SavageBlog | Information, Inspiration + Motivation
April 9, 2019

Savage Race x GORUCK : Two Ways To Ruck Savage Race!

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Here is a question I asked a friend recently, “Do you want to try rucking your next Savage Race with me?”

My friend stared at me blankly with no idea what I just asked him.

I’m willing to bet that 80% or more of you will have no idea what this question means either. Or maybe I’m wrong, and you have already heard the buzz about it in the Savage Syndicate Facebook Group. Either way, until you’ve tried rucking, you really don’t know what you’ve been missing out on. If you already know all about rucking, you might want to skip down to part 2 of this post to hear about the different ways you can ruck a Savage Race.

This is what rucking looks like at Savage Race Ruck Division. (sandbag optional)

Rucking Explained, and Why I Started Doing It (Skip this if you already know what rucking is)

Rucking, quite simply, is walking while wearing a weighted backpack.

I first started rucking in March 2018, almost exactly one year ago. At the time, I weighed 290 pounds, and was too fat to run. I say that I was too fat to run because 1) I couldn’t run very far without having to stop, and 2) I was afraid running would damage my knees, because I was so heavy. Believe me, as the founder of a fitness company that specializes in running events, the fact that I was “too fat to run” is a painful thing to admit.

Around that time I decided that enough was enough. I was tired of being fat. I needed to fix my health and weight problem. I started eating clean, and training harder. Somewhere around that time I was introduced to GORUCK and rucking.

My rucking career started with a GORUCK GR1 rucksack and a 20 pound Ruck Plate. You just stuff the plate in the bag and start walking (rucking) a mile or two every other day, or whenever you can. You can wear your ruck when you’re walking your dog (ruck your dog) or when you’re going out to get your mail. It’s as easy as that to get started, and I sort of fell in love with how easily it fit into my life. In the beginning, that 20 pound plate felt a bit heavy on my back, and I felt muscle soreness in my shoulders and upper back muscles in places that I had never felt before. Before long, the 20 pound plate sort of felt like nothing, and I started adding more weight.

Fast forward one year of clean eating, rucking, Savage Racing, and weightlifting, and I’m 40 pounds lighter and happier. Oh yeah, and I’m still rucking, except now I’m using a 40 pound weight on most of my rucks. (Pro hack: after you lose 40 pounds, rucking with a 40 pound plate feels like normal walking.)

Ruck Division: The ruck goes under the barbed wire too.

Rucking at Savage Race – There are two ways to do it.

Rucking Option 1 – Savage Race Rucking Division (This is the fun option)
The Savage Race Ruck Division is probably what I would recommend for most people. In a nutshell, this option is the same thing as running a Savage Race event, except that you are rucking it. The Ruck Division is available at all Saturday Savage Race events in 2019 and has its own dedicated 9:30am start time. To join the Rucking division, register for Savage Race on our website just like you would if you were going to run the event, and gather at the start line prior to the 9:30am start time. Ruck Division is meant to be a fun way to ruck the race course at Savage Race. There are no strict rules, like mandatory minimum weight. You get to decide how much weight to wear (I did 30#). We took the rucks off for obstacles when we felt like it made sense. Everyone starts at 9:30am so that all of the ruckers can join up and experience the fun together. I rucked the Savage Blitz Gainesville event this year with some friends, including a few guys from GORUCK HQ, and had a blast. GORUCK Founder and CEO Jason McCarthy wrote about our wonderful experience in this blog post.

The Ruck division may be best for those who are new to rucking, are looking for a fun, laid back teamwork experience, or who want to try rucking, but have no interest in staying up all night at at a Savage Race GORUCK Tough event.

