Positive peer pressure has led me to registering for the majority of my 2015 running events. The Super Spartan last weekend was one of those instances. Lindsey convinced me to run with her quite some time ago, since her husband was running and knew he would be too quick for her. I was happy to join although a little reluctant on the distance. Later on we had convinced Amie and Brie to join as well, but Amie had to miss out due schedule conflicts.
My biggest mistake with this race was treating it like the other 10k races I’d ran this year. I had my usual breakfast of toast, peanut butter and a banana with several cups of coffee while waiting for Brie to pick me up. This race definitely called for a little more fuel in the tank, but I’ll get to that later.
Pre-race info said that there was no parking near the venue but we decided to chance it and skip the $10 parking fee. We parked in the nearby neighbourhood and had a short walk to Heritage Ranch where we got our package (headband and timing chip, they went bib-less this year!), marked our arms and met up with Lindsey. Our wave time was 10:30 and it was already hot out but so much better than the freezing cold pouring rain we had experienced leading up to race day.
After saying our ‘Aroo’s we were off. The best part of this race was the very beginning, running past the horses in their corrals who were so excited about all the people they were running alongside us. I wanted to just stop and pet one. I don’t remember all of the 27 obstacles in this race but they included such things as
- over/under/through walls
- climbing hay bales
- barbed wire crawl – which moved closer to the start of the race rather than the end)
- bucket brigade
- hercules hoist
- fire jump
- rope climb
- monkey bar
- cargo climb
- cinder blog pull
- sandbag carry
- rolling mud pits
- balance beam
- tire flips
- speer throw
- traverse wall
- and walls of varying heights to climb over
As this was my 6th Spartan Race and 2nd of this distance, it was nice to see some new obstacles in the mix. Of course I failed all of my usuals, monkey bars, traverse wall (I made it around the corner and THEN fell off!), spear throw and rope climb, but the rest of the obstacles were fairly manageable. The best part of this race was the people who were willing to help a girl out, boosting us short girls up high walls, stabilizing ropes we had to climb down, and even helping me over the parallel bars (which I probably could have managed on my own but when a large muscled, shirtless man offers to help, you let him help)
My biggest mistake was not bringing fuel like I did when I ran this race two years ago. I underestimated the length of time it would take to finish this race and totally burnt out halfway through. Brie and I ended up walking most of the second half because we were just so done. At one point I considered whether this would be my first DNF because I was just so over the exhaustion and my stomach was growling hard. Thank buddha for Brie and Lindsey to keep me going. I truly could not have finished without them. Next time I run this race I will not be forgetting to pack some honey stingers and electrolyte drink with me. I wish that the aide stations would have Gatorade instead of just water, that would have helped a ton too.
Needless to say, I was very happy when we got closer to the main grounds, knowing the finish line was close.
After nearly 14km, 27 obstacles and 2 hours 49 minutes, Brie and I jumped over fire hand in hand, crossed the finish line, and claimed our medals.
If you asked me how the race went afterwards, I would have total you it was brutal and it sucked. I was mad at myself for forgetting fuel and for not being in as good of shape as I was the first time I conquered this race. After sitting on it though, I took away some really positive things. I pushed myself mentally and physically, I was supported by good friends and complete strangers and I crossed the finish line in one piece. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t text Brie a few days later saying that adding 6 more kilometres and 5+ more obstacles to do a Beast doesn’t seem too much of a stretch. I still have my eye on that Spartan Trifecta some day.
The best part though? Late lunch with the girls after getting cleaned up. I inhaled that burger so fast I hardly tasted it.