I knocked out my first ever Spartan race today, and it was actually pretty awesome… Basically I did a trail run over about 3 miles (or 5km), going up and down through creek beds across the hill country of Texas (near Burnett at Reveile Peak Ranch). There are other (longer) distances, but I kept it nice and short for my first time. During the run you have to tackle 20 obstacles ranging from monkey bars, to climbing over walls, to rolling under neath barb wire, to carrying buckets full of sand, to pulling sandbags, to carrying a 50lbs ball, and so on. If you can’t complete the obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees. And those are absolute killers. I had to do that 3 times, I just couldn’t pull up the sandbag, tackle the rings and climb the rope. The crossing the rope with your feet thing, can’t do it! But I did do all of the above, including a spear throw – I hit that target in one time, and people were cheering for that which pretty cool! Almost everyone else had to hit the ground and do burpees. And the other one I didn’t think I would’ve been able to do is the monkey bar. You basically have to swing from one bar to the next, and of course they place them apart just far enough so you can’t just reach it, you gotta swing like a monkey. At the end you have to ring the bell, and I hit that bell hard – I was pretty impressed with myself.
At the end of the race you have to roll underneath barbed wire (and a whole bunch of fire ants in this case), then go into a mud pool and completely submerge, then pull yourself over a wall with a rope while standing straight up, and then jump over the fire. In the end you get a medal, and then voila – that’s it… It’s always a bit of an anticlimax. I felt happy, but I nowhere near had the same feeling as after crossing the line for the Houston Marathon a few months ago, or after crossing the finish line after biking around Lake Tahoe in 4,5 hours. Those two are going to be tough to be beat in terms of intensity (and training level), but this Spartan race was a lot of fun. The participants were super diverse, and there was no real pressure to perform. Sometimes with a bike challenge there always these dudes with the nicest gear wanting to show off their ‘race skills’, none of that in this race. I’ll recommend it to anyone, but definitely train and put in the miles with the burpees… you’ll finish, but it’ll be zero fun otherwise. (May 2019)