This past Saturday I lost my sparkle and accomplished one-third of the Spartan Trifecta! Arooo! Yep, it is true! I am officially a Spartan now.
But before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you how my journey to Spartandom began.
On Friday night Chris and I made the trek from the D to our hotel in Columbus, Indiana! (P.S. Ohio, I hate driving through you.) On Saturday we then drove another 1.5 hours through the country and landed in bfe, aka Laurel IN (Sorry, people of Laurel). Once in Laurel we headed to the Spartan Race battle grounds at Haspin Acres, an off-road motocross park.
Prior to the race Chris had made the executive decision to purchase the VIP parking so that we could park right at the race site. It was a very wise decision and well worth the $20. Once we parked we had about an hour before our 12 noon heat so we used that time to pick up our race packets and check out the obstacles.
Packet pick up was pretty straight forward. Chris and I had already looked up our bib numbers before getting to the site so we just got into our respective lines, handed over our waiver, showed our license and was then given our packets.
Inside the packet was the timing chip and bracelet, the bracelet for our heat, our race bib, and a headband with our bib number. I had never seen a timing chip that you wear on a bracelet before, so that was new for me. The headband is unique too and I love it! Not only is it badass but if you lose your race bib when you are out on the course (like Chris did) you still have your number on you to be identified for pics and such. Plus it is another great souvenir from the race!
We were able to see quite a few obstacles around the start and finish area so it was nice to get a feel for what we were in for as Spartan newbies. I am sure the spectators appreciated being able to see a lot of the action too!
Just before our heat headed out to Spartan land, we got pumped up by the starting line emcee and then off we went! Aroo!
Now I don’t know if every Spartan Sprint is held a similar type of course since this was my first one but without a doubt this was a TOUGH course. Even if you took out all of the obstacles, it would still have been a tough. The terrain was very technical and HILLY. It was like doing the North Country Trail Run but with obstacles. And I loved every minute of it.
Ready to talk about the obstacles? I know I am. I am going to list them out but they probably will not be in order and I may miss a few. I also have no idea what their real names are either but here goes.
1. Mud Pit - The mud pit was no joke. It was chest deep and it felt like it would eat you alive. In other words it was awesome! Being smaller worked in my favor as I didn’t sink in as far as some of the other runners.
2. Barbed Wire Crawl - I LOVED this obstacle. I am no stranger to barbed wire crawls but this one was more interesting because it was a HILLY barbed wire crawl. The hills were hard to get up because they were slippery with mud. Being small was an advantage for me here as well because most of the time I could crawl on my hands and knees whereas taller people had to full-out army crawl.
3. My Arch Nemesis - You should know by now that I am scared of heights right? This scared the bejesus out of me. At the top there are slats to walk on but you can see right through. I had to walk along the side and hold onto the hand rail for dear life. It didn’t help that I had a girl in front of me who was so scared that she was in tears. I was so glad when that obstacle was behind us.
4. Water Pit – I guess it wasn’t much of an obstacle but it was much needed since all the mud from the mud pit was weighing us down.
5. Monkey Bars - I made it about halfway across and then lost my grip and gained my first set of burpees. Womp, womp, womp.
6. Cinder Block Pull - It was exactly as it sounds, a cinder block on a chain that you had to pull. It seems easy enough but damn was it hard! It kept talking to my block and swearing at it but it didn’t help. lol
7. Sand Bag Carry - Much like the cinder block pull except you have to carry a sand bag so that made it MUCH easier to do.
8. Tire Flipping - The object was to flip your tire two times out and two times back. I couldn’t even budge mine from the ground. So yeah, more burpees.
9. Spear Throw – I don’t know about you but I have no real life experience in throwing a spear. Despite that I *almost* hit the target. But I didn’t, so yep you guessed it, more burpees.
10. Pulley Obstacle - It seemed simple. Just hoist your sandbag up by pulling on a rope. Bwahahaha. Word on the street said the bag was 75 pounds for women and 115 for men. Want to know what happened when I pulled on the rope.? Not a darn thing. Luckily women were allowed to have help so Chris helped me and I was grateful to have dodged another round of burpees.
11. Walls Galore - There were all sorts of walls to climb over and under. Some walls were angled making it harder to get over. Other walls were tall but had a step to give you a boost at the bottom. A wall near the finish line was angled and slippery but it had a rope that I found relatively easy to use to get myself up with.
12. Rope Climb - This was attached to my arch nemesis so just being underneath it brought back the shaky knees. There was water underneath the ropes that was pretty deep and after I saw Chris take a fall from pretty high up, I decided to just go with the burpees on this one. Ain’t no shame in that.
13. Cargo Net Climb - Another height challenge for me. I’ve done many cargo net climbs but they never get easier. I also freak out a bit when I am straddling the top trying to get over to the other side.
14. Traverse Wall - Picture a wall with little pegs at the bottom and the top that you are supposed to use to get across the wall. By the time we got to it, the pegs were coated in mud so they were ridiculously slippery. It was impossible for us to do, so we embraced the burpees.
15. Finish Line Fire - A lot of mud runs have fire that you jump over near the finish line but I have never seen one quite as big as this one. It was doable but you did need to pay attention a little closer so as to not kick the burning wood.
I think that about covers all the obstacles. The course was roughly 4.5 miles long but it felt much longer than that because of the kind of terrain that we were running on. I don’t know outrofficial time because both mine and Chris’s seems to be missing from the results page. We emailed Spartan so hopefully we will be able to rectify that.
I would guess that we probably finished in 2.5-3 hours. Which seems crazy to me for that distance. There were a lot of factors that played into why it took us so long though. A lot of the obstacles were backed up and thus we had to wait to even attempt them. There were also back ups on the trail itself in the difficult to pass areas. I am also not in as good as of shape as I used to be so we did a lot of walking. And lastly, it was much warmer (in the 70′s) than what we are used to which added to our fatigue.
Chris and I decided that we definitely will be back for the Indiana race next year because the course was so amazing. We also decided that we need to get our butts in gear for the Super and the Beast!
Have you ran a Spartan Race? I want to hear about it!
If you didn’t run a Spartan Race this weekend, what did you do?
I want to hear about that too!