Although I rarely use this blog as a platform to speak about controversial things, I feel compelled to speak on something briefly today as I reflect on today’s experience at Savage Race.
Savage Race was a brutal 7 mile race that lived up to it’s tagline, “The Race Built To Kick Your A**”. I’ll be sharing my official review of the race on the Savage Race website (and for the record, I LOVED IT!), but today I want to bring up the frustration that occurs when fellow competitors cheat.
Now I understand (within reason) when participants in open waves may take a shortcut or skip an obstacle due to fear or inability to complete the challenge presented them. However, I do feel that if someone makes the choice to sign up for a competitive or elite wave of an obstacle race, that they are therefore accepting a challenge to also give their full effort to the entire race as well.
Unfortunately, this does not always seem to be the case.
Here’s why I feel the need to speak on this topic. Today at Savage Race two females caught up to me near the end of the race. They arrived out of nowhere! Now I cannot vouch as to how they participated in obstacles prior to catching up to me, but when we reached the Colossus, I ran up to it head-on, and gave the obstacle every ounce of energy I had left. I even gave myself a wicked calf cramp as I hung on for dear life trying to tackle this beast of an obstacle! These ladies did not even bother to give it a try, instantly heading to the ladder on the side to ascend to the top, completely skipping over this challenge. They didn’t even consider trying it, they didn’t put forth any effort to at least attempt this obstacle, and instead (in my opinion), kind of punked out.
As a competitor I took the more difficult road, and they chose the exit strategy. Not cool.
This still may not have bothered me as much as it does, had I not heard the same females complaining post-race that I had still beat them. Absolutely I beat them! Whether my time showed that or not, I gave 100% effort, and I do not feel as though they did. Just as I want those who I surpass to know that I fairly earned my place above them, I’m most definitely not going to give in easily to someone who won’t give me the respect of beating me fairly.
I’ve encountered situations like this in past races as well. People only completing a portion of the required burpee penalty, people deciding to jump right into the water instead of attempting the monkey bars, people taking shortcuts on the course, the list goes on. And as a runner who prides myself on giving my all at each event that I take on, it’s very frustrating (and frankly pretty annoying), when someone places above me who half-assed the competition. Thankfully I have the peace of mind knowing that each time I step on the podium, I have earned that right and no one will doubt that I gave my all to that race.
Whew, glad I got that out! Now to go celebrate an awesome finish, as I earned 2nd place in my age group and a 14th overall female finish today. I gave each obstacle 100%, and earned the shiny bling that will now hang in my living room. No cheating necessary.
Stepping off the soapbox now. Have a great night!
I’m interested to know if anyone else has experienced a similar situation? Did it frustrate you as well? How did you handle it? Let me know!