What I recommend for Ruck Division:

  • 20L Rucker Rucksack or GR1 (26L GR1 is pictured below)
  •  30 pound Ruck Plate (If this is your first time rucking, start a little lighter)
  • Hydration Bladder with retainer clip. This is optional for Ruck Division. We do have hydration stations on the course, so I would probably only bring the hydration bladder on a particularly hot day.
  • Savage Race T-shirt
  • I’m a big fan of the Challenge Shorts, or the Simple Shorts for events. Jason swears that the Challenge Pants or Simple Pants are the way to go. I don’t mind sacrificing the skin on my knees a little bit so that I can feel the cool breeze. This is a matter of personal preference. The material these pants are made of dries very quickly, and they are great for events. I ruck in these shorts, but I also frequently go to the gym in them, go to the office in them, etc. They are great for events and for every day wearing around.
  • GORUCK MACV-1 Jungle Rucking Boots

Rucking Option 2 – Savage Race GORUCK Tough (This is the HARD option)
The Savage Race GORUCK Tough events are no joke. I completed two of them in 2018, and they were the most demanding physical challenges I’ve ever faced. If you are interested in pushing yourself in new ways and doing what you never thought possible, this might be your event.

The Savage Race GORUCK Tough events are 10-12 hour, 15-20 mile rucks led by a Special Forces Cadre (i.e. a real life, bad-ass soldier). The event starts at midnight on the Friday night before Savage Race, and wraps up on Saturday morning before lunch time. There is a minimum weight requirement, and a list of equipment that you must bring. I pity the fool who has to fess up to their Cadre that they forgot something on the equipment list.

This description of the Tough challenge comes directly from GORUCK.com:

We challenge you to put your team before yourself. We teach you how to lead, how to follow, and how to overcome adversity together. And you get to keep these lessons with you for the rest of your life. This is the original GORUCK Event, the one where we prove to you that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought possible when you work as a team. Earn the GORUCK Tough patch and you’ll find out that it’s a way of life and a community with some of the best people you could ever hope to meet.

During the Savage Race GORUCK Tough, you get to experience the Savage Race obstacles, but you also will be put through an undisclosed physical gauntlet of activity, courtesy of your Special Forces Cadre.

In my experience, each event was different. At one of my events, among other activities, we got to carry an 800 pound log (as a team) for seven hours. A few people in our group couldn’t handle it and quit. Those of us who completed that event agree that it was one of the most rewarding experiences we have ever had, packed with life lessons we will not soon forget. These events aren’t for everyone, that’s for sure, but if you finish one, it will be an accomplishment that you can be very proud of.

Oh yeah, and when you finish the Savage Race GORUCK Tough, you earn this patch.

What I recommend for Savage Race GORUCK Tough:

  • Everything I suggested above for Ruck Division, PLUS
  • A rucksack aka backpack (GR1 or Rucker recommended)
  • Hydration Bladder: Source 3L recommended
  • Nalgene bottle (1L) or equivalent (electrolytes recommended)
  • Reflective Ruck Bands (or equivalent) on your ruck
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Windbreaker (only if temperature is expected before 60 degrees F)
  • Photo ID and $20 cash just in case
  • As a class, you need one (1) 25 lb. class weight and one American Flag. Use your event’s Facebook page to meet your class, organize training, and coordinate team weight details.
  • Flip-flops (not required) – upon completion of a GORUCK Tough, it’s one of the seven great feelings in the world to take your shoes and socks off and put flip flops on. It also makes the hell-yeah-I-earned-my-patch beer taste even better.
  • Check the event page for your specific GORUCK Tough event to view the complete recommended and required gear list

There are only two ways to get this patch: 1) Complete a Savage Race GORUCK Tough, or 2) Rob a GORUCK Cadre. Neither option is particularly easy.

Savage Race Georgia GORUCK Tough – Still smiling, 8 hours into the event.

Oh yeah… And at the end, there is always a beer or three…

Beer. The official recovery drink of GORUCK and Savage Race. (Erik + his boy, Sam, Jason, Andy)

 

Affiliate disclosure: This post includes affiliate links to GORUCK.com. GORUCK makes great, high-end gear that will stand up to Savage Race and GORUCK events. If you buy products from their website after clicking one of the affiliate links, Savage Race will receive a small percentage of the sale. Thank you for supporting GORUCK and Savage Race!

