Posted on

Ep72: The episode where we have no plan …

On this show, we arrive with no agenda, and possibly some audio problems! But, we still get to chat about the races we’ve already hit, call Josh a wimp, and look to the Ragnar Relay season! 

Check out our newly rebooted website! With quick and easy access to the stuff YOU’VE been asking for! Pick up the new NES beach towels for the biggest discount they’ll ever be offered! http://www.newenglandspahtens.com

And register for #racelocal today – earn points, get medals and cool swag – all for supporting and running the local OCR scene! http://www.nespahtens.com/racelocal

Do you enjoy listening to the show? Share this episode with your OCR friends! Leave us a review in iTunes! Leave a comment on social media so we know you’re out there!

Posted on

Ep70: Polar Bear Challenge recap, Tough Mudder and more!

This show, the gang gets back together to recap the Polar Bear Challenge at Shale Hill, and run over some of Tough Mudders new 2018 features!

Enjoy the show!

Did you know we have a drill shirt order open? Did you know we’ve got more T Shirts and hoodies and hats and swag in the store than EVER before?

http://www.nesstore.com

Are you enjoying the show? Leave us a review in iTunes, or share this episode to a friend – spread the word and let us know you’re enjoying what we’re doing!

Posted on

Shale Hill, Polar Bear Challenge 2018

This is year 6 for Polar Bear Challenge – and a whole bevy of new people got to come to Shale Hill and figure out what we’ve all been talking about for the last half a decade.

The basics – Shale Hill is a fixed course, based about 30 minutes away from Killington, in the sleepy little town of Benson, VT. It has all the physical challenges of an award winning permanent training venue, with none of the huge marketing budget. Shale Hill is simply the best grass roots obstacle course experience you can get in the North East, maybe even the entire US.

Which is why we go back to the Polar Bear Challenge every year. Because the short walk across the field from your parked car to the barn is lit up by bonfires, and looks amazing. Because check in takes seconds, and once she knows you, co-owner Jill greets you by name. Because no matter what mother nature throws at him, Rob is always running around and building something new, or having a talk with a competitive racer about technique, or a joke to put the casual runners at ease. Because the local restaurant ensures there’s a never ending supply of hot bacon and coffee (and sure, some other food) going in the barn all day.

Because you’re always greeted by people who care very deeply about their event, and their sport – and in the OCR world of big box races and big brand sponsorship – that shows.

I’m not going into each obstacle. There were old favorites, and new challenges. As always, they were built well, sometimes quite intimidating and for those of us who run Journeyman – always optional. NEVER be scared of coming to Shale Hill because it’s “too hard”, as the Journeyman option lets you pick your own challenges and do the things you are confident in, and try the others with no penalty.

There were two major changes for the 2018 season.

A new course layout – as we heard on our podcast interview with Rob a week prior, he had put a significant amount of effort into changing the course – and it was entirely different. I also know that he had major problems with the wind blowing down the course tape the previous day, but can happily say that by the time I got there, everything was up, clearly marked – and there was only one time I saw someone off course, and they had entirely missed a really clear arrow pointing in the right direction.

The new course mapped out to about the same distance – just shy of 6.5 miles in this case. Efforts were made to get some of the bigger, more challenging obstacles into the front part of the course, to give the competitive crew a bit more of a shot of completion on the really difficult stuff. This meant that the previously uphill monkey bars were down downhill monkey bars – and I think that worked out just fine for most. As someone who has run many many laps on the “old” course, I didn’t get lost once!

The next big difference was in the competitive penalty system. Due to the nature of the Polar Bear Challenge – and it’s temperatures – penalties have always been done by picking up a chip at a failed obstacle, then “cashing in” for a penalty when you arrived back at the end of your first lap – but, for 2018 there were only 3 stations like that. Everywhere else, if you chose to “fail” the obstacle (you could attempt it as often as you like), you had to run back to the previous obstacle that you fully completed. This could mean a short jog back to a tough obstacle, or it could mean a long trot back to an easy obstacle. Once you had run back, done the last obstacle, you could turn around, come on back, and “touch and go” through the tougher one you chose to fail. I didn’t run journeyman, but it seemed to flow well.

The biggest theme of the day though? Ice.

It’s a winter race, so duh, it’s going to be cold – but this was one of the coldest renditions of Polar Bear Challenge I’ve experienced (the only one colder being year one, which stayed around 10f for the whole day) – but, with that cold we also had ice. Lots of ice. Ice everywhere. There were several slopes and hills that were only safely traversed on your butt, or riding a log!

So many people skip this event. Considering Shale Hill “too far” (tell that to the guys from Texas here for the event) or too hard (many of us only ever do one lap!) or too cold (I always finish a sweaty mess) – Shale Hill should not be missed and like all local events, support them, or you’ll lose them.

Posted on

Ep69: Big changes at Shale Hill!

