July 13th was my birthday and it was the day I turned thirty. Everyone seems to dread thirty, I don’t know why. Look what Dean Karnazes did once he turned 30, I am not Karno, I am not claiming to be just stating that amazing things can happen in decade three. I also realize a few of my posts lately have been touchy feeling and full of emotion, hey I am an emotional guy about fitness. The biggest reason I am typing this post is that I received a pretty amazing gift from an absolute stranger a week ago. Little did this stranger know my birthday was coming up and it would be the big 30. OK, ok I’ll tell you what the gift is. It is a free entry into a Spartan Race valued at $150. Only in the racing community would a stranger give a gift this larger to another. The Spartan Race community is over 1 million strong on it’s Facebook page but in reality if you go to enough events you start recognizing people. For the readers who don’t know what the Spartan Race is I’ll attach a link to their website at the bottom of my post. In 2010 I ran my first Obstacle Course Race in Columbia, South Carolina. Three other Drill SGT’s and myself took on the Leatherneck 5.4 mile 34 obstacle event and did pretty well, as we walked away from the race I was handed a brochure by a tall blond who told me to check out the best race out there, Spartan Race. The brochure was good for 15% off and the race was a few months away, I pinned it to my cork board and forgot about it. A few days prior to the race I realized I would have that Saturday off from work for a personal errand so with a free Saturday morning I jumped at the chance to race and proceed to Winnsboro, South Carolina for an 8-9 mile butt kicking good time. I was hooked 100% with no looking back. Fast forward two years and a few races later Spartan Race released a once in a lifetime distance event. A 26..2 mile obstacle course in Killington, Vermont. The key was to get accepted into the race. Rumors flew that only 300 people would be accepted and that over 3000 people had submitted applications, or race resumes. I gave it a shot and waited. Dismayed I finally figured I would have to settle for the Spartan Beast ( 13 miles). When my e-mail arrived saying I was accepted into the race I was beside myself with excitement then with careful budgeting I realized my entry code would expire before I could replenish my race fund. So I was in the Ultra Beast and out of it all in a matter of ten days. After a failed attempt at the Death Race I thought it might be a while before I should race again and figured I would just follow the action in the Spartan Race Street Team Group on Facebook. The Street Team are dedicated volunteers with the mission to grow the Spartan community with hopes of one day ripping 1 million people off their couch and changing America from obese to fit. I reply a lot to Facebook posts and noticed one asking who was going to be at the Beast. I simply replied with the comment that I was going to then I ran out of race funds. I wasn’t asking for anything or trying to sound like I needed anything but a few hours later I received a notification that Tim Francis had made the statement he had a free entry to the Spartan Race to give away. I didn’t want to accept it at first but then I decided I would, and with the mindset that I will pay it forward in the future when I have a free entry myself. To me the Spartan Race isn’t about running or mud but about changing someones life. In the end I am back in the Ultra Beast, with a new Facebook friend, a renewed spirit, something to train for, an adventure on the horizon, a reason to go back to Vermont (where I am 0/2), and belief that people are overall good. As part of the deal I will buy him a beer or two after the race.
P.S. Maybe I should throw in a ICEDOT membership as well.. What do you think.
The ICEdot Crash Sensor attaches to a helmet and notifies emergency contacts of a crash and your location. Be the first to own one. Sign up for our Crash Sensor newsletter and we'll email you when it's ready to purchase.