Race Review: X Warrior Challenge Calgary Sprint 2019

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Going with a different approach for this review, I’m going to write up a shorter review here and then write a longer and more in-depth review similar to the style I used to write for Overcome and Run which I’ll post after (probably as early as tomorrow).


Location:  Canada Olympic Park, Calgary, Alberta


Weather: Had rained for a day or two prior so it was nice and cool to start while warming up once we got going.


Festival Area: Not much of a festival area this year as the change in venue meant that X Warrior couldn’t override contracts the Ski Hill has, so they were limited as a result. There also wasn’t much space for it either at the base of hill so they did what they could.


Course Conditions: Considering the rain before the race the course was surprisingly pretty dry and compact. There were the odd muddier slippery spots particularly on G.O.A.T. or low-lying dips but that was really the exception not the norm.


Course Layout: A touch long sprint coming in at 6.4KM but really a well laid out course that had both easy and challenging terrain. The course designer made use of the change of facility really well. We had some shorter single-track climbs and descents in the treed area known as the Eastlands early on with some obstacle gauntlets in between. Then had a long more of a grind ascent while tackling spaced out obstacles up to the top of the hill. After that it was a downhill into the final few obstacles and penalty loops.


Favorite Obstacle: This is one is hard to narrow down to one as there were a few I really liked but I’ll go with Geronimo. Which was a backwards jump off a platform to a giant airbag maybe 5 below, landing flat on your back. The reason I enjoyed it so much was it was a good replacement for the loss of Dragon’s Back. It’s actually a very easy obstacle but my coach brain enjoys watching others overcome the mental block they build up over obstacles like that.


Favorite Aspect: Being back at the ski hill that was more or less home for years to do something I would never picture myself doing then was hands down the best part.


Race Synopsis: I felt really good in this race. Training for a longer, more challenging event in a couple weeks really made me feel like this was easier (not easy just easier) than comparable events in the past. There were also enough new or rethought obstacles to stand out as a completely different challenge to past X Warrior events. One skill set that came in handy that I forgot I had as I haven’t really been able to use it in a long time was downhill running, which came in handy as I was able to bomb down in a few spots passing others and really making up for needing to power hike on the way up more then I anticipated needing to do. Felt good on the strength-based obstacles especially towards the end when I was running alongside someone who I would say was a faster runner then me but I was getting through the obstacles faster so we were able to stick together and have a good conversation until the penalty laps. Overall, I happy with my race and where I’m at going into Black Ops, still waiting on full results to see how I did compared to my top 10% in the open class goal but that a smaller goal so I’m not overly focused on that.


Total Penalties: 2 Penalty Loops

Failed both the low and high rigs. The low rig I never really got set on the Tyrolean traverse style bar and my feet hit the ground. The high rig was frustrating in that I was able to get through the first “lightning bar” but couldn’t figure out the transition to the rope mostly due to a lack of clear thinking. Now that I think of how I tackled it my approach made no sense. But stuck the Axe throw so happy about avoiding a penalty there.




Access A+
Course Layout A+
Incorporation of Site A+
Course Marking C
Location A+
Overall A


Biggest Critique: I don’t know if my expectations are too high for photographers but again I’m going there. With probably a thousand runners some doing multiple laps I don’t understand how they miss people or have 5+ pages of copies of the exact same shots



Lessons Learnt:

  • Despite living in a very hilly part of the world, we’ve never needed train them for local races, that changed with this race.
  • Doesn’t matter where they run an event X Warrior will put out a great product.


Scotty Voodoo
I am a proud father & husband. A former semi-pro skier, turned rugby 7’s player, I’ve now worked to become a OCR racer.
A level 2 NCCP certified coach, I also hold coaching certifications in 3 sports.

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