Dominique DOlivera OCR Athlete – My Warrior Race #2

Dom-BannerF2

My Warrior Race #2 started with a near-perfect morning… Good sleep, good breakfast, good coffee, good warm-up, strong injury-free body, positive and calm mind… I felt great!

But I have learned that nothing is entirely predictable in Obstacle Course Racing… Not the course, not the obstacles, and certainly not the outcome! I have gone into many races feeling great but not finishing great, and I have gone into many races feeling below average and then achieved amazing results.

One thing is certain: no matter how good or bad I feel going into a race, I am never entirely in control of how I finish a race. I am completely in His hands, and He has a purpose for every race and every result. My job is to stay positive, have fun, have faith, and learn from every experience.

So back to race day…

Following Warrior Ric’s usual motivational send-off, the elites blasted off onto a fast and flat course. I’m not sure if it was the altitude or fast pace or both, but I found myself struggling for oxygen right from the start, and it took me ages to find a good running rhythm. When I eventually did get into a rhythm and in the mix with the second batch of leading ladies, I got caught up at an obstacle that I wouldn’t usually have too much trouble with. That held me back for about 6 or 7 minutes (felt like 15 minutes!!). I then spent the rest of the race trying to make up lost time.

Dom 02

The leading ladies of OCR racing in South Africa.

 

After lying 8th for the majority of the race I slowly began closing the gap and managed to finish breaking point on my first attempt, putting me in fourth. At this point the top 3 ladies were stuck on Zero Gravity and I knew I still had a shot at podium. However, to my disappointment, as I was approaching Zero Gravity the obstacle rules were changed (because they had numerous failed attempts) and the top 3 girls were then able to get through Zero Gravity without a problem, sending them off into a sprint finish over the last few obstacles for podium spots.

Despite cramping calves and total-body exhaustion, I pushed on towards the finish line as fast as my body would allow me to, finishing within a couple minutes from 3rd place.

Of course it’s always great to have a podium finish but there’s something about just missing the podium that can be incredibly humbling and motivating at the same time.

Dom 01

Yesterday wasn’t my day, but as with all of these races I have learned something from it and it will drive me to keep working harder for the next race.

Congrats to my podium friends, Hanneke, Carina & Trish on your superb efforts and strong finishes yesterday. You girls always inspire me to push harder and challenge myself every day. To Michelle, Mariska, Catherine, Kirsty & Jaime, thank you for keeping me on my toes and pushing me forward one kilometer at a time. I love that the ladies field is getting tougher and stronger at every event.

I never get to see the guys finish but I heard it was also a close one. Congrats to all of you on all your achievements yesterday, whether it was a podium finish or a lesson learned. After all, it’s why we keep coming back for more

Thanks to my wonderful parents for being by my side and supporting me through thick and thin. And to the guys and gals from NovaVit who came out to the event to support yesterday and get a little taste of OCR. Hopefully I can convince them to put a Rookie team together for the next event *hint hint* Shirley!

I’ll see you Warriors again in April!