I was going to write a post about the Savage Race and why this type of race is fun, growing in popularity and why you might want to try out a Mud Race, but mostly to brag a little. I’ve run it 4 times winning my age group the first time out and coming in second the next two times at bat. Second place should be a cause to celebrate but for everyone that’s come in second, there’s always a disappointment. So, I really bumped up my training the last six months and all the pain paid off with a win.
6,251 savages *24 savages were 60+ years old
That’s what I was going to write but the most interesting story to come out of Savage Race is about a father and son team of Ricky and Triston Howe.
They are the bookends of this event. Triston runs in the youngest age bracket and Ricky runs in the oldest age bracket. Tristan has won his age bracket the last 3 times at Savage Race and Ricky has been made the podium each time in the top 3.
How many fathers at the age of 60 are out running competitive mud and flat course races with their sons or daughters? Not many I’m guessing.
One of the key elements which makes these types of races so popular, is that afterward there is a real sense of camaraderie among everyone who has suffered through the course. Beers are raised and you find yourself high fiving some guy with orange hair, tattoos and wearing a kilt… and you feel like brothers in that moment. As a father, being able to experience that with your son is one of those great times in your life.
People who have not participated in a mud race often wonder why a person would jump in a dumpster full of ice, crawl through mud under barbwire, run until your lungs are on fire, get electrocuted, pull yourself over walls, pull muscles while pulling yourself over walls and generally make a fool of yourself while paying out $100 for the privilege. Well, it’s that high five with the orange hair, tattoo, kilt wearing stranger, it’s the camaraderie. This is why I’m not in sales, not a much of a sales pitch for mud racing.
One of the things you don’t fully appreciate at a young age, at least I didn’t, is that later in life you will still have that child in you and that child is really going to miss his dad. They write country songs about this that I still can’t listen to without getting something in my eye. So when a father and son share that “We did it, high five, slap on the back moment” it’s special. It’s worth the high price of admission.
Of course it doesn’t need to be a race.
I have a life long friend who takes his son out to the mountains at least once a year for a hike. His knees ache a bit more and his son has a family and works and it’s harder to schedule the time but sometimes doing nothing in the mountains means more than doing everything at work.
Buffalo Tip: sometimes doing nothing in the mountains means more than doing everything at work
My son Riley and I will go for a run sometimes when he’s home from college and he easily sprints the last 1/2 mile leaving me in the dust while I curse at him. It’s aggravating, since I’ve trained so hard and he hasn’t run in months, that he can do that, but in my heart I’m smiling.
Here’s a quick look at a Savage Race crowd, start and awards.
Most of the photos are from the Savage Race Facebook for FL event Oct, 2013
Buffalo Tip: We are all savages deep down…
Note From Ricky Howe
I emailed Ricky after the race to find out a little more about his background in racing, athletics and Triston. The following is his reply, minimally edited. Ricky is a prime example of a well aged athlete.
Triston started running with me when he was 3 but he is not much on training. He loves to race as I do. I don’t train much either (which probably accounts for my 2nd place finish ). I try to run at least once a week – usually 11-16 miles on trails. I race 2-3 times a month. Triston is closing in on 100 races – trying to get there before graduating high school. I have about 635 trying for 700+ before I hang up the shoes. I have a 34 race streak at Gasparilla 15K (I missed the first two) so I would love to hit at least 40 but my real goal is 50. There are 4 guys who have run all 36 but they are all older and only one is still a viable contender for 40+. I plan on being the last man standing/running.
Triston has run everything from 5K’s to 1/2 marathons mostly all on trails. He loves mud runs and has 2 Tough Mudders, 3 Savages, and a couple smaller ones.
I’ve raced anything that came along. 5K-50K road and trail. Mud runs. Every distance triathlon including Ironman. 10-12 hour adventure races. Road and Mountain Bike races, duathlons etc. Did I mention that I love to race?
I play racquetball once a week (I was an open player in my 20’s) and weight train once weekly also. I ride bike once a week. My body won’t recover anymore from more than that. I’ve done almost everything I ever wanted to do except the big road marathons (Boston, NY, Chicago). Would have loved to do a 50 mile and 100 mile trail. Didn’t have the body for that much punishment or training.
I am doing Tough Mudder in a couple weeks.
I plan on doing Savage until you are too old.