With 2016 World’s Toughest Mudder right around the corner, Lindsay Webster (2016 OCR World Champion) sent over her thoughts on what it is like to move from crew to racer, while also being expected to continue her OCR dominance in a race she has never competed in!
World’s Toughest Mudder… yikes! That’s the first word that immediately comes to mind when I remember that I’m officially registered to run this grueling 24-hour obstacle race this year. Being married to Ryan Atkins, the man who’s won a gold medal at this race every year since he started competing in it, I’m privy to some golden insider tips and info.
However, that also means that I’ve heard or seen firsthand all the grueling endurance races he’s competed in; 3-day adventure races with little to no sleep, winter trail records on dangerous mountain traverses… and he says that World’s Toughest Mudder is the hardest race he’s ever done!
People frequently ask me what the best part of having @ryanatkinsdiet as a training partner is. Well, there are so many reasons, but here's to him putting up with me asking "Do you think I'll do okay?…" before every single race, and using his analytical mind to reassure me not only that he thinks I'll win (he says that every time, I swear he just wants brownie points), but all the crazy reasons he comes up with… "This is a technical course and you've been working on your technical downhill running…" or "I think you're one of the best uphill runners in North America" (I mean that's a stretch, but ain't he sweet). Without his patience and confidence building, who knows where I'd be! #HesAKeeper #ThisIsWhyIputUpWithHisSnoring #JustKiddingHeDoesntSnore
From Crew to Top Contender:
I’m really excited for it! I may not have the years of 24-hour racing experience under my belt that he has, but I’ve gradually been easing into longer endurance efforts over the past few years. This year I completed my first 50-mile race, and also competed in BattleFrog’s 24-hour obstacle race. World’s Toughest Mudder is a goal for me, to reach a higher threshold of mileage and hours on foot than I’ve ever achieved before. My goal is just to complete all 24-hours, regardless of what place I finish.
Mind you, that’s sometimes difficult, since Ryan and many others apparently think I could win this race.
That’s another goal of mine, to not let the pressure to perform get to me. I want to go into this race thinking of it as a fun challenge, and to succeed in the goals I’ve set for myself. Thankfully, they’re not lofty.
Having crewed for Ryan the past three years, I have no false impressions that this race will be easy, or “fun” the whole time. I know from my long days trying to keep up with our guy-friends out in the mountains, when it’s -50 degrees and my legs are jello, that I will definitely go through high and low points when I’m completely miserable.
I also know that when you look back on experiences like this, they always turn out to be the most epic and memorable. I suppose that’s why when people compete in World’s Toughest Mudder, they end up doing it every year from then on 🙂
In terms of preparing myself for this race, I started building my endurance base way back last November. Once race season really kicks off, it’s hard to train for an endurance race, when all our other races are a max of three hours. Big endurance efforts can take a week to recover from, so it’s hard to find the time to squeeze it into training when we race most weekends. However, I’ve done my best, and focused on keeping the base I worked hard to build before the race season kicked off. Once OCR World Championships wrap up, I’ll take a day of rest, and then start putting in a lot of time on feet.
This will include trying and testing my gear that I’ll wear during WTM, and running with wet feet in neoprene socks to eliminate the amount of blisters I’ll get during the big race.
Lucky for me, I have Ryan to give me the best advice! We’ll be racing as part of Team Goat Tough, so I’ll have a great support system of fellow racers out on course with me to help me through obstacles, and keep me motivated.
As of today, World’s Toughest Mudder is exactly 20 days away! Let the games begin! – Lindsay