My favorite reaction when I tell people about this race: “…and you do this for fun?” Almost anyone can do this if they want to. I saw racers of all ages and ability levels.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
I should start off by saying that I did not train for this race as hard as I intended to. Summer came, I had places to go to, people to see, things to do, and I got lazy part way through. It happens. They email you a WOD (Workout of the Day) and I didn’t follow a single one. I failed at this goal: Run 1 mile 2x/week, increase to 3 miles 2x/week by July 2012. The longest distance I
ran jogged was 2.4 miles and that was in early July :p Turns out, the race suited my style and ability – jog at a really slow pace with short bursts of energy every now and then. Some obstacles had lines and some parts of the trail were so muddy and steep that you had to slow down or risk slipping and seriously injuring yourself (meaning: there were plenty of breaks).
- Spartan Super (8+ miles / 20+ obstacles)
- Spartan Beast (12+ miles / 25+ obstacles)
- Spartan Ultra Beast (26+ miles / 50 + obstacles)
- Spartan Death Race (48+ hours / 90% of racers will not complete this) visit: youmaydie.com
- Spartan Kids
Once we got there, I got more excited and nervous about the race. You could see smoke on the top of the hill (part of the course), racers going up and down the hill, music was blasting, muddy people were walking around, there were food, water, and merchandise tents, training areas, a guy was dressed up like a Spartan (minus the wellies). I lined up with my 2pm heat and waited for the signal. There was a racer who had a prosthetic arm. The day before, a double-below-knee amputee completed the race. True grit!
Some of the obstacles:
Over-under-through, wall climbs (which got increasingly higher, up to 8 feet), tread through waist-high mud (an ATV got stuck here), Herculean hoist (like a lat-pull, 40 lbs for women & kids / 60 lbs for men), monkey bars, hop across stumps, traversal wall (like bouldering), object carry (carry weight up and down hill), vertical rope climb, spear throw, drag chained cement block, flip over a tire 4 times, barbed wire crawl through mud, fire jump (it was only like 1 foot high), slippery wall (45 degree incline, rope available for assistance), run past gladiator guys who whack you with giant pugil sticks.
How tough was it? Since you aren’t required to complete the obstacles (penalty: 30 burpees for each missed obstacle), the race wasn’t hard to complete. I figure it’s probably what YMAA campers eat for breakfast. But, if you wanted to do every obstacle AND shoot for a fast time, it’s a good challenge. I think the fastest time is around 30 minutes and you’d race in the competitive heats in the morning. It took me 1 hour 36 minutes 38 seconds, but I took my time at some parts. The obstacles I couldn’t do were: monkey bars, stump hopping (probably 6 inches in diameter at most, slanted at angles, and pretty far apart from each other), and spear throw (you get 1 shot and it has to stick in the target). The jog was okay, you just have to be really careful on the steep and muddy parts because you can definitely tear something if you slip. My ankle was still sprained when I ran, but I think some trail running is okay because you get to (lightly) stretch your ligaments at different angles.
It was apparently a hot and humid day, but it didn’t feel like it since a lot of the trails were in the woods and the muddy water pits cooled me off. (I lingered longer then I needed to :p) Retreat Center mountain running came in handy! It wasn’t a breeze, but this hill was a speed bump compared to the mountain.
|I sprinted up this hill (okay, my sprint was the speed of a jog)|
A lot of people struggled with the barbed wire crawl, but I enjoyed it the most. I am small, so all I needed to do was the log roll. It goes from a flat plain to a slight incline, and I started doing pantherwalk to maneuver around other racers, but I couldn’t have finished that way. I ended up rolling uphill. Downsides to this obstacle: minor cuts from rocks on the ground and you get MUDDY. Next year, I will definitely wear Spandex because I felt like my shorts were going to fall off.
|That’s right son, Imma pass you!|
|I debated whether or not to try Kong Shou Dui Gun (空手對棍) on them and hit back|
|Turkey legs yum!|
After the race, we got a medal, t-shirt, banana, and 1 free beer. We spent a while hosing the mud off as it gets in your shoes, underneath your clothes, and in every crevice.
About 20 minutes after we finished, it started POURING. For the last heat, the announcer said, “You guys might actually die on out there.” :p Then the rain cleared and it was time to EAT.
I’ve been lazy about training, but after watching the Olympics, passing Kun Wu Gun (崑吾棍), and running the Spartan Sprint, my energy has been renewed. I’m going to need it.
Last year, I was limping around recovering from surgery. Now, I can say I ran the Spartan Race! AROO!