I returned home from Afghanistan on the first weekend in June, 2013. I had planned to do the races for my Trifecta in as little calendar time as possible because I would have the leave days from deployment to use up. All the dates, time and money lined up. Well, even they hadn’t, I would still have done it anyway…..that’s just me, The Baconator.
The week after I got back (Father’s Day weekend) and the following weekend I ran two other OCRs as a tune up for the Utah Beast. This resulted in five OCRs in six weeks. That is not really a tough schedule compared to many of my fellow OCR athletes, but it was quite adventurous with all the travel, training and racing.
My goal was to knock out punch the Spartan Trifecta in the shortest amount of days possible. And….stay healthy in the process. The plan worked well: 22 days, lots of travel time, lots of bad road munchies and food, great times with family and friends, and putting it all out there on each course, and leaving nothing in the tank.
All my tough training (4-6 days a week for about 6 months and sometimes two-a-days) preparing for Spartan glory while deployed to Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan was about to become the real deal. The Utah Beast was first, and good thing, because it was the toughest and it had me a little reserved and worried. Family and friends noticed that I wasn’t my typical, over-the-hedge squirrel, energizer bunny self on the drive out and just before the race. The UT Beast pushed me to my never-before-reached limit. Halfway through at the rope climb, I contemplated the thing I said I would never do…..quitting. My friends and teammates, Jason Reed and David Tatham, responded to my waning resolve by joining me back on the course to give me some motivation. Success! The PA Sprint proved to be what many call the “Mini Beast.” According to some who ran the previous year’s PA Sprint, this one was a little shorter, but arguably more difficult. The terrain, again, was the real challenge. Obstacles are just obstacles. You approach each one on its own turf and do it or don’t do it. The part of the planet that Spartan decides to put them is what kicks your butt!
The Midwest Spartan was FUN! I think what made it the most fun was the festival atmosphere with all my friends from many teams and the new people I met throughout the race and the rest of the weekend. The course start was nice because it wasn’t a vertical ascent to Mars. I actually had time to warm up and get in a pace groove before the hills and obstacles.
This is my 50th year of life on the planet. “Go and torture yourself, Mike….over 25+ miles of unforgiving terrain and obstacles….for your birthday celebration.” Thats what my brain said and my body replied with “bring it on!”
The Spartan Race Utah Beast
June 29th, 2013:
Seymour, Indiana to Cheyenne and Evanston, Wyoming and Midway, Utah 1600 miles, 26 hrs travel time.
Departure: June 26th, 2013
Round trip total: 3200 +/- miles, 50 hrs travel time
Corn Fed Spartans on the road trip: Michael Bacon, Kathy Bacon, Jason Reed, Jessy Reed, David Tatham.
Friends in Wyoming: Lisa Todd (thank you for letting us stay at your house!), Liz Roper and Valerie Cuecuecha.
Utah Beast: 12.2 miles in the Utah Wasatch Mountains
The Spartan Race Pennsylvania Sprint
July 13th, 2013
Seymour, Indiana to Carrolton, Kentucky, DeGraff, Ohio, Reading and Palmerton, Pennsylvania 780 miles, 14 hrs travel time.
Departure: July 11th, 2013
Round trip total: 1570 +/- miles, 27 hrs
Corn Fed Spartans on the road trip: Michael Bacon, Jason Reed, Jordan Hill, Dan Bacon
Friends in Pennsylvania: Dann Pitkapaasi and his wife, Mia (thanks for letting us crash out at your house!), Brian Tumelty (Team Limitless)
Extra: Sweeper Heat with Ron Zastocki and his wife, Kelly, Gary Belanger, and Kelli Parady
Pennsylvania Sprint: 4 +/- miles at Blue Mountain
Spartan Midwest Super: 8.2 +/- miles at The Cliffs Insane Terrain
July 20th, 2013
Seymour, Indiana to Marseilles, Illinois 320 +/- miles, 5 1/2 hrs travel time. Departure: July 19th, 2013
Round trip total 610 +/- miles, 16 hours (slept at a truck stop on the return trip….exhausted!)
Corn Fed Spartans on the road trip: The Baconator, solo.
Friends in Marseilles at the race and campground: The Corn Fed Spartans, Chicago Spartan, Team Ninja, Midwest Vikings, and all the amazing Spartan Racers! AROOO!
Extra: Sweeper/Pull Heat Team with Missy Morris, Stefanie McKenna and Emily Brandstatter (All Corn Fed Spartans!)
Trifecta Completion Stats
Days to completion: 22 days
Distance traveled: 5380 miles
Time Travel: 93 hrs
To say Todd Sedlak is evil, but a really nice guy, creates an oxymoron. Like he said at my finish of the Midwest, “You hate me out on the course, but like me when you’re done, right?” Mike Morris – thanks for the Midwest. See you in Amesbury, MA!
Thanks to LegendBorne Sportswear for the great race jerseys and tech t-shirts. They fit like a glove and make me feel like a superhero. The gear made the race! Thanks to Inov8 for my Roclite 315s. They gave my feet the performance of a mountain goat!
Special thanks to my wife Kathy for being there. Special thanks to Jason Reed and David Tatham at the Utah Beast. In my 50 years of life and 23 years in the US Army, I have never done any event so tough, ever. Thank you two AWESOME Corn Fed Spartans for jumping back into the Beast and giving me the sometimes silent, reassuring coaching and motivation to “Just keep going!”
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