We arrived as bright eyed and bushy tailed as you would expect after a night on the train. The service provided by the Deutsche Bahn was superb as always, however the sleeper compartments would have made a Japanese cubicle engineer feel proud. Crammed in there we probably have had better sleeps, but it is clean and reliable the Deutsche Bahn.
Picking up a tiny Skoda that would be our ride for the weekend and heading towards Svit and the mountains was quite a treat. The scenery was nothing shy of the Austrian Alps and the lack of traffic made driving on the highway easy as could be. The 90 km/h over the mountains however was interesting. We found a great little restaurant at a local ski place that treated us to a 3,30 euro two course meal, proper home cooked pie soup and chicken with vegetables fed spartans on their journey.
The guesthouse was not too far from the venue and we could arrive in the early morning sun just before the first elite wave was sent out on the course. The Spartan Race Slovakia organizers let us start early and a big shout out to them for doing this for us! It is such a great help to get the possibility to start far to the right out of the way of the really fast ones when you don’t know how long you will be out there. With my lungs it is hard to say from day to day how it will go.
First kilometer was to break us, that I am pretty sure of, one kilometer uphill in snow does wonders for reaching the memory obstacle. But I did get myself up there, it was hard and the taste of blood in my mouth was very real. The pain and the agony can not really be described, every time I am under strain I plain out don’t work at all.
Having crossed the river, conquered the slip wall and made sure no high wall was left without getting over it. I am pleased to say that I have worked out some of my weaknesses from last season.
All signature obstacles were present as always. Barbed wire crawl as well, happy to say I really killed this one. Dragging my backpack with the oxygen bottle along as I crawled away. What I did learn from last year is that crawling is one of the obstacles that I do with more easy than most others.
The first race of the season also means the first fire jump of the season. I can assure you that when that finishing line was visible and the smell of fire was in my nostrils I could have cried with joy. This opening of the OCR season was amazing, I have proved I have what it takes, I have returned faster, stronger and more determined than last season. Last season I earned my historic trifecta, the first one ever earned by an athlete under oxygen therapy. This season will bring yet another epic number of trifectas, together with my team I will make sure I hold the torch high for those who come after me. A finishing time of 3:05 might not put me up there with the elite, but when you take into account that I don’t breathe very well I am pleased to have creamed my sprint time from last year. Next one will be in Hungary, we are doing a double decker, first the normal sprint and then the charity sprint. We sure hope to see you there!