Spartan Race, The Ultimate Obstacle Race.
If you haven’t heard of Spartan Race, It’s the toughest Obstacle Race on the Planet.
They have different levels of racing:
Sprint - Shortest, but perhaps the toughest per mile at approximately 4 miles.
Super - Approximately 8 miles
Beast - Half Marathon Obstacle Course. Yes, a Half Marathon.
Ultra Beast – Because a Half Marathon wasn’t tough enough. This is a Marathon (Yes 26 miles) Obstacle Course. I have not signed up for this one, yet.
Death Race – This is the Daddy of all Obstacle Races. 48 to 72 hours of unknown obstacles (See Josh Swink’s posts about the Death Race for some details) and the waiver, only 3 words “I may die.”
Kids Race – Approximately 1 mile for ages 3-13. The only race of it’s kind. Thank you Spartan Race, my daughter loved it.
The founders of Spartan Race are among the elite Ironmen, Triathletes and Adventure Racers of the world, but wanted to create something more challenging than they had ever done. They created the Death Race a few years back and have evolved from there.
My first Spartan Race was on Saturday March 24th at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC. 4 miles of unknown obstacles and terrain. It was so brutal, that I had to run it again on Sunday. This would be my first race in my quest for the “Tri-Fecta”.
9:00 AM, the Elite Heat. (The elite heat has points associated with your placement. At the end of the year, the athlete with the most points, for 2 races, gets a purse full of money. Last year the top female and male received $10,000.00 each) It was unseasonably hot, something like 85 degrees. We started with a little run and into an over-under log obstacle, real easy. Then into the woods we went for some trail running. The first major obstacle (I’m only going to talk about the hard obstacles) we came to was a waist high mud pit we had to trudge through and then climb a rope and ring a bell. If you couldn’t do that, the penalty is 30 Burpees (Not squat-thrusts). If your good, you can complete these in a couple minutes. So basically, ever obstacle you cannot complete, there is at least a 2 minute penalty. After the rope climb, which was an absolutely energy draining obstacle due to the mud on your whole body, it was back to some trail running. Eventually you get to a Hercules hoist, pulling a hardened concrete bucket up a pully to the end, about 80 lbs. There were guys twice my size having trouble with this. Then to the signature Low-Crawl under barb wire. Ahhhhhh, it was like boot-camp all over again. I felt right at home here. Approximately 200 yards.
For my trip through memory lane, I received a cut on my back and one in my hand, not to mention my raw legs. I had less than 10 runners in front of me at this point. Then we were off to climb some walls. Some more running followed by a 50 lb. sand bag carry up a steep hill and back down. Then further down the hill to trudge through waste deep water in the Catawba River for about a 1/2 mile. This was refreshing and a good time to catch our breath. Right out of the water and into the mud. Then some more trail running. Then came the Cinder Block Drag. Looks a heck of alot easier than it is. The cinder block didn’t weight that much. It was the mud that made this hard.
Throughout the next mile or so were some fairly easy obstacle, monkey bars, a rope assisted wall climb up a 50′ dirt cliff, some 8′ and 9′ wall climbs, and a tunnel crawl. Then back to the trails for some running. Unfortunately for me, the trail was not marked all that well and I ended up running an extra 4 to 5 minutes further than I should have. (This was fixed on Sunday when I ran it again). Then to last few obstacles, which were in clear view of the crowd. The Traverse Wall,
is very tough with muddy feet and hands, the Rowing machine, and another signature obstacle, the Spear Throw. I did burpees at the traverse wall and spear throw. This added about 7 minutes to my time.
Then over the cargo net bridge, through the trees, Over the Soap Wall, over the fire, through the Spartans, and swim about 75 meters against the current to the finish.
Saturday March 24th – 29th Place in the Elite Heat. Time = 1:12:11 for 4 miles. 5 minutes of off course running and 7 minutes in penalties on the Traverse Wall and Spear Throw.
Sunday March 25th – 132 Place. Time = 1:20:25 and no Penalties.
My Daughter completed the Kids Race and won a free race in the Traverse Wall competition.
It was an incredible weekend. AROO! AROO! AROO!
August 2012 I go to Virginia for my first Super, and October 2012 I go to South Carolina for my first Beast. This will complete my quest for the Tri-Fecta. Next year I hope to run the Death Race with Josh Swink (another Icedot Athlete). You can read more about the Death Race in Josh Swinks article or at YouMayDie.com.
If you’re looking for something different and thought the Warrior Dash was easy, step on up to Spartan Race. There’s a distance for everyone. Check it out at SpartanRace.com
If you’re really interested, let me know and I’ll get you and your friends a discount.
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