Thoughts and observations comparing SMR to BRR from F3 Speed Goats’ slowest, fattest member.  Oh yea, also tallest.  True story, one pax was seen standing on their tip toes in the team picture.  I am not lying but will not mention said pax due to the fact that he is very capable of kicking my butt.  Oh yea, did I mention I was also “least likely to do any burpees while waiting for my turn to run”?

  • Pre-race dinner.  SMR:  Vast choices between Asheville, Hendersonville, and Brevard.  We did Old Etowah Smokehouse.  BRR: Best case scenario is Boone.  Boone does have some good places, but doesn’t hold a candle to AVL and surrounding area.
    • Sidenote: Old Etowah is not Eastern NC BBQ good, but it’s definitely better than SC Garbage Mustard BBQ.  Seriously only the people who claim “Carolina” and/or “USC” as the same school would think that SC makes better BBQ than NC folk?  I’ll allow the claim that your hash is good, but NC doesn’t even bother to make that stuff.
      • Sidenote to the sidenote, there is zero good BBQ in Catawba Co, so do not judge NC BBQ on what you find around Hickory.  We’re in the BBQ Bermuda Triangle around here for some reason.
    • Score – SMR: 1 BRR: 0 
  • Packet pickup  SMR: Oskar Blues brewery, BRR: do they even have one the night before?
    • Case rested.  Zero discussion needed.
      • Score – SMR: 2, BRR: 0
  •  Lodging   SMR: HBC rents us an entire camp for Thursday night.  Any by “rents” I mean, it was free.  And by entire camp, I mean entire camp.  Our building of choice had something like 8 bedrooms w/ bunks all over the place, but for some reason we all crowded into 2 rooms.  Go figure.  BRR: At this point, we all know the story of the lodge we got from .  Poor Bing and Crop had to share a double bed (don’t ask, don’t tell).
    • Sidenote: I think that that poor toilet at our camp saw more action from 2:00 am – 6:00 am than it sees in a normal summer.  #oldmenwithenlargedprostates.
    • Score – SMR-3, BRR: 0
  • Twitter account  SMR: interactive and choice use of comedy BRR – still has the standard egg profile pic.  BRR really deserves minus points for this.
    • Score – SMR – 4, BRR – 0
  • Leg maps/descriptions: SMR: very detailed maps, excellent directions.  However, the elevation gains/losses are a bit suspect, and the elevation profiles are extremely misleading.  Hell, according to those things we all just ran something that looks as flat as P200.  But these guys do print out a Race Bible that’s chock full of information (food stops, places to shower, et).  SMR, fix those elevations and you get your point back.  BRR: love the use of color on the elevation gain profiles.  This alone gets you a point…plus I really just feel sorry for you at this point.
    • Score – SMR – 4, BRR – 1
  • Facilities  SMR: Only one Port A Jon per exchange zone.  Seems a bit of an underestimate, but as small as the race is, this was never an issue.  Even for someone like me who just goes in there to “make sure” all is well.  What I’m saying is they didn’t look like crime scenes after Leg 3.  Volunteers were super nice.  Several places to shower and rest.  Lots of food stops.  Highly recommend Bogart’s in Sylva between Legs 12 and 13.  BRR: Crime scene Port A Jons doesn’t even do their PAJ’s justice.  Plus, I don’t think I’ll ever get over the time I grabbed the urinal trough when my legs gave out.  That’s not your fault BRR, but it’s guilt by association.
    • Score – SMR – 5, BRR – 1
  • Other Teams SMR – The vibe at the exchange zones is great.  Strangers oogling at our van setup (thanks Herniator), talking shop (Bing would be in heaven…we even saw another pop up changing station thing), comparing shoes, etc.  There’s just so few people, you have to get along because you end up seeing essentially the same people every few hours.  But then there’s always one Asshat Team.  You know who you are, you thong wearers.  That was funny, I’ll give you that.  But when you see people trying sleep, why do you roll up with your music thumping, disco ball spinning, and bull horn blaring?  I just don’t get it.  Go ahead and take a leak on my PB&J while you’re at it.  It’s just so damn uncool.  SMR, please make a rule against this so these guys don’t get their asses handed to them next year.  BRR –  lots of folks, lots.  Not much interaction between teams but that’s ok.  They have rules against Nighttime Douchbaggery, so you get another point.
    • Score SMR – 5, BRR – 2
  • Scenery SMR: Outstanding.  Mountains on mountains for days.  Someone described it best, on SMR we go east to west so we go up and over the mountains (BRR goes north to south, along the valleys and ridges of the mountains).  Foggy mornings.  People on the road were very courteous.  No one tried to spit on our van as we drove by.  BRR: Good, but it’s really not even close.  Christmas tree farms are pretty, but not after the 500th one.  Plus, see comment about getting spit on.
    • Score SMR – 6, BRR – 2 
  • Legs SMR: It’s pretty easy to say that they all were very tough and nasty and hilly and straight up a mountain and all finished on top of a hill.  And that would be pretty accurate.  There were multiple times where we turned a corner and everyone in the van simultaneously said “oh no” or “oh crap”.  That’s no lie, these were some of the sickest hills I’ve ever seen anyone run.  My last leg gained 200 ft in less than 1/4 mile…before it gained another 800 ft in 2.75 miles, then dropped 1900 ft in the next 3 miles.  BRR: Let me set this straight, BRR is not easy.  At all.  It’s simply an accomplishment to just finish it.  The Mtn Goats on BRR are horrible and there are several others that I wouldn’t want to do ever again.  But SMR clearly has significantly more climbs and isn’t that what we are all looking for?
    • Score SMR – 7, BRR – 2
  • Finish Celebration SMR: Combine the cool vibe of P200’s finish, but it in one of the coolest Mtn river spots in NC and you have SMR’s finish.  There was music, there were folks paddling the Nantahala, there was a train that was loaded with people looking for salt water taffy (hint: you’d probably be better served by heading to Gatlinburg instead folks), beer was flowing, we got great medals, pint glasses, sweet t shirts, very well organized and lots of fun.  BRR: Biggest disappointment of a finish ever.  How can you finish in downtown Asheville – where the beer flows like wine – and not have some of your sponsors hook us up with some food and beverages?  Or at least not finish in a tiny parking lot?
    • Score SMR – 8, BRR – 2

Result – sign up for SMR, you can thank me later.  Or just do both and compare for yourself.

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