Sunday, 7 June 2015

My FIRST ever Spartan Race!!!

It's going to be like a long book...and I always read the last page....so...the result????
An official time of 1:55:05
And now the story!!  The excitement started the night before as I laid out the essentials for packing.
My gardening gloves (with gortex) saved my hands....highly recommend them.  My New Balance trail shoes
drained super quick of mud and water and am so glad I had them with the extra tread!
Saturday morning started bright and early....5:30am!    The convoy of vehicles left 360Fit at 7:00am with a schedule heat time of 10:30am...yes...we would be over an hour early!  The weather was dreary, raining, and cold!!!  I have to admit that I was more nervous for this race than my first 1/2 that I ran last year.


As mentioned, we arrived in plenty of time and registered well before our heat time.  Because it was so dreary, we stayed in the car to keep warm until go time.  My stomach had not been happy with me eating breakfast so I took a quick 'Bounce Bar' to get some fuel into me about 1/2 an hour before the race started.
Super YUMMY...highly recommend it.  And yes,
my nails are painted Spartan colors!

For those of you who aren't familiar with a Spartan Race.  There is a penalty that you must complete if you do not attempt or succeed at an obstacle.  That penalty is:
 
A group picture of all the 360 members was taken before we started off.  You could feel the nervous energy among all of the first times (which was everyone except one)!
Look at the smiles and how clean we still are!
10:30am - a few shouts of "WE ARE SPARTAN" and we were off!  Going up, up, and up.  That's right...the first kilometer was straight up the ski slope!  My calf muscles were burning and we hadn't even tackled any obstacles yet! 
I'm still smiling and still clean....not for long!
Obstacle #1 - crawl under the cargo net....in pure cold mud!  My hands and knees sunk at least 3-4 inches into mud as I crawled through...at points hitting sharp rocks....but I was smiling cause I was doing it!
I'm still on my hands and knees - these are GO PRO pics
so I do apologize for the blurriness
1st water station and then onto Obstacle #2 - a straight wall that we had to climb/jump over.  I was lucky in that a friend offered me his hands and I was up and over with ease!!

Obstacle #3 - An over/under/through obstacle of walls.  Pretty easy, not requiring a lot of strength.

Obstacle #4 - A 20ft cargo net to climb up and over.  If you are scared of heights, this one might have been a bit tricky...but again...I was up and over with ease.  The key with the cargo net is to stay to the outside where the net is tighter, with less give!


At this point, we made our way back down the ski slop...not an easy feat on a rainy day as footing became slippery.  As we made our way down, we were finally able to hear the music and see spectators again....my poor mom...standing under the umbrella in her fleece hoodie watching to make sure her only daughter hadn't died yet. 

Obstacle #5 - Hercules Hoist.  This obstacle had propane tanks filled with sand I believe.  You had to hoist them to the top of a pulley system...I'm going to say 30-35ft high and then slowly let it back down.  There were different weights for guys and girls...and if you leaned back and used momentum, it was doable!
Obstacle #6 - a sandbag carry - again...different weights for women and men.  I'm not sure but I'm going to say mine was maybe 25lbs for a carry of about 50 ft up the hill and back down. 

At this point, we started to make our way back up the slope again.  At one point I was walking backwards just to give my calf muscles a much needed break.  This climb was one that spectators could see until about half way up the slope where we moved through the trees.  As the participant, I really hoped that was the end of our climb...but as we rounded the corner...I noticed the steepest climb of all.  I may have let some colorful language out that entertained a few guys.
And yes...it was THAT steep!
The summit of this slope saw Obstacle #7 - the parallel bars.  You could either shimmy across on one bar, or walk double handed across both.  I opted for shimmy as the bars were too far apart for me to walk across on each bar. (note:  they were not letting us walk across them...I'm guessing because the rain had made them SUPER slippery).

Right on to obstacle #8 - A super high wall to traverse over.  The women did have foot holds to help and we were not allowed to use the side stabilizers to help.  2nd water station!

And back down the slope we came....this time through the woods on trail...and more slippery footing.

Obstacle #9 - the inverse wall.  A tricky one.  Again I was boosted over with ease...the joy of being tiny I guess.  I then helped a few others by staying up top and helping them over. 

