Spartan Race #2 is officially in the books, and I am officially hooked!
The months of anticipation, training, and excitement to finally get my hands on this race series were truly worth it, and Spartan Race did not disappoint.
Having now run two Spartan Races back to back, it is interesting to reflect on them and compare their similarities and differences. One thing that was quite impressive to me at each race is the presentation that greets participants and spectators alike. It is clear that those planning out these races take the time and precision to lay out each course thoughtfully and with the participant in mind. For being the large event that it is, it’s refreshing to see the obvious care taken to truly learn the location, and to create a fantastic race, spectator area, and experience for all. (Unfortunately this is not the case with all large racing series).
Spartan Race offers three different length events, the Sprint (3+ miles), the Super (8+ miles), and the Beast (12+ miles). The Georgia course, a Sprint, was roughly 4.5 miles, and despite the shorter length, it did not mean this race was an easier race by any means.
The course was challenging, as it wound through hills, trails, and streams. We had woken to mid-30 degree weather that morning, and the chill in the air made for even colder conditions once we hit our first obstacle, the Steeplechase, which featured ankle deep water on the back side of several orange barricades. From there my feet and legs stayed in a fairly constant state of numbness throughout the rest of the race.
The course featured many of its staple obstacles, the tire flip, tractor pull, sandbag carry, herculean hoist, monkey bars, and walls. I was thrilled to complete most obstacles with ease, especially the monkey bars as I had struggled with completing them in races not more than a year ago. The cargo net was a great focal point, as its monstrous frame spanned the entry to the registration area.
Following the cargo net was the traverse wall. Having slipped off halfway through during the Spartan Super, I was a bit apprehensive as I approached the walls, praying that burpees would not be in my immediate future. I climbed onto the wall, took a deep breath, and began inching my way along, taking my time to carefully and strategically place each hand and foot. Once the bell was in reach I ecstatically rang it, elated that the obstacle that has bested me in Miami had now been conquered!
A classic Spartan obstacle that I was very excited to try for the first time was the infamous spear throw. I went into it anticipating, actually… expecting burpees, but the whole idea of throwing a spear is very intriguing in a primeval sort of way.
I came upon the grassy area hosting several hay targets and piles of spears, approached the far target, selected my spear, and attempted to figure out the best method to hoist my weapon. As anticipated, I missed! My first, and only, set of thirty burpees was now in store. The first ten burpees felt good, the second set of ten were a bit slow, and the third set… Oy ve!
After what felt like an hour of burpees, I headed around the corner and came face to face with the rope climb. I had struggled with the rope in Miami, but successfully made the climb. This time, we were greeted by a descent into waist deep water, and the climb began while submerged in freezing cold water. The rope was slick, and my muscles exhausted. I slowly progressed up the rope, convinced that at any second my muscles would give out and I’d slip off the rope into the water below. In a final push of mind over matter, I triumphantly rang the bell, smiled proudly over to my husband and son, and descended.
I had finally approached the final stretch! A barb wire crawl with mud hills and pits of water, the slippery wall climb, more barb wire, and then the gladiator pit. The gladiators were huge! I attempted to run around the first and was blocked from passing.Quickly turning, I dodged around him and crossed the finish line!
If you can’t tell, I love Spartan Race! The course was a great challenge, the spectator area was laid out well for my boys to watch many of the obstacles, and everything seemed to run very smoothly.
Oh, and did I mention that I placed in the top 10% of my age group, and for females overall? How cool is that!?!
Shortly after I raced, Mason participated in his first Spartan Kids Race! I’m very excited to share his experience, but will be saving that story for my next post.
I’m now home with a fresh case of bronchitis, so I’m taking the week to recover, and will be back to training soon! Still on a Spartan high though! I’m so proud of this accomplishment!
Kids race post coming soon!