March 1, 2019

New Obstacle! “Chopsticks”

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Last weekend we had our first event of 2019 in Alachua, Florida, where we revealed three new obstacles: Piece of Queso, Chopsticks, and Inversion Therapy. I did the race twice (one lap with 30# ruck+ 60# team sandbag, and one regular running lap) and was able to successfully complete Piece of Queso and Chopsticks during the event, but Inversion Therapy got my number. Inversion will be a good one for me to train towards for future events.

Lee and I shot this Facebook live video to explain Chopsticks, and show you some tips on how to complete the obstacle.

Introducing “Chopsticks” & obstacle tips from Sam and Lee

February 22, 2019

New Obstacle! “Piece of Queso”

Post by Sam Abbitt
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2019 event season is here, so that means brand new obstacles! Here is obstacle release number one for the year, Piece of Queso! Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and part of our private Savage Syndicate Facebook group to catch more obstacle updates, training tips, and pointers for completing the obstacles.

Introducing “Piece of Queso” & pro tips from Lee

February 8, 2019

2019 Finisher Shirts Are Here

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Last week we showed you the 2019 finisher, syndicate, and PRO medals. This week, it’s tee-shirt time! We hope you love these super soft finisher shirts for Savage Race and Savage Blitz as much as we do.

If you haven’t taken advantage already, sign up for your 2019 events buy one, get one half off, using code CUPID. This offer expires 2/14 11:59 PM.

 

2019 Savage Race Finisher Tee

2019 Savage Blitz Finisher Tee

February 4, 2019

Sawtooth Training Tips by Chris Marhefka (B3 Gym)

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Last week I dropped into B3 Gym in Gainesville, Florida to meet with owner and head trainer Chris Marhefka to get some training tips for completing my personal arch-nemesis obstacle, Sawtooth.

In the video, Chris shows me how I can use pull ups, dead hangs, one handed hangs, fat grip progressions, and other training techniques to conquer Sawtooth and other upper body strength oriented obstacles.

Oh! And I should mention that I hit a dead hang PR in this video (1:21). Haha!

Chris Marhefka is the founder of B3 Gym in Gainesville, FL and co-founder of Eat the 80, a healthy meal delivery service in Florida. He has worked with more than 2,000 clients and has 10+ years experience as a personal trainer, CrossFit instructor, and nutrition and lifestyle coach. He holds a Certified Personal Trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine and is a CrossFit L1 and L2 certificate holder.

I Will Conquer Sawtooth in 2019.

One of my deepest secrets is that I can’t complete Sawtooth. That’s right, the founder of Savage Race can’t complete one of his own trademark obstacles. I’ve had eight years to do it, and every time I try, I end up falling in the drink.

A few months ago, I decided that 2019 would be the year that this would change. I know that conquering Sawtooth will require hard work and dedication. The two biggest factors keeping me from successfully completing Sawtooth are 1) I am overweight, and 2) my upper body is not strong enough. Both of these issues will need to be addressed to enable me to accomplish my goal of defeating Sawtooth.

Being overweight makes obstacle course racing a lot harder. The way I think about it is that for every extra 10 pounds of fat on my body, I might as well be wearing a weighted backpack filled with 10 pound plates. To address this issue, I’ve been eating clean for the past few months. I follow a Paleo-ish diet, and I’ve experimented with intermittent fasting and ketosis too. I’ve found that if I limit my carbs to 50-100 grams per day, I can steadily lose weight, and it really doesn’t require a lot of effort or will power. Another tactic that works well for me is to challenge my friends to weight loss and fitness challenges. Savage Co-founder Lloyd Parker and I both lost about 30 pounds in three months participating in one of these challenges. So I’m down 30 pounds, and have about 15 to go. I think I’m on track in the weight loss department.

