I just want to premise this entire post by saying I was very under trained for this race. Yes, running 8 to 10 miles wasn’t bad, but to add 25 to 30 obstacles throughout those miles made it CRAZY difficult. And with that, my SoCal Spartan Super race report. AROO! Also, this is a long post. Apologies in advance.
3 weeks after the Dopey Challenge, I embarked on my first Spartan experience. I ran this with a friend and her boyfriend who had done a super before and thought it’d be nice to have company and help when struggling through an obstacle. They also both volunteer at these races, which gives them a free race entry so if you ever want to try one of these races and don’t want to pay, that’s your way in. 🙂 You also get VIP parking for volunteering, which is super nice when you’re tired and just want to get to your car ASAP. 🙂
I signed up for a morning slot and started the race at 10:30 am. The race has morning and afternoon slots so you’re assigned a time based on when you sign up. If you and your friend are assigned different times, the person with the earlier slot can move to the later slot. Moving to an earlier spot is a no no.
The morning of, you pick up your Spartan envelope, which include a headband that has your participant number on it (this is in lieu of a bib), your tracker, and a wristband for beer. On the back of the envelope is this warning:
LOL. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. The thought to call my loved ones and tell them that I loved them crossed my mind several times. HAHA. Before you start the race, you have to climb over a 5 foot wall to just get into your corral. Then after a pep talk from the Spartan people, they send you off.
The obstacles start off fairly easy, but get increasingly difficult.
5, 6, and 7 feet wall – Climb over them. I didn’t have too much trouble with these. There are ledges on the taller walls to help short people over.
Barbed Wire – Crawl underneath barbed wire. Some people rolled. I army crawled. 🙂 Being short helped in this case. 🙂 Hooray!
Atlas Carry – Carry a 40-50 lb stone ball 10 feet, do 5 burpees, and bring the ball back to its starting position. This was my first real “OH SHIT, I DON’T THINK I’M GOING TO SURVIVE THIS SPARTAN” moment. I had a very hard time picking the ball back up after the burpees and it took me almost 2 minutes to find a way to carry that thing back.
Yokohama Tire Flip – Flip over a 200 lb tire twice. My friend and I combined forces here and completed the task.
Olympus – Think traversal rockclimbing, but with no foot holds. I made it through 6 holds before needing someone to push me up and prevent me from falling.
Hercules’ Hoist – It’s a pulley system where you’re pulling a rope that’s attached to a 100 lb weight. Again, my friend and I completed the task together.
Mud Misery – LOL. This obstacle is aptly named. You walk into a trench filled with mud and make your way across this trench and then get out. The mud was SUPER cold and afterwards, I couldn’t get the rocks out of my shoes.
Bucket Brigade – Carry a bucket filled with rocks (~50-60 lbs) around a course. Oh my poor arms. I stopped a million times to rest.
Spearman – Throw a spear into a stack of hay and make it stick. This was probably my favorite obstacle, but it was also the first obstacle I failed. You only get one chance and if it doesn’t stick, you have to do burpees. This was where I did my first 30 burpees.
Z walls – Traversal rock climbing with hand and foot holds. Since I’m small, it was easy to make it across. The only tricky part was when I had to grab a hold around the corner and the hold was WAY farther than I had anticipated.
Barbed Wire #2 – Repeat of earlier obstacle
Twister – Monkey bars except on hard mode. I couldn’t get a good enough grip on these so I dropped out pretty early. I did my second set of burpees here.
8 foot wall – Climb over it. LOL.
Stairway to Sparta – Another wall climbing challenge.
Bender – Another wall climbing challenge. This one was rather difficult because the first bar I could grab was maybe 7 feet in the air. So I got a boost, hooked my leg onto the bar, and made my way slowly up the bars. Since the obstacle is at an angle, you’re essentially climbing up against gravity and hoping to god that you don’t fall backwards. I hooked my arms under each bar to make sure I didn’t fall.
Sand Bag Carry – Carry a ~40 lb sandbag across your shoulders for what feels like forever. LOL
Plate Drag – Pull a rope that’s attached to a plate that has maybe 50 lbs of weights on it.
Multi Rig – Monkey bars on extreme mode. Failed this one and did my third set of burpees.
A Frame Cargo – Climb up and down cargo netting. Sounds easy enough, yeah? It was super windy that day and I heard the structure squeak and I freaked out. LOL. I’m deathly scared of heights and this obstacle gave me the most anxiety. I thought I was going to plummet to my death.
Rope Climb – Self-explanatory. I actually made it up 3/4 of the way, but my upper body was shot and I was worried that if I did one more pull up, I’d fall so I failed this one too. 😦 By this point, my hands were extremely raw and I only managed 20 burpees here.
Rolling Mud Dunk Wall – 3 trenches of mud followed by a wall that you have to go under to get to the other side. And on the other side of the wall? Photographers, of course. LOL
Slip Wall – Climb up a wall using a rope. Definitely easier said than done. After the mud dunk wall, everyone was extremely slippery and the mud was all over the wall making it super difficult to get over the wall. I didn’t even attempt this because I knew I’d fall.
Inverted Wall – Self-explanatory. I actually had enough grip strength to hold on to the bars and made it over. 🙂
Too long, didn’t read? The Spartan races are HARD. I did a total of 120 burpees. I highly recommend training for them even if you’re just doing the Sprint. My hands were extremely raw at the end and I was really cold after the mud obstacles. It’s been two weeks since I did the Super and I’m still not sure I’ll be back. LOL. Ask me again in a month. Maybe I’ll have changed my mind. 🙂
Question for you: Are you an obstacle course racer? Which one is your favorite?