You’ve logged the miles and scaled walls.  You’ve done burpees until you’ve dropped!  You even signed up for the Spartan WOD so that you could prepare and changed your diet so that you were race day ready!  As the day approaches, one thing looms in your mind…

What do I wear?

Ah, the quintessential question asked by every OCR athlete who ever first toed a Spartan Race start line.  Here we will give you the basics of what you wear and what to bring on race day from members of our Spartan Race Pro Team.

First and foremost, take care of your feet!  Members of our pro team strongly suggest a pair of trail running shoes. You will need the added traction that a trail shoe offers. You will also want to look for a shoe that provides adequate drainage when it get wet. A waterproof shoe is not a good idea, once the water gets in, and it will, it will have trouble getting out.

Socks: Look for a thin sock, preferably with individual toes slots. Got to have these. When your feet are getting wet and muddy its nice to have each toe cradled in its own little slot.

Shorts: If you’re going to wear shorts, most of our pro team prefer 5″ or 6″ running shorts or compression shorts. When they get wet there is a lower likelihood of chaffing. Looks for shorts with minimal to no pockets so you don’t collect extra mud and debris along the course.

Pants: If pants are more your speed, find compression wicking gear – NO COTTON!  The last thing you want is something heavy weighing you down.

Shirts: Many of our male pro’s really prefer to run without a shirt. Depending on the material, shirts add very little warmth and/or protection. Skin dries a lot quicker than any fabric. If it’s cool before your heat, get to the start line with an old shirt or garbage bag for warmth. Ditch it (responsibly in a trash can) right before the start. You may also have an old pair of socks on your forearms or hands to keep them warm before the start.  Many of our elite women opt for just a sports bra for many of the same reasons men go shirtless.

If you plan on donning a shirt: Most of the pro’s agree that a thin long sleeve compression shirt is best. Again, do not wear cotton! Remember, whatever you wear will get wet and will not likely dry out. If you are cold sensitive you may want to wear a windbreaker that does not absorb water. Remember once you start running you will build up a lot of heat.

Head Gear: Most racers generally do not wear anything on their heads except some sunscreen. If you like to have something on your head to manage sweat and keep the sun off you may want to try a bandana. It is easy to put around your neck when a hat might get lost in an obstacle.

Hydration: Typically one can rely on the support at the race for hydration if the race is under 3 hours. If you think you will be out there for a while and/or prefer your own beverage, a backpack with a hydration bladder is ideal.

Gloves: Gloves are a personal preference.  Many people prefer to feel the obstacles with their hands.  If not, a good pair of wide receiver gloves is great for managing the monkey bars and carrying objects.  Just remember, they will get wet!

Eyewear: Sunglasses are only going to muddy and will be useless after the first mud obstacle. Our recommendation, if you need them and have them wear your contact lenses. The swims are generally short enough that you do not need goggles.

Sunblock: Don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun. The mud will help, but apply sunscreen before the race. I like a SPF 50 spray for the body and a lotion 50+SPF for “the face”.  Otherwise you might end up with the ever-fashionable forehead race number sunburn.

RACE DAY CHECKLIST

Essentials:
• Trail Running Shoes
• Socks
• Shorts
• Sports bra
• Race bib pinned with four safety pins to your shorts
• Timing chip on your wrist
• Identification
• Directions to and from the race/ transportation schedules
• Cash for Parking
• Registration receipt
• Signed waiver

Food:
• Caffeine shot (if you like a little kick at the start)
• Water bottle for start line
SNAP Infusion Super Candy for energy
• Food belt
• Pre-race Food
• Post-race Food

Optional:
• Backpack/Duffle bag
• Hydration pack
• Shirt
• Hat/visor/hair tie/headband
• Contact lenses
• Sunscreen
• Camera/GoPro
• Change of Shoes/Shorts/Socks
• Towel
• Plastic Bag
• Bandages
• Ibuprofen
• Anti-chafe gel
• Cash for bag drop
• Extra Cash
• Soap/shampoo
• Wet Wipes
• Watch

*Suit and ties, tutu’s, wedding gowns, monkey suits, and superhero capes are also optional.