To address the strength issue, I’ve been hitting the gym to get stronger. I have a great garage gym at my house that makes it easy for me to get the work in. Even more important, is good programming, so I hired a remote coach, Sean McGovern to create an individualized training plan for me and to hold me accountable. Following Sean’s plan, which is specifically tailored to help me reach my goals, I’ve been breaking PRs in the gym that I haven’t come close to in eight years. So I think that I’m on track in the strength department, too. If you think that having a remote coach could be a good fit for you, I highly recommend you contact Sean.

January 30, 2019

New Savage Bling for 2019!

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Ahhh yeah… A new year = a new set of medals. In this video, I show off all the new goods.

My favorite is the HUGE new Savage Syndicate medal, featuring spinning action and a lovely mirror finish. As usual, you will get a lap pin for every paid lap you ran to earn your Syndicate honors. This year we made separate Savage Race and Savage Blitz pins, to distinguish which type of laps you ran. These pins are larger and nicer than any we’ve had in the past, and will replace the state pins that we have given out in the past. To learn how to earn the Savage Syndicate medal, follow this link.

For those of you SavagePRO and BlitzPRO athletes out there, you gotta check out the new PRO award medals. These are what you will earn if you win age group or top team honors. Instead of the standard round medal design we’ve given out in prior years, the latest PRO award medals are Savage Axe replicas, complete with a custom SavagePRO/BlitzPRO lanyard.

Of course, we also have some great new medals for the standard Savage Race and Savage Blitz finishers!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m completely fired up for the 2019 season. I’ve been training hard to have my best year of health and performance, so you can bet that I’ll be earning my medals this year right along with you.

Much Savage love,

Sam Abbitt
President
Savage Race HQ


SavagePRO and BlitzPRO award axes, Savage Syndicate medal and pins, Savage Race finisher medal, Savage Blitz finisher medal (left to right)

November 10, 2017

How We’re Always Striving to Improve Savage Race Based on YOUR Feedback

Hey Savages! Today we’d like to give you an inside look at how we’re committed to continually improving your experience at Savage Race.

You already know we have the best obstacles, and that our race is the perfect distance. But did you know that we have an internal focus on always making Savage Race better?

We work hard to connect with you, our growing Savage community, and then put on an amazing event that you just can’t stop talking about. Then, we review a number of metrics to measure the success of each event. We consider what worked well and what we could do better next time. After that we make adjustments (sometimes big ones!) and repeat the process.

The end result is a better Savage experience each time you come out to one of our events, and we’re darned proud of that.

Read More…

October 2, 2017

Support Hurricane Relief Efforts by Purchasing Your Limited Edition Savage Race T-Shirt

Post by Carrie
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Savage Race isn’t just about getting muddy and conquering obstacles. We’re not just about accomplishing goals and overcoming fears. And we’re not just about fun and fitness and making memories of a lifetime.

No, Savage Race is about so much more than that.

What makes Savage Race so great is YOU and your support of one another before, during, and after the race.

Savage Race is about community.

Read More…

December 27, 2016

Inside the Obstacle: Hangarang

Post by Alex Brown
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Meet "Hangarang" another new obstacle you will face in 2017. More new obstacle announcements coming soon...

Posted by Savage Race on Friday, December 23, 2016
November 28, 2016

Inside the Obstacle: Twin Peaks

Post by Alex Brown
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Inside the Obstacle: Twin Peaks

Inside the Obstacle: Twin Peaks

Posted by Savage Race on Monday, November 28, 2016
September 19, 2016

Inside the Obstacle: Savage Rig

Post by Alex Brown
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Inside the Obstacle: SavageRig

Posted by Savage Race on Thursday, August 4, 2016
September 7, 2016

Who Is Matty T? “A Gluten Free, Beverly Hills Ninja”

Post by Mike Natale
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Matty-Cover

We’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another, “who is Matty T?” I did it yesterday actually.I mean sure, we all know Matty T, the fuzzy faced, hoody rocking, backwards hat guy who always wants us to “get Savage”, and looks badass in a lab coat. But do we truly know ……… Matty T? …. You will. I dug deep on this one and left no stone unturned. It’s due time to shine the spotlight on this gentle giant and learn all his secrets. So without further ado… Let’s get Savage.

