Saturday, December 6, 2014

#racelocal

I have been putting together my 2015 race calendar. It all started with a Facebook post on the NE Spahtens page. As those of you who follow my blog know, I have become a member of the Spahten, a New England-based obstacle course racing team. Through the team, I have met awesome people, and I always have someone to accompany me on my crazy activities. Back to the post, which stated that the Spahtens were going to be organizing a #racelocal Grand Prix.

The website defines it like this, "#racelocal is a movement to bring athletes and participants to high quality and proven New England owned and operated obstacle course races." After doing all of the OCRs that I did this year, I noticed a trend: The races I enjoyed the most were often the local ones. I love spending time up at Shale Hill way more than running a Spartan Race any day. I decided I wanted to try more local races, along with a few bigger races that are my favorites, and have that be my 2015 race year. As a bonus, the #racelocal Grand Prix offers rewards based on the number of races you complete. The first race gets you a medal and prizes increase as you go up. I have my eye on the hoodie you get for ten races, since I think that's where I will likely max out. 


After I decided to sign-up for the Spahten #racelocal Grand Prix, I noticed another Facebook post from Shale Hill. It said two magic words: Season Pass. When I left my job at Smith College for my new position at Amherst College last month, I ended up having to give up a bunch of vacation days that Smith paid me out. I decided to take that time and money and convert it into a "vacation" of a Shale Hill season pass. This pass gives me six training runs up at Shale Hill and entry into all of their 2015 races. All of these races count towards the Spahten's #racelocal. 



As a result, my 2015 race calendar is almost complete. I'll listing all the events I have signed up for and tagging them as #racelocal if they are counting towards the Grand Prix. I am doing all these races with the Spahtens. 

2015 Race Calendar

January 24: Blizzard Blast (#racelocal) in Dracut, Massachusetts. This is a 4 - 6 mile course and a favorite among the Spahtens. It includes interesting season aspects like a Christmas tree carry. This will be my first time doing this race.

February 7: Shale Hill Polar Bear 8 Hour (#racelocal) in Benson, Vermont at Shale Hill. Do as many laps of the 10K Shale Hill course as you can in eight hours. In Vermont. In February. I must be a special kind of crazy. I haven't done this specific race yet, but I have done many laps of the Shale Hill course and went up there last weekend to do a little training in the colder weather to prepare for Polar Bear.


April 11: FIT Challenge (#racelocal) in Cumberland, Rhode Island. I'm pretty sure this will be approximately 5K in length. The race director seems well connected within the Spahtens, so this is sure to be an awesome event!

May 8 and 9Ragnar Relay in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. When Jessica invited me to do Ragnar with the Spahtens again, I could not refuse. Not after all the fun I had last year. This was my first event with the Spahtens in 2014!


May 16: Bone Frog Challenge (#racelocal) in Charlemont, Massachusetts. I have been waiting three years to do this race! I have wanted to do this every year since I first heard about it (but couldn't because I had to work). After all, it's only a forty minute drive away. The race is nine miles and 40+ Navy SEAL inspired obstacles. I am very excited for this. People were comparing it to Shale Hill's course. 

June 7: Tough Mudder at Mount Snow, Vermont. I really enjoy Tough Mudder. It's always a blast. This is a 10 mile race up in Vermont and the past two years has been one of my favorite events of the year. It's more of an experience than a race. I love the camaraderie and spending time with my teammates. I made a lot of friends at Tough Mudder last year, and we're all planning to race again in 2015. 


June 21: Shale Hill Relay (#racelocal) in Benson, Vermont at Shale Hill. This race, which I will be doing for the first time, has you join forces with two other teammates and split the Shale Hill course in thirds. You are required to carry a crazy "baton" through the course. Last year's race featured batons that were pool noodles and the like. 


July 18: Shale Hill Tri-Obstaclon (#racelocal) in Benson, Vermont at Shale Hill. Here is where the whole Shale Hill season pass thing starts to get a bit dicey. In an interesting way. The season pass will definitely be this year's big challenge. Tri-Obstaclon is a triathlon with biking, swimming, and an obstacle course. We will bike six miles to a lake, swim 300 meters, bike back and then do either the 5K or 10K course. Considering I haven't been on a bike in a decade and don't own a bike this will be fascinating to say the least. I am preparing by doing some biking at the gym regularly. Now to find a mountain bike...


July 25: BattleFrog in Barre, Massachusetts. BattleFrog is still a new race, but it's been getting some amazing press. Like Bone Frog, BattleFrog is Navy SEAL inspired, and it really brings it with the obstacles. I actually won a free entry to the Tri-State BattleFrog in New Jersey last year and had a wonderful time. This year, BattleFrog is bringing the race to New England in Barre, which is only a 40 minute drive from Amherst. Count me in!


August 1 and 2: 24 Hours of Shale Hell (#racelocal) in Benson, Vermont at Shale Hill. 24 hours, as many laps of the 10K Shale Hill course as you can. What can I say: Season Pass. In other news, anyone want to lend me a tent?


August 16: Shale Hill Moss Anniversary / Benson Bear Race (#racelocal) in Benson, Vermont at Shale Hill. This will be a more traditional race on the 10K course at Shale Hill. Honestly, there is never a day when I don't want to be up at Shale Hill, so this is sure to be a lot of fun.


October 24: Shale Hill Halloween Fun Run (#racelocal) in Benson, Vermont at Shale Hill. I did this race this year with some of the Spahtens and we charted our own very Special K loop that was a cross between the 10K and 5K courses. (We probably did around five miles.) An evening obstacle course run on a haunted course. Very entertaining. 


That's how my 2015 season stands so far. For those of you who are careful counters, you'll notice I am at nine #racelocal races. I clearly need one more to hit ten races and get the desirable hoodie. #racelocal races are still being announced, and I am hoping something comes up in March or September since both months are race free for me, as it now stands. There looks like one September race that I might pick up. They even have a Sunday option in case I have graduate school classes on Saturday again next fall. Either way, it looks to be a very exciting year where I will get to spend a lot of fun weekend days with the Spahtens!

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