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PacWest Spartan Race 2014 
Location: Washougal, Washington

Here is a recap and beginners look for those interested in doing a beginner OCR.

Kelsey PacWest
For those interested in challenging the obstacles of any kind OCR, I would suggest getting a team together. Your team will be behind you, and you behind them. Walking, running, huffing all seems to go a lot faster with your team.

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Arriving at the festival grounds right outside the starting line you have to find your bib number and sign race documents. Once they hand you your race gear you head into the various areas before and after the race. Here we checked in our packs, got our race numbers pinned on, and most importantly ... Used the restrooms. Very important.

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Once they announce your start time your journey starts. Before lining up, you greeted by a wall you must climb over. On the other side awaits your mc. He "rallies the troops" by shouting and joking ... But mostly shouting. Once we were on the track the shapes of Washington became o so clear. Hills everywhere. Hills and mud and trees. Once at the top of the hills more walls stood in our way. The downhill running reminded me of forest bike trails with slaloms, bends, and turns. It turns out that the Washougal area is used for various bike trails which makes for some awesome terrain.

Kelsey PacWest
This is a lot different than the Vegas races I have done. Different in a good way! For the most part the obstacles were on par with other Spartan races. The change of terrain made them more interesting. One obstacle made us climb over a cargo net which was held up between two tall trees. The gravel bucket carry here took us around a dirt bike track. The chained cement block and sandbag trails also went through the muddy hills in the forest.

Kelsey PacWest
There were two obstacles that took full advantage of the large hills. The Leonids luge and the muddy mile. The luge was a huge slide into a pool of muddy water. People got major air on this one. The uphill muddy mile was one of the longer ones due to the amount of people and muddy sliminess. The line made people stop and when they stopped people slipped down. This is where my team would help brace each other and prevent each other from slipping. The people in front would then help the bottom people up and start over again.

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In the spartan race towards the end there is the iconic spear throw. This is where a lot of racers find themselves doing the 30 penalty Burmese for not being able to complete this obstacle. From there you can smell the finish line, almost literally. You see and smell the fire jump where the finish line awaits. I finished with my team and all of us jumped to victory together.

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When running for fun and with a team it did take a bit longer but it was worth. The majority of my team had not experienced a race like this so I was more than happy to give them a helping hand. If you don't have a team going in, no worries! Everyone who participates will lend a helping hand if you ask them! Nothing beats the feeling of crossing over that finish line so everyone is there to help and encourage one another.

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Until next time Washougal!

Kelsey PacWest