Read More…

August 23, 2016

Inside the Obstacle: Tree Hugger

Post by Alex Brown
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Inside The Obstacle: Tree Hugger

Yep, another new obstacle for 2016! Watch Matty T break down Tree Hugger in our latest edition of Inside the Obstacle

Posted by Savage Race on Thursday, August 18, 2016
June 21, 2016

Inside the Obstacle: On the Fence

Post by Alex Brown
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Check our newest installation of Inside the Obstacle!

Inside the Obstacle: On The Fence

Inside the Obstacle: On The Fence

Posted by Savage Race on Friday, June 17, 2016
March 15, 2016

What to Wear to Your Next Mud Run

Post by Alex Brown
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Deciding what to wear to your next mud run or obstacle course race can make make a big difference in how you feel on race day. Wearing the wrong clothes or shoes can cause serious discomfort and chafing. This can ruin your race experience, so use the following information to plan ahead and choose wisely!

Read More…

February 16, 2016

Savage Race Presents “Inside the Obstacle: Sawtooth”

Post by Alex Brown
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Matty T the Race Emcee is back again with an insider look at our all-upper-body obstacle, Sawtooth. Check it out…

Inside the Obstacle: Sawtooth

Sawtooth is one of Savage Race's most unique obstacles. Find out why only 40% can complete it.

Posted by Savage Race on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
February 12, 2016

Top 20 Sweetest Savage Photos of All Time

Post by Alex Brown
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It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and mud is in the air at Savage Race. Check out these top 20 sweetest Savage photos of all time!

Read More…

February 4, 2016

Luis Santana Beats Cancer and Trains Savage

Post by Alex Brown
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Just before his 16th birthday, Luis Santana was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his left leg. His dreams of getting a wrestling scholarship to Ohio State were put on hold as he spent the next seven years wrestling cancer instead.

It came back three times, advancing further and further up his leg each time. At 19 years old he was told that amputation was the only option to save his life. But his doctor didn’t give up and they tried a new form of radiation therapy. At 23, his prayers were answered and he was completely cancer free.

“I fought depression, anger, and spent many months alone not wanting to be close to anyone fearing I could die at any moment,” remembers Luis. “Without my faith in God and my family to support me, I wouldn’t be alive today.”

Read More…

January 26, 2016

Savage Race Presents “Inside the Obstacle: Colossus”

Post by Alex Brown
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Matty T the Race Emcee spent some time showing us a behind-the-scenes look at Savage Race’s biggest obstacle, Colossus. Check it out…

Inside the Obstacle: Colossus

Go behind the scenes with OCR's biggest obstacle...

Posted by Savage Race on Monday, January 25, 2016
January 22, 2016

Florida Savages: Things to Do in Pasco County, FL

Post by Alex Brown
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Florida Savages, check out some awesome things to do while you’re in Pasco County! Some of the many activities include boating and fishing, golfing, hot air balloon rides, zip lining, and skydiving.

Read More…

January 13, 2016

Savage Race Presents “Inside the Obstacle: Wheel World”

Post by Alex Brown
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We recently went behind the scenes with Matty T the Race Emcee to get pro tips and an insider look at Savage Race’s newest obstacle, Wheel World. Check it out…

Inside the Obstacle: Wheel World

Check out the first part of our newest video series Inside the Obstacle with Matty T

Posted by Savage Race on Tuesday, January 12, 2016
December 25, 2015

Win a VIP Experience Package to Savage Race!

Post by Alex Brown
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Savage Race and NuAquos Sports Drink are giving away two VIP packages with free race entries, merchandise, parking, food & beverage, exclusive behind-the-scenes access, and more!