Shale Hill is the award winning fixed venue thats a short drive from Boston, and all OCR fans NEED to visit! Polar Bear Challenge is in just one week and it’s 6th year will be it’s biggest change – a whole new course layout, new obstacles, new distance, new penalties, new people – it’s all new!

On this show, Paul and Sandy talk to owner Rob Butler about the changes, and what to expect.

 

Would you like to buy team gear? Check out our store, http://www.nesstore.com
W
ould you like to find more team resources? Check our welcome page out, http://www.nespahtens.com/welcome

We’re on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Join our Mailing List, and maybe even become a 2017 Member and support the community!

Don’t forget to subscribe, and leave us a review in iTunes – it’s the little things that help this podcast continue – your questions, your reviews, your feedback let us know you are out there, and you enjoy the content, and we’ll keep recording for you!

Posted on

Ep68: Launching into 2018 with some predictions

On this episode, Paul, Sandy and Josh talk about races that are coming up fast – Blizzard Blast and Polar Bear Challenge – and news thats already happened at the national events like Spartan Race and Tough Mudder – then we each put down a prediction for what will happen in the coming year. 

Leave a comment below! What do YOU think will happen in 2018!

 

Would you like to buy team gear? Including the new cooling towels! Check out our store, http://www.nesstore.com
W
ould you like to find more team resources? Check our welcome page out, http://www.nespahtens.com/welcome

We’re on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Join our Mailing List, and maybe even become a 2017 Member and support the community!

Don’t forget to subscribe, and leave us a review in iTunes – it’s the little things that help this podcast continue – your questions, your reviews, your feedback let us know you are out there, and you enjoy the content, and we’ll keep recording for you!

Posted on

Ep67: Joshua Fiore, Spartan Ultra World Champion

On this show, our Josh, Sandy and Paul chat with Joshua Fiore, who just won the Ultra World Championship in Iceland. We talk about how he got there, what he had to do to win it, and if he carried his engagement ring the whole way!

Enjoy the show, and Merry Christmas!

Would you like to buy team gear? Including the new cooling towels! Check out our store, http://www.nesstore.com
W
ould you like to find more team resources? Check our welcome page out, http://www.nespahtens.com/welcome

We’re on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Join our Mailing List, and maybe even become a 2017 Member and support the community!

Don’t forget to subscribe, and leave us a review in iTunes – it’s the little things that help this podcast continue – your questions, your reviews, your feedback let us know you are out there, and you enjoy the content, and we’ll keep recording for you!

Posted on

Ep67: Joshua Fiore, Spartan Ultra World Champion

On this show, our Josh, Sandy and Paul chat with Joshua Fiore, who just won the Ultra World Championship in Iceland. We talk about how he got there, what he had to do to win it, and if he carried his engagement ring the whole way!

Enjoy the show, and Merry Christmas!

Would you like to buy team gear? Including the new cooling towels! Check out our store, http://www.nesstore.com
W
ould you like to find more team resources? Check our welcome page out, http://www.nespahtens.com/welcome

We’re on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Join our Mailing List, and maybe even become a 2017 Member and support the community!

Don’t forget to subscribe, and leave us a review in iTunes – it’s the little things that help this podcast continue – your questions, your reviews, your feedback let us know you are out there, and you enjoy the content, and we’ll keep recording for you!

Posted on

Ep66: PursuEVENTures

On this episode, we catch up with Lauren Casavant, owner and operator of PursuEVENTures – an OCR series with a focus on kids and families, and holding inclusive events though the 2018 season that big and little people can run, side by side. 

Also, we announce that her January 1st event is going to launch our 2018 #racelocal season!

Enjoy the show!

Would you like to buy team gear? Including the new cooling towels! Check out our store, http://www.nesstore.com
W
ould you like to find more team resources? Check our welcome page out, http://www.nespahtens.com/welcome

We’re on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Join our Mailing List, and maybe even become a 2017 Member and support the community!

Don’t forget to subscribe, and leave us a review in iTunes – it’s the little things that help this podcast continue – your questions, your reviews, your feedback let us know you are out there, and you enjoy the content, and we’ll keep recording for you!

Posted on

Ep65: World Toughest Mudder, with special guest, Mike Stefano of the MStefano Running Podcast!

On this show, Sandy gives us some insight into her Worlds Toughest Mudder experience, and Mike Stefano, of the MStefano Running Podcast – who was also there crewing – fills in the blanks.

Enjoy the show!

Would you like to buy team gear? Including the new cooling towels! Check out our store, http://www.nesstore.com
W
ould you like to find more team resources? Check our welcome page out, http://www.nespahtens.com/welcome

We’re on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Join our Mailing List, and maybe even become a 2017 Member and support the community!

Don’t forget to subscribe, and leave us a review in iTunes – it’s the little things that help this podcast continue – your questions, your reviews, your feedback let us know you are out there, and you enjoy the content, and we’ll keep recording for you!