Saturday, April 8th marked the start of my racing season. This was a new race for me, the F.I.T. Challenge
The venue was Cumberland, RI. at the Diamond Hill Park
3.5 mile course with the option of running unlimited laps within a 5 hr window. Basically a buffet of pain, variations of appx. 25- 30 obstacles including the staples:
Various sizes walls
Carries – Logs and sandbags
And a signature obstacle the aptly named “The Destroyer” and it’s sequel “The Destroyer 2.0”
The kicker was the 1100 feet of elevation gain that they found within 3.5 miles. That is the equivalent of from the street to the roof of the Empire State Building.
Actually it was more like 2.75 to 3 miles with all the elevation gain as the 1st half mile was flat as was the back end.
A variation of the Devil’s Ladder resulted in forearm impact that gave me serious bruising for the first time ever.
Didn’t bring water. Only one water station on course. Hot in the sun, brick in the shade. Tweaked my ankle like usual. Shredded my knees low crawling up hill. Tore my glove on the first climb (Had those gloves for over 14 races 😢)
In other words, I had a great time.
I wanted to quit after the 1st lap. It was that bad. I suck at climbing. My training didn’t involve Manhattan skyscrapers. The problem is that you earn the block at 3 laps. One lap gets a medal, two laps gets NOTHING. So I couldn’t justify going from work in NYC to CT sleeping at a friend’s, driving to RI, back to CT back home to NY for one lap.
After 2 laps the only goal was to:
GET DA BLOCK.
Lap 3 sucked in every way imaginable. It all hurt and it felt like movement was in slow-motion but got it done. Next time I will bring water and real energy bars and elect not to eat girl scouts cookies in between laps.
I love the finishers shirt. Winning number of laps for men was 6 laps and 4 laps for women.
The layout of the venue was small but tidy. The start line and finish line were close to each other for the purposes of starting the next lap asap. Parking was closer to the venue. They had this heavenly smelling paleo vendor that punished us every. Single. Lap.
Decent spectator area, they set up the signature obstacles in relatively easily accessible areas. Vendors for clothes, accessories and supplements. It overall felt balanced and perhaps bigger than what it was.
Overall it was a great opener to the sport I am enjoying more every year. The brand is small yet potent. #doepicfit was their hash tag and they encouraged people to tag themselves. This was for the hardcore racers and fans and even attracted a pro elite athlete who naturally annihilated the course, passing me even with a 15 minute headstart like I was standing still.
I enjoyed it immensely. This is like that phenomenal local pizzeria or restaurant that may not advertise big but brings the quality. There will be other beatings, as an OCR athlete that is what we train for, but the next beating sponsored by the F.I.T. Challenge will be scheduled for August 12th. Check out the website at the link below:
To be updated.