By: Nichole Pool, Colorado Spartan Racer
The Beast: August 27th was an epic day. You could feel the energy as 4,400 Spartans steeled their bodies and calmed their minds waiting for the release of their wave, ready to tackle over thirty obstacles that stood between racers and their victory. Chants of “AROO!” wafted down the mountain as the elite runners paced in the starting corral, anticipating the start.
With the summit looming at 11,550 feet, the Breckenridge Beast was already living up to its name. Starting at 9,790 feet, the course had a total elevation gain of 4,200 feet, and a max slope of 37%. Fourteen and a half grueling miles up and down the steep ski slopes, carrying wet sand in buckets, scaling walls, climbing ropes, and marching the last 900 feet to the summit with a 60-pound sandbag on your shoulders—it was a day for the Spartan history books.
Our Goal: My husband and I were on the course striving to complete our first Trifecta, which is achieved by completing the Spartan Sprint, Spartan Super, and the Spartan Beast within the same calendar year.
Attack of the cramps: Knowing that the second obstacle was the dreaded “swim” across the snowmelt lake, and then directly heading to the obstacle “Over-Under-Through,” everyone was talking about cramping. It wasn’t a question of if, but when to expect to cramp. Whether it was the heavy carries, the walls, or just the time on the course, we were all prepping for the inevitable cramp to hit.
The cramps came in full force for us all. We hit the walls and cramps ensued. The steep grades and unending climbs caused my calves to cramp multiple times along the course. The Tyrolean Traverse, Rope Climb, and Stairway to Sparta obstacles all led to the same thing — muscle cramping.
The transitions from the cold water at the swim to the grueling miles up and down steep slopes, combined with the exertion during the obstacles proved the perfect recipe for multiple cramps. We were glad we packed HOTSHOT to get us through, and even handed out our reserves to others who were in desperate need.
HOTSHOT to the rescue: Before the race started, seeing the bright red tent with HOTSHOT printed on it was a relief! We knew that there was hope for the rest of the day to alleviate our cramping. At about mile three, I started to get tensing in my calves and I knew a cramp was coming on. I drank a HOTSHOT and felt it ease after a few minutes. As we progressed through the race, cramps started popping up and people began to down their HOTSHOT. A woman was near tears as she had a calf cramp just from reaching up to grab the monkey bars. I handed her a HOTSHOT. Within about three minutes, she was back up and tackling the monkey bars.
By the time we reached the 6 foot, 7 foot, and 8 foot walls, HOTSHOT was already the talk of the race. People who had never used it before were bypassing their usual mustard packets and pickle juice because HOTSHOT was working faster and with better results. The trashcans were full of empty HOTSHOT bottles at every water station, and it was coming up in conversations whenever cramping happened.
Overall, HOTSHOT changed the game for many people on the course. We heard multiple people say that they were going to pick it up once they got down the mountain and back home. HOTSHOT really is the equalizer in Obstacle Course Racing when it comes to cramps.
HOTSHOT is changing how we all race- because we are able to use it to eliminate cramps and to push ourselves harder, longer, and farther. HOTSHOT kills cramps, plain and simple. The Breckenridge Beast was no match for those of us determined to beat it, armed with HOTSHOT and sheer determination: the day was won, and our Trifecta earned.
Testimonials from more Colorado Obstacle Racers:
- Stephanie R. "I downed a bottle around mile 9 or 10. While it didn't completely eliminate my calf cramp, I feel like it helped quite bit. It never flared up again the whole race. I'd definitely use it again!"
- Blake A. "I used my bottle right after the bucket brigade and it really seemed to work, plus I love the taste. Grabbed me a bottle for the Tough Mudder!"
- Amanda M. "I used HOTSHOT after getting a side cramp. It worked almost instantly and I didn't have any more problems for the rest of the race."
- Stephanie G. "I used it, and liked it, but should have had multiple bottles to get me through the race."
- Stacy M. "The Beast was my first time using HOTSHOT. I drank one at mile 3 to prevent cramps and mile 9 just in case. I didn't experience a single cramp! I'll definitely use it again."
- Adrienne E. "I loved it! During the Spartan Super in Utah, I cramped several times during the race. I used the HOTSHOT at the beginning of the Beast, and didn't get one cramp throughout the entire race, or after! Will totally use it again."
- Ted K. "I was still tight from doing the Beast on Saturday and drank a whole bottle at the starting line for the Sprint, and even at high elevation, I thought it was the easiest Sprint I've ever done. I do think HOTSHOT contributed to that!"
- Cory M. "I normally cramp around mile 9 or so. Took hotshot at mile 6 in Breck. Around mile 12, I started getting the onset of cramping, but never a fully engaged cramp. Took again after the race. No cramping at all. No late night cramps after the race either. Great stuff!"
- Corrina V. "I had a few bottles on me up in Breck. I took one before the Beast race (as I am prone to calf muscle cramping) and I had absolutely no issues with cramping. I also hydrated with water and Pedialyte the day before. I started cramping in the first mile of the Sprint (next day) and immediately downed a hotshot, the cramping went away. Yes, I am a believer in HOTSHOT and I need to order me some more. Thank you!"
- John G. "I felt it work. I would definitely buy it and use it."
- Cory A. "I'm a believer. Bought a 6-pack yesterday."
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