Spartan Sprint – Atlanta GA, March ‘16
I’ve been to a few different race sites and this place is pretty awesome – especially for the spectators. Mud, cliffs, streams, tunnels- you name it they got it.
We spent the night in a crappy motel because that’s what you do at these races – stay just about anywhere that’ll get you close to the race course for a morning heat. I was so pumped to do this I really didn’t care at all – I just wanted to get to the course and get ready. Well, we arrived as our heat was going off, whoops! No biggie, we dropped off our bags and jumped into the next one. This wasn’t the ideal situation because I hate being late, it makes me anxious, but I also didn’t have any time for my nerves to kick in (too much).
Being at the starting line is pretty fun. There are a ton of people around you; some are in big groups, some are in costumes, everyone’s smiling. Energy is palpable; we’re all ready to conquer a common goal and so excited to be unleashed. The MC gets you pumped up, we all shout out a couple AROO’s and then we’re off!
It was a mad dash into some open land and up a dirt hill that was slowly turning to mud, obstacles from the jump! The trail narrowed pretty quickly and we were running through a windy path in the woods. It got pretty dicey dodging people who had slowed down since this was a very obviously single-file-line type path. I def ate it at one point, luckily a combo of my momentum running downhill and adrenaline running through me (maybe a slight fear of getting trampled), I bounced right back up.
Going into the race you don’t know all the obstacles you’re going to meet. There is a map that tells you a few, but majority are a secret. I guess this didn’t really matter for me anyway since we didn’t even have time to look at the map. Let’s be serious, you know you’re gonna get wet, muddy, hang from shit and carry things – how those things come about don’t super matter in the moment. I was really attempting to keep my hands dry for the rope climb, even though I didn’t know when I would come to it. I failed at this task.
The rope climb came after running about 2 miles, carrying a boulder, doing some burpees, jumping over a few walls – casual Saturday activities. I climbed that sucker and ringing the bell at the top was such an accomplishment for me. While other women were taking pictures next to the rope and then just doing burpees – I was all the way at the top swinging that bell! Not really, I smacked it once and awkwardly made my way back down the rope. Point is – I did it.
The worst part of this race was the dunk wall. Holy crap. I rolled down a hill of dirt into water higher than my belly button and it was FREEZING. (Side note – I’m like 5’9 so I felt really bad for the shorter girls who were almost fully immersed). I remember immediately losing my breath and gulping in short breaths then realizing I had to go UNDER the water to get through it all. And then crawling up a squishy, soaked mud hill to get out of the pit. Ugh.
Otherwise, this race was a ton of fun. We climbed up a rope net that was along a dirt cliff, we ran through trails, in rain runoffs, through tunnels under a highway, crawled under barbed wire and had our strength challenged. My husband and I got called ‘a couple of gazelles’ cause we were running past people walking. Whatever, I chuckled.
The only negative to come out of this was my husband tearing his bicep. This was a serious freak accident – don’t let it be a deterrent! It was the last set of monkey bars and he just swung and POP. Not much pain, just a weird feeling. After seeing an ortho, we found out it really couldn’t have been prevented and was super rare. He tore it at the elbow, which only happens in about 10% of bicep tears, most are at the shoulder. He did situps instead of burpees cause he’s such a trooper and honest competitor, rolled under the last of the barbed wire, jumped the fire pit and finished!
I really pushed myself hard in this race. I tried to run majority of the time. Taking the uphills in small, quick steps, running the downhills cause they’re the easiest to gain speed on, concentrating on beating each obstacle, keeping good form and enjoying every second. I came in 6th place for my age group, 25th in my gender and completed it in 1 hour 36 minutes. Woop woop!