The run event challenged both physical and mental conditioning. The 7km course took them up steep terrain, through poison-oak-covered foothills and back down on the road to finish the race.
Some favored athletes in the competition were humbled by the event. Jason Khalipa was thought to be out of the competition when he collapsed to the ground entering the flatland portion that marked the start of the final mile.
The most treacherous part of the run was the backside portion. The grade was so significant that the athletes took to crawling on all fours. Many went crashing down the initial slope. For sure, there was not a lot of running happening on the way up.
Some competitors were impressively proficient on the first two events, which tested a broad spectrum of physical capabilities. JC Nessa and Peter Egyed placed in the top 15 runners out of 74 male competitors, and managed to lift all 20 bars in the deadlift event. Mikko Salo came in second in the run and deadlifted all the way to the final bar. Khalipa rallied to finish the run in time and made up some ground by finishing the deadlift event.
"It's the most primitive mode of fitness," said Jeremy Thiel one day before the event. "Run and pick up heavy stuff. Perfect."