Our employees said, “We should put together a team for a Spartan race”. OK. I sort of thought I knew what I was getting into but honestly didn’t know which variant of all the various strength/mud/obstacle races this was. Wasn’t even sure how long it was. Figured I can run so whatever. Hence, no real training or preparation went into this. I don’t say that to blow it off and be cool. I just thought I would go and see what this is about. However, in the days leading up to the race, we started watching and sharing YouTube videos only to realize we were in some trouble. If you can’t complete an obstacle, then you do 30 burpees to move on. There might be a lot of burpees. But let’s have some fun.
Here is our team at the start. One guy had to drop a few days before so it only left us with 3. We were excited to get going. You had to jump over a 5-foot wall to get in the corral by design. Just to get you in the mood.
The map is put online after the course is setup. So you only have a few days to read it and stress about it. This tells you what obstacles you will deal with so if you didn’t practice or study them all, you don’t have much time to close that gap. Upon seeing this map, I was only surprised at the traversal of the ski slopes. I basically realized that this was going to be a trail run. I guess I hadn’t really put that together in my head. The vast majority of miles were on singletrack.
The Spartan series has a few different distances…Spring, Super, Beast, and Ultra Beast. The mileage on those goes something like 3, 8, 13.1, 26.2. But it varies even more than trail races do. The staff sets up a course and then measures it and tries to get it into those rough ranges. Always depends based on the layout. Ultimately, it isn’t about the exact distance but more what you do in between.
The water crossing was an early obstacle. Might have been nice later on when the day was hotter but oh well. The water was pretty cold. In the middle, we were about nipples deep at the most. It was cold enough to start affecting your breathing. You had to stay calm for a few seconds to get through that part.
Course photographer capturing another signature photo of me.
There are 30+ obstacles on the Beast course. Seems like the courses pick from say 50 so you never know exactly what you are going to get. Always some standard stuff but always in a different order. Here was one of many cargo nets. Some were straight up. Some were A-Frames.
This obstacle was a tough one You had to enter at the steps on the right and climb until you hit a cowbell tied inline on the rope. The beginning was not so bad. It was hard to figure how to do your legs. Up high in your knee? On your calf? Down on your ankle? This is why wearing long socks or compression works well. Less burn. I ended up falling off probably 1/2 way as the rope starting angling up. Burpees.
The spear throw is a signature obstacle. You only get one throw sadly. None of us hit it. The spear is on a rope so you have to be careful with that so you don’t bind up the spear mid-flight. We mostly threw it too hard I think.
The finish entails jumping over some fire. A rite of passage? Seemed like it was going to be wider than it was. I jumped hard because I wasn’t exactly sure what hops were left in my legs. Plus, it makes for a better photo.
And another medal to hang with the others. They give you the normal big medal but there is another one hidden behind. That is a 1/3 piece of a bigger prize you can get if you race the Beast, Super, and Spring all in a season.
All in all, it was a really fun day. Well put on by the Spartan group. They do these nationwide for thousands of participants at a time so they have it down. I would enjoy doing more of them in the future — with some more specific skill training.