The infamous Spartan race! Oh boy where do I even begin!? One of the toughest racest I have ever done! Mudderella was a joke compared to this race!! Those who have never done a Spartan race will never truly understand how hard they actually are until you actually complete one. Spartan is not only a big challenge physically, but mentally as well. To get a better idea of the race here is this year’s video of the DC Spartan Sprint.
For those of you who do not know, Spartan has three different types of races. The Sprint, Super and Beast. The Sprint is 3+ miles with 20+ obstacles. The Super is 8+ miles with 25+ obstacles and the Beast is 13+ miles with 30+ obstacles. If you fail to do an obstacle it results in 30 burpees and they have burpee police watching! My friend recommended that I start out with the DC Sprint first before doing the Virginia Super. He had done these races last year and his advice was very helpful.
This years race was located at the Maryland International Raceway. I was surprised it only took us an hour and a half to get there. I had my usual breakfast of whole wheat cinnamon toast with apple butter. We had a 10:30 am start time. The course maps are never revealed ahead of time so it was hard knowing what to expect. I took a picture of the course map because they do not post them online.
I don’t even know where to begin there were so many obstacles! The terrain made the course so much harder. It was nothing but hills and steep trails. It was nice that the course was shaded. Running through the creeks were very refreshing. Some people even layed down in the water and floated around just to cool off. Parts of the course I could not even run because it was so steep and dangerous. I am glad I did not slip and get injured. I can not afford to have that happen! The mud on the course was god awful! It was so bad some people even lost their shoes in the mud. I tried my best to run through it, but it was so thick and squishy it felt like it never ended. I do not remember the order of the obstacles I did so I am going to go with the standard obstacles they have listed on their website.
One obstacle was an atlas carry. They had a bigger one for guys and a smaller one for girls. I have no idea how much it weighed, but it was still pretty damn heavy. We had to pick up the atlas stone from one end, take it to the other, do 5 burpees then take it back from where we got it.
There were quite a bit of walls we had to jump over. I was able to jump over some of them, but I had to ask for help on the much taller ones. I am glad that everyone was pretty nice and willing to help!
There was a Hercules Hoist where you had to pull down a rope with a heavy sand bag at the end of it, bring it to the top and back down without dropping the sand bag. Now this sandbag was pretty dang heavy. It was a struggle just getting it to the top. When I tried to let it down slowly, I couldn’t and was scared of getting rope burn so I dropped it and had to do 30 burpees as a penalty :/ Teamwork definitely could have come into play here.
The rope climb. Sliding into the muddy water was pretty cool and refreshing, but I did not have the upper body strength to pull myself up this rope so I ended up doing 30 burpees instead. Just before this obstacle we had to climb up and down muddy trenches which was a bit challenging because it was so muddy and slippery.
The traverse wall. I struggled a bit with this. I noticed other people holding each other up which definitely seem to make it a lot easier.
Oh the spear throw. I was so disappointed in this because I thought it was going in the hay bale until I realized I had the wire attached to the end of the spear wrapped around my leg >.< Lets just say that did not feel very well….
The Bucket Brigade. Dang this one was tough! We had to fill buckets up with rocks and carry them up and down steep terrain for what seemed like a half mile! I was a complete idiot and did not realize that I only had to fill my bucket up to the holes so I ended up filling it to the top….that definitely killed me. I ended up bruising my thigh from the bucket being so heavy when I tried to rest. My hands were also in a lot of pain from where I was holding it because it was so heavy. Thankfully I did not drop the bucket though! Some people did. There were tons of people taking a break on the side, but I kept trying to tell myself to push through it!
The sand bag one was not too bad at all. Many people seemed to struggle, but I was flying past everyone trying to make up for lost time. My pictures ended up a bit blurry probably because I was running pretty fast.
This is definitely not the best picture of me. I had just swam underneath a mud wall and could not see anything. There were also a few monkey bar obstacles that I could not do because they were spread too far apart so of course I had to do more burpees.
The barbed wire crawl at the end was pretty tough. I scraped up my arms and legs doing this. It was sooooo muddy and hot out. This was towards the end of the race and thankfully I could see the finish line! I was pretty exhausted looking as you can see.
Just after the barbed wire crawl was the fire jump! I could see the finish line and I dashed towards it!
I ended up completing the race in an hour and 52 minutes. Took almost as long as my half marathon did! I was so parched I ended up swallowing two different muscle milks that they were handing out. I grabbed a banana and a cliff protein bar then stood in line for pictures. I still did pretty well for my first Spartan race. I was 9th in my age group out of 422 others and overall 44th female out of 2,635 females! This race was definitely a challenge and I needed that. It was a lot more upper body then what I am use to. I was so sore the next few days. My friends tried to get me to go out that night and I felt like I could have, but I knew my body would regret it. I was so sore the next morning I was glad I stayed in. After completing the sprint, I felt like I knew what to expect in the next races and I wanted to go for a trifecta (completing all three races, the sprint, super and beast within a calendar year). Plus doing obstacle races are fun. It is nice to do something different then just running all the time.I enjoy the challenge and ended up signing up for the Virginia Super at Wintergreen on August 22 which is one of the toughest races. My friend told me this race was harder than the beast because of the god awful terrain and black diamond slopes (it is on a mountain after all!) Challenge accepted! Plus the medals are pretty bad ass looking if I must say.