The Spartan Race was super fun and a really great experience. I would definitely do another one!
The course was very hilly and at every point on the course, it felt like I was either a)climbing up a hill b)trying not to fall down a hill or c)doing an obstacle. I think the course was steeper than hiking up Table Mountain (which I did 5 years ago) and very, rocky. I had to be constantly vigilant to be sure that I stepped down correctly and, for me, it made it more about completing the race, than actually racing.
I was proud that I was able to complete most of the obstacles and that my hard work paid off in a few important spots like climbing the cargo net and getting over the 8 foot wall. I will recap some of the obstacles along with my predictions.
I will finish(98%) I was really happy to finish and it was pretty cool to be in the top 18% of competitors. The chances of me finishing were probably lower than estimated given given the rocky uphills and downhills.
Rope Climb(30%) I made it about halfway up the rope, and my lack of practice really hurt me. I think that if I was used to the climbing technique, and to the doing the descent, I could have made it. Next time I will!
Monkey Bars(50%) This year they decided to make the monkey bars uneven, which I had not trained for, and do not think I could have done. As it was, my hand slipped so I did 30 burpees and was on my way.
Monkey Net Cargo(15%) It didn’t seem to be as hard as I thought, though I only made it about 3 lengths before my hand slipped and I fell into the mud. I think I actually underestimated my chances of completing it.
Barbed Wire Crawl(100%) It wasn’t wasn’t as long or bad as I thought it was going to be and I think I moved through it pretty efficiently.
80lb Stone Carry(75%) The stone was heavy and awkward, but once I got it up, I was able to get it across and back without too much trouble.
Wall Climb (80%) I needed every one of my practice pullups to get myself out of the mud and up the wall. It was a great feeling though, because my hard work paid dividends and I pushed myself hard.
Spear Throw (30%) I had one throw and I missed. More burpees.
Other Obstacles: The Cargo Net Climb was really high(also overlooking a massive downhill) and I am not a fan of heights. I moved slowly and was extremely careful not to fall. I am interested to see how the picture of me taken in mid-climb looks.
The Sandbag Carry was straight uphill and heavy. Probably the toughest obstacle because it required continuous perseverance with a heavy burden.
The Log Carry was big and awkward(I choose my log poorly) and I dropped it, nearly breaking the feet of the people behind me. The hill wasn’t so steep though and the course was short, so it wasn’t too bad.
The 6 foot, 7, foot and 8 foot walls were pretty easy and I was so happy that I was able to complete them without any assistance. I made the 8 foot wall by my fingertips and was able to pull myself up.
The organization of the race is top notch. The route you need to follow is obvious in order to register for the race, get your number, timing chip etc. There were plenty of showers, changing areas and tents all of which were closely located and easy to find. The course was well marked with signs and there was no way to get lost. However, because of the staggered start (200 people leave every 15 minutes), and the one person width trails that caused bottlenecks at a few points, it didn’t feel as much like a race for me as I had hoped it would.
As Coach Flex said, “Now that you have one under your belt, you know what you need to work on and how to get better. Then you get after it.” Good words to end this blog with!