The Battle Bunker Flagship Fitness Competition
The OCR guy tried out a fitness event!
And got properly beat by a bunch of amazing monster athletes, who showcased a different style of fitness than I’ve seen before in competition. It’s actually a decent tale, so let’s dig right into it.
I’ve missed out on some cool events. “No, you can’t come to Spartan Games”, “You’re too injured to race GoRuck Games”, “You’re much too small to throw around those weights”, … and there’s always been some dumb reason I didn’t like. Some of those reasons have left me frustrated (Europeans do miss out) and others have left me sad (small dudes got feelings too). So when the opportunity came to throw down at Battle Bunker, I flew my unprepared behinds to San Diego with my fav travel buddy, Ida Mathilde.
The Battle Bunker competition hosted 3 events for 32 men and women who were selected to battle it out. Here’s a quick overview of the day:
6:30, Event 1 – Triple R
Run 3,2 km (2 miles) with a 23kg (50lbs) ruck
11:30, Event 2 – FUBAR
4 rounds of
– 5 sandbag cleans
– 5 sandbag squats
– 50m sandbag carry
Once completed, cover the most possible distance with the sandbag.
Sandbag weight: 45kg (100lbs)
Time cap: 6 minutes
13:30 – 17:30, Event 3 – HYBRICON Obstacle Course
After a sloppy 2nd place finish at the Spartan SoCal Super just 6 days before Battle Bunker, I was worried about recovery and performance going into race weekend. Jetlag, a year of hefty travel, ton of work and also competition was showing – it was time to relax. So I did just that, and arrived well rested at the Chula Vista Elite Training Facility, a team USA Olympic training facility. It was, to say it briefly, an amazing facility for athletes and for the competition!
Seeing many old American friends and making new was a blast. I’m a social Dane and the first evening was all smiles and fun. My roommates were hilarious, and strong! I could see I was easily the smallest dude at this event, by quite a margin. But hey, not much to do about that, except get some shut-eye and show up ready to throw down.
The Triple R was an event I expected to do OK in. Short legs are no good for rucking, but I do have massive lungs and determination – but they unfortunately didn’t make the cut! I quickly fell behind on the ruck with the leaders putting down insane paces up in the front. I ran packman style all the way to the rowers, dropped my bag and started pulling on the rower. I managed to hold a 1:55 pace for every 500m, which is OK, but not nearly enough to be competitive. So although I ran a descent 800m, I found myself in 20th place. Hardly ideal for my top-10 goals!
The FU(N)BAR event was interesting to enter. I dreaded it and knew it would be a real struggle to even finish it. I had hired an olympic lifting coach to help me with technique, but those sandbags were as sloppy as the get. Seeing the first heat of 8 athletes put down thunder times was both amazing, and scary. I did quite a lot of mental prep before stepping on the startline. I talked to myself about my comeback after injury, how other peoples expectations towards my performance didn’t matter, how that sandbag had nothing on me, how bad I wanted to make it through the workout, how much I would hate looking like a fraud. Also, I actually did put in the work! I can easily power-clean more than my bodyweight and my form is damn good – so hearing the countdown all I could do was lift and stay focused.
The lifts actually went decently, but carrying that monster bag didn’t! It’s still mind-blowing to me, that other athletes could run with it! Hahaha, I wobbled so slowly over the field and it fatigued me heavily. I went for the slightly conservative “no-no-rep” strategy and eventually made my way out of the field, collapsing at the time cap with the bag next to me. I finished 26th, but still felt kind of proud about the performance. I’m normally not very proud getting my ass kicked so hard.
The HYBRICON course was my jam. I knew that! But to be frank, imposter syndrome hit my heavily after the first 2 events. Thoughts about strength had it’s place, but getting beat so hard in event 1 bothered me. All that work and dedication, the sacrifices – and still getting knocked out like that. Just because of things I can’t control like size, talent and fucking weight? It was very frustrating. So when everyone said “you’ll kill this one”, I didn’t feel very confident. That, and also the fatigue of the day, showed in my run through the course. I felt heavy and didn’t lock my movements in 100%.
Luckily, a 95% performance when you’re a world class obstacle racer isn’t bad at all. I destroyed the course record and the only on to beat me was Veejay Jones, the 2-time OCR World Champ. All that worrying for nothing. Of course I deserve to be at this event. I’ve worked insanely hard to get to where I am, and the desire to overcome thoughts like those also drives me to overperform in 2023. Enough so, that I just quite my job at Ernst & Young (EY) to chase to OCR life full-time.
Thanks to Hunter, Austen, all the volunteers and the amazing athletes for an experience I will not forget. I definitely plan to attend the next Battle Bunker competition, and I’ll be rooting for a 2-day competition. I probably won’t be much heavier, taller or stronger – but I will show up with a big fat smile and run damn hard!
1st – Isaiah Vidal
2nd – Ryan Kent
3rd – Jarret Newby
1st – Ida Mathilde
3rd – Lauren Weeks
Massive shout-out to the ONE OH SEXY gang for a dope afterparty. I was wrecked for a few days after that night – totally worth it! #yetilove
Feel free to read my other race reviews and experiences.
Read about the 8-week grip- & pull power program, the 4-week strength preparation program and get insights into the program, into why I made it and what you can expect from it!
Spartan Race World Championships brought controversy, camaraderie, and surprises. Team Denmark fueled excitement and it was fun racing with my favorite teammates, conquering obstacles and having fun. The 1.4km showdown pushed limits and although a 4th place finish lacks a podium, it marks a personal triumph. Cheers to a memorable season!
The king of grip returns to the tree he fell at in 2022, and also returns to the podium at Europes most competitive championship!
Get your POV experience of the European Champion taking on the American ELITE at the Savage Race Pro Series in Gainesville!
A packed field always leads to great racing – so let’s dive into it!