Now you have the essentials! The last thing you’ll want to bring with you out on the course is a smile! You’ll need it!

Ready to race? Get registered HERE!

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So, I survived the Death Race. I lasted a little over 24 hours before I was cut due to a time hack. I was the 20th person to go out of the race of the 194 who started, but the first person to be cut and not quit.  I said from the beginning that I wasn’t going to quit and I didn’t. I showed everyone out on that course that I was not going to go down without a fight and that they had to either carry me out or cut me.

In regards to the experience, I truly learned a lot. I learned that I had more fight in me than I thought I did. I found myself even more of a man than I thought I was out there on the mountains of Vermont. I found a deeper soul there as well. People might complain about getting cut or quitting or even saying it was not fair but I pushed through every single task and no one time did I complain or want a handout due to my illness/disability.

As to what is next, time will only tell. But I am going to have to take a break from OCR or racing for at least six to eight weeks.  I broke my foot Sunday night when I arrived home from Pittsfield, Vermont and the Death Race. Funny, I have climbed mountains, became the first ever Paralyzed Spartan and now the first ever Spartan Death Race competitor and I cannot even get to my front door without breaking my right foot!

I will use this time to prepare for my goal of having the first ever Adaptive OCR course and I will continue to train hard in the gym for strength and in hopes of getting in even better shape.

Thank you all for the support and thank you all for the thoughts while I prepared for this awesome journey.

- Chasing Michael Mills

To learn more about the 2013 Peak Death Race, please click HERE.

[Editor's Note: Photos courtesy of Marion Abrams, Peak Races.]

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[Editor's Note] Ang Reynolds is a regular on the Spartan Race scene.  An active member of the Spartan 300 group, she’s a to points leader and she’s spent the year traveling the country racing Spartan events and making a name for herself as a competitor in the growing OCR sport.  The single mother of three is also a contributing writer for the blog Barb Wire 4 Breakfast.  Here she shares her year in review.  A year of racing, competing, and finding the family she never knew she had.

Saying Goodbye to 2012

by Ang Reynolds

It is tough to summarize the end of my racing season. With three races in four weeks, my weekends have been packed with the air of Sparta. The Sac Beast was cold and rainy with relentless wind, pitted mud, and straw thick under foot. My hometown race, the Malibu Sprint, was rainy as well. When a typically dry Southern California is drenched with rain for days prior to the race, a muddy course is easily delivered. The tough hills in Calamigos Ranch were slick and unforgiving as I trudged through two more cold wet days of racing. Four days later I boarded a flight to Texas to be reunited with many friends I had not seen since my wayward weekend in Killington, Vermont.

As we stood at the starting line on Saturday morning, facing a course that Mike promised would deliver Spartan’s best; I looked at the faces that surrounded me. A little over a year ago I ran my first Spartan race. A little over a year ago all of these people were strangers to me. Now, as I looked to the Spartans on my left, and the Spartans on my right, we ran into our battle united as a team.

I remembered the first time I spoke with Andi Hardy on the phone, inviting her to spend the weekend with my family in Utah for the Beast. I remembered the first time I met Corinne Kohlen, volunteering at the Spartan Super in Arizona.

I looked further to each side and saw more familiar faces. These were the people that were my greatest competitors. The people that I wanted to beat to the finish line at the end of the day, but also the people that I shared my days and nights with. We had stayed out many a night, and slept late into the morning. We had jumped in lakes, stood around fires, and huddled together in the pouring rain to warm our bodies. We had helped each other limp across the finish and wipe the blood off our broken and bruised bodies. We shared some of the roughest times in our lives and but also in each other’s greatest joys.  

After less than a year I was innately connected to each and every one of these individuals in some way, having shared so much more than just a race. We had not only raced together, but to also encouraged each other along the way, through our strong moments, and at our worst. The racers that stood beside me were my family, and for the last time racing in 2012, I was reminded how lucky I was to be a part of the Spartan community. I have gained not only everlasting friendships, but also a family that runs thicker than blood; a family that will continue to love and support me through so much more than just racing.

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