SavageBlog | Tag Archives: sam abbitt
February 4, 2019

Sawtooth Training Tips by Chris Marhefka (B3 Gym)

Post by Sam Abbitt
Tags: , ,

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.

April 5, 2017

How to make sure you get great action photos at Savage Race

Post by Sam Abbitt
Tags: ,

Savage Race offers free race photos for all runners. Read these tips to make sure you get amazing action photos at any Savage Race!

How to make sure you get good photos at Savage Race

1. Make sure you know where all photographers will be on the course! The official photographers will all wear bright yellow vests. You will receive an email before the event that details all of the photographer locations.

2. Always wear your race bib facing forwards, and make sure it is clean and visible.

3. Seek out the photographers and make sure they take your photo!

4. Write your bib number on your body using a body marking pen. (optional)

How to retrieve your photos

We take tens of thousands of participant photos at each event, so it takes several days for our staff to review and tag them all. Some of your photos might be immediately available after the event, but it is unlikely that all of your photos will be ready until Thursday.

There are two ways to download and share your photos. Option 1 is faster, and requires that you give an app share access to your Facebook account. Option 2 does not involve Facebook at all, but the photos will not be available as soon.

Option 1 – Pic2Go

  • This is the fastest way to access your photos
  • Photos appear and post to your Facebook page during the week as they are tagged by our team
  • This option requires a Facebook account
  • You must give the app permission to auto-post your photos to a Facebook audience: Public, Friends, Only Me, or select specific friends
  • If you select “Only Me”, you can delete photos you don’t want to share prior to publishing. After reviewing, click “Change to Shared Album” to publish your album
  • A link to use the Pic2Go platform to auto-share your race photos on Facebook will be sent to you after the event

Option 2 – High Resolution Downloads

  • This option does not require a Facebook account
  • Photos will only be available in the high-resolution download center after all tagging is complete
  • This option will be ready on Wednesday or Thursday following the race
  • A link to the high resolution download center will be sent to you after the event

How does photo tagging work?

We are able to tag pictures of you using a three part process: automatic bar code tagging, manual bib number tagging, and RFID tagging. These three methods are explained below.

  • Bar code tagging is an automatic process that tags your photos when the bar code printed on your race bib is visible. About half of the photos are tagged automatically using this system. More on how this works
  • Manual bib number tagging is a team of people scrolling through all of the photos and tagging them with the bib numbers they can see on their screen.
  • RFID tagging sends a time stamp each time a participant crosses over an RFID mat on the course. We have mats at all photo locations. These time stamps help our manual taggers find more photos for you.
January 17, 2017

Interview: Savage Race CEO Sam Abbitt Discusses OCR, New Obstacles, and the Future of the Sport

Back in December, CEO Sam Abbitt spoke to Paul Jones over at New England Spahtens on the exciting launch of Savage Race Boston!  Sam and Paul discuss the success of Savage Race and the excitement of the upcoming 2017 race season with new obstacles, new medals, and the continuation of the Savage Syndicate program.  Click below and enjoy the podcast.

The New England Spahtens are an OCR community group based in New England providing an online source for race information, race reviews, and more. Check them out at


Proud Savage Sponsors