Race Report: Louis Smit – OCT South Breakout #3

I was really excited for this race as it was the first real race in a while as the winter months made races a scarcity for a while. The morning was a bit chilly and cool as there were a few clouds building and a bit of a breeze blowing. My warm-up was fine as usual legs did feel a bit tight and heavy but as soon as the race started I felt fine.

I knew with this particular race that I would be able to get into a rhythm because it was mostly running and then we had all the obstacles just before the finish. I was soon in the lead and had none other than Armin Botha on my shoulder, the ex 5km track star soon surged in front and I tried my best to keep in contact with him.

Soon we were at a tire drag obstacle which was a bit of a surprise, I grabbed the nearest tire and started dragging over the technical terrain, as I was leaning back to pull over some plants the rope snapped and instinctively my hand flew out to protect my fall. In the process, I felt that my thumb got hurt but at that stage didn’t think much of it, I was really frustrated though the nice lead I had built was now wasted as I started over again with a different tire. Bradley Claase was now very close to me.

The last few kilos was rather tough as the rain started to softly fall, the rocks were rather slippery but I was sure footed as I didn’t slip once with the Inov8’s I had on. Bradley closed the gap and was now next to me with a kilometer to go, I still had a bit left and had a bit of a kick again but Bradley came with and soon we were into the cement block carry and racing next to each other in the main obstacle area. I could feel a numb ongoing pain in my hand but again just shrugged the idea off and kept on racing towards the last obstacle ‘’Nemesis”.

We could see Armin struggling with this obstacle just up ahead and now it was a race to the finish with this proper grip tester in our way. Again Brad started next to me and managed to go slightly ahead into the last part of the obstacle, the rules stipulated that we only get 30sec to rest at the net-post and this meant that Brad had gone and I was taking every second I could to make sure of completing this obstacle. As Brad got to the last part I decided to go for it and was feeling rather confident in my abilities, I made it to the net and just needed to go 1 more meter to the bell but my grip failed.

As I was laying on the ground I glanced down for the first time at the hand that had this numb pain, and there was the problem it was swollen and as soon as I started to contemplate to go again and cooling off a bit the pain started to worsen, so I decided to rather call it quits and see a medic. I believe this was the right call to make with OCRWC just around the corner.

What a negative and unlucky end to my race after working so hard on the run, losing 30sec or so with the tire drag rope snapping, failing 1meter from the bell and having to go to the medic. On the positive side, though I know my fitness is up there with the best, I will be back and racing harder next time. If things went slightly different I would have possibly had another win in the bag, but congrats to the podium winners you guys deserve it and also thanks so much to everyone who supported me it means the world.

Thanks to my sponsors for giving me this opportunity and be ready because next time I will not be so unlucky.