Enter To Win Here

Winners will be announced on Instagram on March 1st.

NuAquos is a functional beverage that rehydrates with all 6 base electrolytes, promotes recovery with 12 grams of protein, and restores nutrients with 19 vitamins and minerals – all with unparalleled taste.

NuAquos-2

 

April 29, 2015

Official SavagePRO Rules & Obstacle Guidelines

Post by Alex Brown
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(updated June 12, 2019)

GENERAL RULES

Overall – Athletes must complete all obstacles as specified in the SavagePRO Rules in order to be eligible for cash prizes, which are awarded to the Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female athletes competing in the SavagePRO heat.

Read More…

August 1, 2019

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Great Wall

Post by Alex Brown
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Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and part of our private Savage Syndicate Facebook group to catch more obstacle updates, training tips, and pointers for completing the obstacles.

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Great Wall

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Twirly Bird

Post by Alex Brown
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Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and part of our private Savage Syndicate Facebook group to catch more obstacle updates, training tips, and pointers for completing the obstacles.

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Twirly Bird

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Battering Ram

Post by Alex Brown
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Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and part of our private Savage Syndicate Facebook group to catch more obstacle updates, training tips, and pointers for completing the obstacles.

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Battering Ram

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Pedal for the Medal

Post by Alex Brown
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Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and part of our private Savage Syndicate Facebook group to catch more obstacle updates, training tips, and pointers for completing the obstacles.

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Pedal for the Medal

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Barn Doors

Post by Alex Brown
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Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and part of our private Savage Syndicate Facebook group to catch more obstacle updates, training tips, and pointers for completing the obstacles.

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Barn Doors

July 18, 2019

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Back Scratcher

Post by Alex Brown
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Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter and part of our private Savage Syndicate Facebook group to catch more obstacle updates, training tips, and pointers for completing the obstacles.

Training Tips with Sam & Lee – Featured Obstacle: Back Scratcher

 

Bob’s Red Mill is excited to announce their new Bob’s Better Bars! Made with whole grain oats, peanut butter, honey, and real fruits and nuts, each bar offers at least 6g of protein and no more than 11g of sugar to fuel your workouts, races, and your every day. Verified by the Non-GMO Project and certified gluten free, stop by the Bob’s Red Mill booth on race day to find your favorite flavor. Visit BobsRedMill.com to learn more and shop!

April 1, 2019

Georgia Fall 2019 Date Change

Post by Sam Abbitt
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Savage Race Georgia Fall 2019 is moving dates to the weekend of October 26 & 27, 2019, with Savage Race moving to Saturday, 10/26, and Savage Blitz moving to Sunday, 10/27. The Savage Race GORUCK Tough event will also move to the new weekend, with the same start time of 0:01 on Friday night/Sat morning. We hate to make changes to the event calendar once dates have already been released, but the venue had a schedule conflict that we didn’t find out about until this weekend, leaving us without a choice.

The good news is that the new dates could help us avoid a very hot event like we had last year in Georgia. The historical average temperatures for the new dates indicate 60 degrees at 9am, warming up to 69 degrees later in the day (excellent race conditions).

We understand that the new dates might not work for everyone, and we have three options for you to consider.

Here are your options if you registered for this event prior to the date change:

  1. You can do nothing, and your registration will be automatically transferred to the new Georgia event weekend, October 26th & 27th, 2019.
  2. You can request a transfer to any other event that we have open on our calendar, with no transfer fee. To initiate your transfer, submit a ticket here.
  3. You can request a refund if options 1 or 2 do not work for you. To request a refund, submit a ticket here.

I am sorry if this change causes any complications for you.

See you on the course!

Sam Abbitt
SRHQ

March 27, 2019

Invitation to Savage Race Florida Fall

Post by Sam Abbitt
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In this video I challenge my fellow Floridians to join me at Savage Race Florida Fall 2019 in November. I vow to complete Sawtooth AND to earn the Syndicate medal. Join me!