This past weekend I ran the Spartan Super in Red Deer with a good friend. 13.5 km and I think I read somewhere about 25 obstacles. Mud, scrapes, grunts, camaraderie and glory.
The Spartan races have a few different levels. The Sprint (5km), Super (12+ km), Beast (19+km) and the Ultra Beast (40+km). They run them all over the world. Sprints I believe you can find in each city, Supers one per Province/State and Beasts you will like have to do more travelling for, depending on where you live.
A few years ago I did a Mud Hero with my sister. Same idea, it was 5km and a bunch of obstacles. I had a blast and found it relatively easy. This is before I even really got into weight lifting and strength training. I was mostly going off marathon training I did a year or so before that.
So I figured since then I've become a lot more athletic, I could handle the Super. I signed up last year but had nobody to watch my kids so I pushed it to this year. Signed up with a friend who has done it before and *thought* that I would train. Ha ha.
I never did specific training for the run necessarily, but I knew I could run a distance and since I've been teaching a lot of Insanity live, I knew I had the burpees down!
The fun part of the Spartan is definitely the obstacles. When you can't do an obstacle, your penalty is 30 burpees though. And although I believe I am athletic and had help from my friend and strangers on the course, there were just some things I couldn't do, or fell from. Soooooo yeah..... burpees. Ugh.
Some of my favourite obstacles were:
- Inverted wall. After doing a few 6 foot walls (and me needing a boost), we came across this one and the station person informed us you only get one chance or you do burpees. Well.... if you know me at all, that was certainly motivation enough. Put me in a do or die and I flourish. I nearly fell but you bet your ass I had death grip on that top piece to climb over.
- Barbwire crawl. crawling through mud under a barbwire, just like in the movies. Totally bad ass. It's challenging keeping your butt down so it doesn't get snagged and having to use your arms to pull you through.the cool mud feels good as you slide across it, but if you are wearing shorts like I was can also scratch your legs/knees.
- Incline wall. They put this one right after the muddy barbwire those evil bastards. Everything was so slippery and hard to get a grip. I was waiting for the rope with the knots after I tried without and couldn't make it. My friend Ginel (who is a beast at Spartans) got up and we were helping the guy in front of me as I pushed and she pulled. I was starting to worry whether or not I would be able to make it. She was already up and like I said... do or die moment. I made it in one go. *insert cheers*
- Vertical Cargo Net Climb. This was the second last one, before the rope climb and then jumping over the fire at the end. Maybe I like this one because I found it super easy, but mostly because of sitting at the top. Sitting up there for a moment with my hands in the air feeling the success of everything that just happened.
Not pictured was my other favourite part. Everyone helping each other. Approaching a wall this big guy asked if anyone needed help over the wall. He held out his hands and launched me up so I could get over the tall wall.
At one obstacle we had to drag a heavy ass cinder block around a dirt ring road by chain/rope and I was struggling the last 25 feet or so. The guys behind me were cheering me on and even helped pull it for me even though they had their own.
Not long after we had to pull a cinder block up really high (i'm guessing 50 ft) and let it down slowly with control. I was having trouble getting mine started and a girl came along and we pulled together. Then I turned around and helped her and her friend with theirs.
Overall the whole thing was a blast and I would certainly do it again. Next year possibly more training so I can be the one to help my friends over walls!
These race photos are not mine or me or from my race, since they are not posted yet. Watch for photos of me doing the race over on my Bitchin' Housewife Facebook Page!
Some tips I would like to share if you are thinking about doing a race:
- Less clothing the better. Wear lightweight, leave sweaters at check in etc. The more clothing (and cotton being the worst) the more it absorbs the mud and water.
- Eat well the days leading up to it and the morning of. Avoid foods upsetting of the stomach and think about good sources of carbohydrates.
- High knee socks are great if not wearing pants. I think they saved me some scrapes for sure.
- Don't wear your best shoes. I washed mine after but yeah they will never be the same for sure.
- do some training! Ha ha ha. Even if it's just running so you are conditioned to run. You can find lots of training programs on the internet.
- Have fun! Especially if you are not competitively running for best time, have fun with it. Stop when you need to. Remember to enjoy the journey a long the way and stop for a "holy shit I'm doing this" moment!
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife