Guess what? My first Spartan Race Trifecta is now two-thirds of the way complete! Aroo!
As you may already know, I got my Sprint medal back in April in Indiana and my newest addition, the Super medal, was just added to my collection this past weekend! Want to find out how the Super went? Of course, you do!
The Super was held just outside of Chicago and just about a half an hour from the hotel we were staying at. The bf paid for VIP parking because we find it more convenient to be able to walk back and forth freely to our car instead of dealing with the bus. (It is worth the money, I swear.) There was quite a bit of backup at the VIP parking entrance because some people didn’t get the memo that you had to purchase the VIP parking in advance or park at the shuttle lot instead. And once we finally got into the lot we had to drive around for a little while looking for an open space. All in all it wasn’t a big deal but I felt like it took more time than it needed to.
Once we parked we picked up our packet which is always super easy since we look up our bib number before we head out to the race and we also bring our signed waiver with us.
After picking up our packet we strolled around the festival area familiarizing ourselves with the layout and the obstacles. Here is a look at some of the obstacles that spectators were able to see.
Obviously we are not in any of the photos but we did do the obstacles. I even wore one of those bright orange life jackets like some of the other swimmers because I thought they were super stylish and I didn’t want to drown. A strong swimmer I am not.
But I digress. Let’s get back to the rundown of the event. After we took some pictures (and by we, I mean Chris) we headed over to the start line. We were in the 11:30am wave which is a bit later than I prefer but it worked out just fine. There was a wall you had to get over before you could actually get to the start line. I love it when races do that. It sets the tone for the race in my opinion.
The start line emcee was pretty darn good… no Sean Corvelle from Tough Mudder but really who could even come close to topping Sean?!
Once we crossed the start line Chris and I put our plan in motion. The plan was to Take. It Easy. since we have the Beast scheduled one week from our Super. Taking it easy meant doing a lot of walking and doing what felt right at the time.
The course as I expected, had very difficult terrain. Lots and lots of hills. Some straight up, I kid you not. And since we were a later wave, the part of the hills that were used the most had become very slippery and difficult to pass forcing us and the others to go off course and up the hill where we could actually get traction or at least a couple of trees to hang onto. I think at one point I told Chris that if I saw another hill I was going to scream. Naturally there were more hills after that and I do believe that I did scream. Out of joy of course.
In addition to the hills, there was a ton of mud (which I like) and where there wasn’t mud there was hard packed dirt with deep grooves made from off roading vehicles. (These races just make me want a Jeep again so dang bad!)
Some of the obstacles were the same as the Sprint but there were lots that were different as well. I enjoyed the variety.
The Super had the Atlas Carry which is just a giant ball of cement. The women’s weighed in at 80 pounds and I could not budge the darn thing. There was a bunny hop area where you put a band around your feet and hop in a circle. It looked fun but it was hard! There was a balance beam type obstacle which was close to the ground but it was at the point in the race where you legs were starting to shake so because of that it was difficult. There was a log carry which was relatively easy and a tire pull area. There are probably lots of others that I am just not thinking of at this moment…..it’s hard to keep that much activity straight in your mind.
I am happy to say that I conquered a few obstacles at the Super that gave me difficulties at the Sprint. I did the sandbag hoist without a problem. I am not sure if they were lighter at the Super or what the deal was because I couldn’t budge it at the Sprint.
I am also happy to report that they didn’t have the cinder block pull at the Super like they did at the Sprint. I hate that darn thing so I am sure I will see it at the Beast. That’s what I get for mentioning it out loud.
They also didn’t have my arch nemesis there, thankfully. But they did have a cargo net that was positioned straight up and down which gave me the similar type of panic at the top. The net was so muddy, slippery and unstable I didn’t think I was going to do it. In fact, I got all the way to the top and froze so I started climbing down. A guy next to me said “Hey you’re not going down. You’re going to get over this. You don’t want to do burpees do you?” No, no I don’t nice Spartan Racer Guy. And with his help, I got over the darn thing.
Speaking of nice Spartan Racer Guy, I have to just say one thing to those Tough Mudder devotees / Spartan haters. You know those Tough Mudders who like to hate on Spartans because according to them there is no team work at Spartan Races? I don’t know what Spartan Race they have been a part of but every time I needed a hand (and even when I didn’t) there was someone there waiting with their hand out. The camaraderie on that course could rival the camaraderie on a Tough Mudder course any day! And I am a Tough Mudder as well, so I should know.
With the help of nice Spartan Racer Guy and others on the course, Chris and I conquered our first Super in about three and a half hours which is about an hour more than it took us to do the Sprint. Not too shabby.
After we crossed the finish line we collected our finishers medals, our grub (Spartan does a good job with having decent food at the finish line and water throughout the course, no garbage can water! Yay!), our race shirt (am I the only one that wishes they were different instead of getting the same shirt at each event?) and then hit the showers aka the hoses for some cleaning.
We had a great time at the Chicago Spartan Super and we are looking forward to conquering the Beast this coming weekend!
(And in case this recap wasn’t enough for you, head over to the bf’s blog to read his!)