Reborn OCR – The Pit

Reborn The Pit was my first OCR in 6 months since I fractured my tibia back in September 2018. I’m still building my volume and speed back up, as I just started running again in December, so I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this weekend’s race, especially with it being a 5km course as I’m usually more catered towards long distance. All this piled together had me taking a few notes Friday before the event about why I was doing it at all. The nerves started getting to me, was I ready yet? My form isn’t back to where it was last summer yet, so it was important for me to have clear reasons to race other than going for a podium spot. It didn’t take me long to remind myself why I love this sport, challenging myself, finding my weaknesses and attacking them to get better and move forward physically and mentally. My goal for the race would be to race happy, try to run a clean race and take it as a learning experience on what to train on going forward into the season.

Race map

The weather was beautiful for a February morning. Last year it snowed, and though it was chilly this year too, the sun was shining, and the ice long gone. Reborn have 3 elite heats, heat 1 for the best placed athletes of the last race, heat 2 for the fastest elites not present at the previous race, and heat 3 for new elite runners. They mix men and women in all 3 heats which means you don’t know your placing before all 3 heats are in. I was in the 2nd heat, since I was injured at the last race in September.

The route was a 5km course with the first half being primarily running on single track with a few steep climbs and some heavy carries. The gauntlet 9 of grip intense obstacles was preserved for the last 1,5 km of the race, which would make for an interesting finish and a very spectator friendly course.

The first steep climb was no more than 100m from the start line. When the gun went off I decided to not go out too hard and sprint towards the muddy hill, which proved to be a bad call, as being in the middle of the pack meant I got stuck behind a lot of guys from the beginning, as it was impossible to break away from the bottleneck that was soon being formed.

The start

The first obstacle right after the hill was a Jerry Can, and I fumbled around it up on my shoulder. After completing the carry a long trail section followed where I was able to close the gap on the girl in front of me while passing some guys on the narrow track. Coming out from the forest 5 consecutive walls, a crawl through a tight black box and another carry was waiting. I was moving at a decent pace through the walls and the box before I once again fumbled getting the big log on my shoulder for the 2nd carry. The girl in my heat was not too far behind and I was wasting valuable seconds, but I knew the heavy carries and lifting wasn’t my strong side, and I would be able to make up time on the run. (Funny how things change, a few years ago I NEVER would have thought running would be a place for me to make up time in anything).

A few more heavy things were waiting in the “Strong Man Zone”; tire flip, atlas stone, a sledge hammer obstacle, tire run, and a tire pull. The Atlas Stone was the one I dreaded the most. I’ve had problems lifting the 50kg stone up in workouts, so I knew I could lose a lot of time here. Though my execution, rolling the stone up on my thigh waiting to lift it the last part of the way, was very slow, I managed to get the stone up in the first go, and to me that was such a relief. It felt like the worst part was over, even though we hadn’t even faced the challenging grip obstacles yet.

Ice-flakes

When I got past the Sledge hammer and the Tire run to the Tire pull I saw a queue had been formed. It stressed me out and though one of the guys was kind enough to let me go before him, I still had to wait for the guy doing the obstacle to complete it before I could get started.

At this point I had forgotten all about the girls in the 2 other heats I just wanted to stay ahead in mine. The girl in 2nd place in my heat was still not too far behind, often I finished an obstacle just as she started the same one.

Finishing the Tire pull I climbed the last small hill on the course to enter the event site. A stretch with 4-beams a 2 meter wall, weaver and over/under was completed before the last 1-1,5 km grip intense section lured. I purposefully slowed down a bit as I was a little unsure how taxing the next section would be, and I wasn’t about to blow my race up by taking chances. Dip walk was cleared, and I conquered the diagonal Pegboard wall, not exactly as smooth as I would have wanted it to be, but I got up there. The next rig was a jump to an oval followed by a supersnake (twisting rings) and another oval before hitting a bell. I don’t really like jumping towards things, but at this point it’s something I’ve just gotta suck up and deal with at a lot of races 😉

Next up was Heartbeat, a slightly tilted wall which you traverse by holding on to small rounded ledges. Luckily the wall was dry which makes it way easier than in wet conditions where you hold on for your dear life. After Heartbeat another Urban Sky invention; Wheel of steel. The section was pretty long and once again I had to wait for a line to clear before I could get started. My grip was still pretty solid and I moved through the obstacle flawlessly. At this point I started to feel my lower arms seizing up a bit and my running between the obstacles wasn’t fast paced anymore as I wanted to preserve energy for the last obstacles ahead.

Low Rig

The Low rig was very long this time, but there was a lot of good spots for your legs through the 20m obstacle, so with the right approach you could save a lot of energy. I’m pretty happy with my completion of this obstacles as I think it was one of my fastest and smoothest on course. Next up was Ice-flakes, a fun new invention by the Reborn team. 8 white disks hanging low which you had to belly-crawl (or rather slide) through, as several of the cords they were hanging from were bungees rather than normal rope. Such a fun and awkward move that reminds you to engage your core!

Two obstacles remained in the last 2-300 meters. One big rig named the Dominator consisting of a diagonal bar to a horizontal bar, 3 lines of hanging tires, 4 ropes, 3 lines of tires and another horizontal bar before hitting a bell at the end. This one is all about moving efficiently. Once you hang for too long in one place your lower arms start seizing up and you risk losing your grip. When moving through obstacles like this one I try to be as “long and tall” as possible, avoiding hanging too cramped up like a ball with tight muscles. I cleared the rig and with the finish line in site, just one obstacle away, my lower arms were pumped from all the grip obstacles. The finisher obstacle was one of the most challenging of course. Another Reborn original; Nuts. Monkeybar section to a flying monkey onto a spinning bolt-like hold made of wood. A jump to another spinning bolt and finishing off with a jump to a bell. I stopped once I got to the obstacle, massaged my lower arms with my knees and took some deep breaths. I was so unsure my grip was going to get me through to the end. I knew that failing it would make me even more taxed and more nervous too. It took me way too long to get myself mentally ready. I started looking back on the Dominator to see if the 2nd girl was in sight. She wasn’t. How long did I dare to wait?

Nuts

I still had forgotten all about the other heats, and it wasn’t until one of my teammates’ daughter cheered me on

“You’ve got it, Ulrikke!”

that a fire lit in me. “Now I’ve gotta do it!”. I took a leap and focused on my technique. I swung quite a few times before making the jump to the first Nut, and just as many before making the 2nd and the 3rd jump, but I cleared the last obstacle on course and crossed the finish line with a huge smile!

I don’t take for granted that I’m able to run pain-free again and being out there on an obstacle course after being away for so long was a huge win in and of itself. I ran a clean race, though being a bit rusty in places and not charging full speed as I probably should have, but I am more than pleased with my performance this time of year and my placing in a race distance that isn’t usually my forte. Ida Mathilde ran in the first heat of the day and beat me for the win, awarding me 2nd place, a podium spot I didn’t expect as I’m sure nobody else did either. This doesn’t mean I’m going to start aiming for short distance though, I still prefer stretching my legs for a few more hours before calling it a day 😉

Podium

All in all, Reborn put on a pretty awesome race! I loved the course design with a chance to break out a bit in the beginning and having the more interesting (and challenging) grip obstacles piled up near the end. This makes for an interesting race for spectators too, as a lot of change in placing can happen within this last kilometer. Now I can’t wait to get into the race season and see how I can improve throughout the year! 😀

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