The Sweaty, Dirty, Bloody, Sore Muscles, Mentally Exhaustive, And Nothing But Smiles Review Of The Spartan Race
Have you ever thought about running a Spartan Race. I just finished my first Spartan Sprint about 48 hours ago and after spending a good hour washing dirt and grime out of every crack and crevice on my body and 2 days allowing my legs to somewhat heal (I can still feel it when I walk upstairs). I wanted to share my thoughts on the race.
To begin with did I love the race? HELL YES
Would I do it again? Abso-freaking-lutly
Do I think you should? How should I know, but after reading this you can decide for yourself.
I should say that I have ran another obstacle course called the Warrior Dash about 3 years ago, before I went through the Bode Transformation Challenge that helped me lose 46lbs, and have done many 5 and 10’k since.
The Spartan Race is a whole other animal.
The first thing that made it very different is they don’t tell you the actual distance of the race. They list the Spartan Sprint as 3+ mile and that it has 15+ obstacles. They do not have a map of the course on their website or a list of obstacles. When you arrive on race day you will get a map but even then there are several obstacles listed as “Classified”.
I found out the reason for this is basically a metaphor for life. The fact that none of us knows what obstacles or stepping stones will appear in our path as we live our life that we have no choice to overcome. They wanted to have the same life lessons in this race.
For that reason I will not share what the “Classified” obstacles are, but I will talk about some of their more common obstacles.
My race ended up being a little over 5 miles and had 20 obstacles, a bit more then I was expecting. I had a time of 1:51 which put me at 88th out of 244 in my age group.
I am not happy with that, I will be faster next time.
We arrived at the race quite early, around 8:30am, even though my start time wasn’t until 11:45. The first thing I noticed was that there were fewer people than I expected. Initially it didn’t seem to have the same energy that the Warrior Dash did.
Very few people were dressed in costume they had a DJ instead of a live band and several other small points. The Warrior Dash seemed to be more fun, party atmosphere, but the Spartan was more serious for those looking to push themselves.
They had some practice stations in the festival area where staff would teach you how to climb rope and jump over walls. There is a rope climb that I think was about 25 ft, maybe less but is seemed like that while climbing it, and several walls to jump over the track.
There were also several cargo net climbs, a couple obstacles that simply tested your strength. Grip and back strength are real important, but so is legs, arms and abs to a lesser extent.
Obstacles that tested your balance and even your aim, yep they had a spear throw obstacle.
Some of the obstacles were a walk in the park, but some were more like a walk through a mine field.
If you fail to complete and obstacle or choose not to try you be will asked to do 30 burpees.
Not a typo I said 30.
So my first recommendation is to try every obstacle and complete as many as possible. Those burpees really add up and will start impacting you on future obstacles leading to even more burpees.
One of the really cool things about these types of races is you become team mates with other runners that you have never met before and will most likely never see again, but while on the track you have the same goal and I saw strangers helping each other on obstacles, giving words of encouragement to those struggling. I really love that type of thing.
I personally tried every obstacle, but failed to complete three of them. So I had 90 penalty burpees. In all honesty I don’t think you could consider the last 30 to be burpees. I am pretty sure my feet did not leave the ground when I jumped, it looked more like a calf raise.
I saw many people do a lot more than that and they did not look happy about it. I remember one woman hitting the water that she fell into on the rope swing, 3 obstacles from the finish line. She did not want to do any more burpees.
Crossing the finish line has a very cool feeling, a combination of being beat down and exhilarated all at the same time.
So here is my honest recommendation.
If you are new to the fitness world or obstacle racing I would probably start with an easier race like the Warrior Dash. The obstacles are a little easier, the track is a little shorter and you will still get that rush at the end. But, if you really want to test yourself the Spartan Race is awesome
For my next test it will be the Spartan Super. An 8 – 10 mile course with at least 20 – 24 obstacles.
Success to You,
“Helping You Achieve The Fit and Free Lifestyle”
PS: If you are ready to take your fitness to the next level, so you can run Spartan Race, but you need to lose a little weight first check out the Chris Powell Bod-e Transformation Challenge. This is what I used to drop over 40 lbs in 12 weeks.
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