from the Windham race at Gameface Media.
I recently picked myself up a pair of Brooks PureGrit 3 shoes to run the o2x Summit Challenge in Winham, NY this past weekend (I’ll post a separate review). My purpose of selecting these shoes was two-fold, I wanted to replace my Solomon Speedcross shoes which I’m previously used in three Tough Mudders.
The speedcross are a great sturdy shoe but they always hurt my feet specifically my akle and heel and I wanted to test out something else. After some extensive testing and purchasing and returning the Rebook All Terrain and Merrell All out Rush I settled on the Pure Grit 3’s and I’m glad I did. I’ll be testing them out in the Central Florida Tough Mudder in a few weeks and I’ll provide a quick update since the terrain will be different.
Brooks PureGrit 3 Review
The terrain for the o2x run was 1300 vertical feet up Windham ski area in the beautiful Catskill mountains near Albany, NY. The environment was interesting but expected for the time of the year, leave covered logs, twigs and tons of loose rocks, wet stones, streams and various other outdoor obstacles.
My rating: 8/10, they were comfortable and stability wasn’t an issue. The grips on the bottom gripped the hillside wonderfully and the shoe provided decent cushioning when needed. My only issue with them is and this goes for all brooks shoes I’ve tried is the toe box is roomy and prefer a more tight fit.
However, my interest in Brooks has returned and I’ll give the Brooks PureConnect 3 a shot when my current supply of Saucony Mirage 3 has run dry. I’m not a fan of the Saucony Mirage 4 (2014 model) so I’m going to need a replacement in a few months.
For the first time in 6 years I just completed my second marathon, the Columbus Marathon 2014. In 2008 I ran the Green Mountain marathon in Vermont, I weight 300lbs and it took me 5 hours 27 minutes. This past weekend I completed the Columbus Marathon in 3 hours 59 minutes and 31 seconds and I’m over 100lbs lighter :). My goal was 3 hours 45 minutes, but I got calve cramps around mile 23.5 so the last few miles were done with a run/walk strategy.