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2018 Spartan Season Opener

January 31, 2018

2018 Spartan Season Opener

uman Octane Athletes take on Spartan Race SoCal 2018

By Seth Buchwalter, Sponsored Athlete

If you’re a fan of Human Octane, we’re going to take a wild guess and assume you’re a supporter of obstacle course racing. While it’s been a long off-season of training and preparation between events, OCR season is finally back in action. Members of our team were fortunate to line up at the starting corral for the SoCal Spartan Race Super and Sprint in Chino, CA in January.

As soon as we left the comfort of our parking lot shuttle, we knew the SoCal Spartan Race would be an event to remember. The beautiful sun rise over the hills of Chino was inspiring, at least until the frigid 40-degree morning air smacked us across the face. Take a look below and enjoy the Human Octane review of the first US Spartan Race of the year!

From the first AROO, athletes gave it all they could on the gorgeous, flat and fast course. Miles one and two were a run in the park, literally. Trails surrounding the Prado Reservoir favored runners, with soft paths, negligible elevation gain and standard first-mile obstacles, hurdles, OUT and walls. 

Once Spartans crossed through the first barbed wire crawl, runners lost a bit of their edge – the technical and heavy lifting obstacles were next on the course! Side stepping through Olympus, an obstacle introduced in 2017 that challenges grip strength and coordination, participants took on the Yokohama tire flips. The soft ground made it even more challenging when trying to find a grip under the dense, heavy tires. Rumor has it the Hercules Hoist was the heaviest it’s been to date, and it definitely felt that way. Fortunately, our Human Octane athletes looked that monster in the eye and destroyed it. 

The pre-filled and capped buckets at the bucket brigade helped even out the score with a lighter-than-normal load. The ability to move quickly and efficiently during the heavy carries definitely helps improve placement on the course – equalizers for those who may struggle with running but thrive with carries.

Fast forward to the second barbed wire crawl, which echoed every intense battle scene from any war movie you’ve ever watched. Yes, the course-adjacent gun range provided a strong sound effects track. If you couldn’t find the motivation to army crawl quickly to destroy the enemy, we honestly don’t know what will inspire you.

Were you as bummed as we were when you found out there were no monkey bars? At least twister brought a controversial aspect back after the monster Big Bear course in October, 2017. The foam pads on its handles made the obstacle more exciting with a soft rotating cushion, challenging the grip strength of everyone courageous enough to take on its three sections. Rumor has it these were installed to help save the calluses of racers.

Flying through the sand bag carry, rope climb, mud trenches and dunk wall, Human Octane athletes Emilee Smith and Ally Reite crushed the Super with a 6th and 7th place finish, respectively, and Ally rounded out the weekend with a 6th place finish at the sprint!

It’s truly an amazing feeling to be back on the course, testing out our gains, running with the team and catching up with old, fellow OCR enthusiasts. Of course, our athletes were clad in Human Octane gear as we work to perfect all of our race offerings. Be on the lookout for our team at OCR events throughout the country and you may get a sneak peek at our latest compression gear!