Friday, April 6, 2012

2012 Ruckus Kansas City Recap from Participant Ryan Falkenrath

This blog is brought to you by Ryan Falkenrath, Kansas City Endurance Sports Examiner and participant in the 2012 Ruckus Kansas City obstacle course.  Ryan has participated in multisport events in the midwest ranging from 5k's to 1/2 ironmans and marathons since 2001. Ryan's advice has helped many midwest athletes prepare for their first or 20th event, ranging from equipment topics to course strategies. Check out his Man Vs Triathlon web site, Facebook Page or contact Ryan at

If you have been following the blog here lately, then no doubt you figured out that Ruckus Kansas City came and went last weekend...

It was only the second time I have ran an obstacle course race.  Ironically it was the second Ruckus race.  I guess you go back to the well for a good thing.

My goals were simple.

  1. Don't hurt myself
  2. Don't hurt the knee any further
  3. Try and get to the Champions Heat
  4. Get in front of my heat to avoid lines at obstacles 
Pre Race
It was a nice experience having my heat at 11:20am.  I had time to sleep to a decent hour, get a run in to the grocery store and get completely prepared.

Em was suppose to run with me, but she needed to cover some stuff for work and missed out!  Lame.  =)

So I was on my own.

It was simple.  Pack long socks for rope burns.  Pack trail shoes from last year that will be worthless after the race.  Pack the ace knee sleeve.  Then, I was out.

The race was not the same...
The course was obviously different than 2011.  They had a large tower structure dubbed "Mt Ruckmore" set up in the middle of the finish area and the course was run the opposite direction as 2011.  They had different obstacles, they built the rope / pole army crawl obstacles with more lines for less congestion and they kept some of the staples from last year.

My mission was to get out ahead to avoid lines at obstacles.  It worked as I burned out ahead of my group and let the field catch up with me as the race went on.

Overall I had a great time and gave 100%.  Some new LESSONS LEARNED.

  1. High socks - they will  slide down in the water / mud pits unless you tape them up.
  2. Find a place for your keys and don't take them with you.  I put mine in my socks and was worried about losing it when in puddles and my socks starting slipping down.  I had to be careful in the mud pits and couldn't go full steam.
  3. My knee sleeve kept sliding as well.
  4. My shorts kept falling, too.  Tie the shorts and tape all clothing that may slide with water.  My shorts absorbed too much water and did not have a tie string, so they kept sagging and I had to keep pulling them up.  Kind of a pain.
The course wasn't the problem as much as my clothing issues.

It's hard to compare to 2011.  The course was different.  It was fundamentally the same distance and same amount of obstacles.  There was less mud this year as well.

I finished in 39:34.  That was good enough for 131 overall.  I missed the Champion heat by 2 minutes, which was probably a good thing since my heat was at 11:20am and the champion heat was at noon.  Not good planning.  If I'm there in 2013, I'll go for earlier for less congestion from previous heats, less course wear and more time to rest should I make the champion heat.

In 2011 I ran it in 39:34 and that was good for 139 overall.  I felt in better condition to run it this year, but I had more issues with clothes that slowed me down. 

The dude that won overall ran it in 27:28.  That's serious.  He also won last year.  Jerk.  =)

Results HERE

Some lessons to pass on....
The lesson is trying to find the five fingers type of shoe for less mud and water in the shoes,  more form fitting clothing and use my feet to hook over ropes and pole crawls to avoid needing long socks.

I also did not wear gloves and it seemed to work out just as good as wearing gloves last year.

More tips HERE.

In wrapping it up...
I wasn't going out to win it.  I wanted to be competitive and have fun at the same time.  Due to clothing malfunctions, I think I could have done better.  I'll have to implement my lessons learned and see where that gets me.

Check out my TECHNICAL REVIEW HERE.  It's more of a review of different areas of the race more than my recap of my experience.

Congratulations to Ryan for finishing Ruckus Kansas City!  Want to try Ruckus for yourself?  We'll be in St. Louis on May 5th.  Don't miss it!  

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