Obstacle #10 - The dreaded monkey bars.  On any other day, I could have scaled those like an actual monkey...but today they were wet and VERY slippery.  My gloves helped, and I managed about 32ft of 36ft of course...and then I fell.  My first round of 30 burpees. 
A few of the 360 Group doing/waiting for the money bars!  Not many
participants succeeded at this obstacle due to the rain.
We found out afterwards that I could have sat on someone's shoulders and traversed it and vice versa and that would have counted.  Next year...I'm climbing to the top and going across them on top!

Obstacle # 11 - The sled pull.  You had to pull this medal sled with a weight in it across the ground about 20ft, turn around and come back.  Over rough terrain...this required a bit of cardio.  The key was to step inside the handle and wrap it around your waist!  Again, they did have separate weights for guys and girls.

We continued down the slope.  There was one spot that I think I sunk in mud up to my shins....luckily there was a cold, babbling brook to wash my feet off shortly after.  By this point I thought we were nearing the end as I knew there are 4 obstacles at the bottom that we need to do.  But alas...I was wrong.  About 3/4 of the way down, there was a cargo net on the side of an embankment that we needed to climb...which started our 3rd climb up the nasty slopes...yes nasty!!  Oh...I should say...on our 2nd climb up, some very nice guys said "This is your final climb...it's all downhill from here."  I believed them...silly me!  This 3rd climb was a hard, uphill trek on trail.

As we reached the summit for the 3rd...and yes...final time.  We came across Obstacle #12 - the spear throw.  You had one chance to through a spear into a bale of hay and make it stick.  Fail!  2nd...and final round of burpees for me!
There were a bunch of 360 crew at this obstacle so we chipped in and helped eachother with burpees.

And onto the final decent....all the way down...back to spectators and music...and the final 4 obstacles!  AT this point I ran into those same 2 guys that had lied to me....I said "You fu%Kers".  They laughed and apologized....I guess the course last year did not have a 3rd time up the hill.

Obstacle #13 - The rope climb.  As some of you know, I had been practicing...indoors....on a 15 foot rope.  The rope was wet and it was about 25-30ft high.  But damn it, I climbed that thing and rang the bell!  Fist pump for me!!!
Obstacle #14 - the Wall traverse....there were 3 sections of 8 foot board in a zig zag shape and you had to climb across them using only the foot/hand holds available to you.  Because it was so wet, the Spartan attendant said we could grab the top if we needed to.  That's all I needed to hear.
This is my friend Tracy moving her way through like a champ
Obstacle #15 - Jerry can carry.  These were military style jerry cans filled with water.  The gals carried one and the boys had to carry two.  Again, 50 feet up the slope and back down.

And then onto the last official obstacle #16...a sloped, medal wall with rope climb.

Here you can see the final obstacle, and then the fire pit which
you jump over before crossing the finish line. 
Jumping over that fire pit felt amazing...I think I almost cried.  I had survived 7.8km of run/walking/sliding, 3x up Ski Wentworth, and 17 obstacles (counting the fire pit)...and it felt so good!  The doubts were gone...the fear gone...and a feeling of 'wow' in it's place!  Proving once again, that when you believe you can, you will!!!!

Now the review...lol.  I think it was a great race.  A tough course...made so by the # of times we climbed those damn slopes...the obstacles themselves weren't overly hard....if you trained!!!  There were plenty of water stops (3 total), instruction was fairly good at each obstacle, the race started on time, plenty of photographers, and there were NO line ups at any of the obstacles!!  The only down part was that spectators had to pay $10 to watch...which...in the rain sucked.  And they really only got to see about 6 obstacles...not including the start!  Mom said she had a good time, watching other racers, and chatting with other spectators...and we wonder where I get my socialness from!!!

Am I sore today?  Heck yes...the top of my quads are sore to the touch!  Will I go back next year...I think so.  I really like having a group to go with...it made it fun to chat about and see each other over the course.  I know that my Spartan buff will be one that I keep framed I think.  LOL
Obviously before the race...but that buff holds significance!
Can't wait for the professional shots to be available...in 7 business days....eeeek!!!
 
When I was looking for information on the Spartan obstacles and such, I couldn't find a lot of specifics...I hope this helps others relax a bit.  You are definitely going to make it worse in your head then it actually is.  And people are so friendly and willing to help if you need it!  I highly suggest tacking an obstacle course if you have any interest what-so-ever!  AROO!!!
Never a truer quote!!!




2 comments:

  1. Great job!!! You look so badass on the course. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete