Tuesday, July 3, 2012
We decided to make a mini vacation out of this weekend. Rented out a few rooms at Carriage Hills and Ridge Resort. Really nice place where we watched videos of past Spartan Races, did group yoga stretches, and taped up. I tried to sleep but I was too excited about the race that I woke up around 5:30am! Apparently, I wasn't the only one. Almost the whole team woke up early excited for the race.
Though we woke up early we somehow made it to our 12:30pm heat with just minutes to spare as the parking lot was an obstacle in its own. I swear it was a 5km walk from our cars to the buses, then another 5km drive to the racing grounds. With our bib numbers tattooed onto our skin with permanent marker, we made our way to the start line with hundreds of others surrounding. Some covered in mud from head to toe, while others like us, clean and ready to rumble! Loud music reverberated in the air. Splashes of freezing cold water sprayed our faces. Then the count down. 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Fog horn blasts. And all of a sudden I'm running.
The first km I was already huffing and puffing and slowing down. What the?!?! I can run 10km non stop, why was I getting tired already??? Right... because I'm a snobby city, flat street or treadmill runner who failed to practice running uphills, though I was constantly reminded by the daily emails of the Spartan WODs, how important it was to find a hill, and run up and down it. I deserved this, I suppose. But, I kept trudging along. Where were the obstacles though??? I was starting to worry that I was going to lose all my energy from running and by the time I got to any of the obstacles, I wasn't going to be able to do them. Other than going up a hill under a heavy net where I tired my arms out by flailing the net over my head, there wasn't another obstacle for at least 3km. Then finally came the rope wall. Up, up, up, and over. Done. Then there was the rope climb. Only, they had the girls do a rope ladder climb! I felt cheated. But I got on the rope ladder and started to climb only to find myself all of a suddened flipped right over. Had I not had a good grip on the bars I would have been flat on my back or rolling down that hill. I had to have the girls flip me back over. Then I learned how to handle the ladder properly. Hands on the side ropes, not on the bars. I still wanted to try the rope climb... But, I decided to move along with the rest of the girls... Next time, I won't be such a pansy.
The mud crawl under barbwire came up soon after. I'm not gonna lie, it was kinda refreshing being in the cool mud. The little sharp surprises that were hiding in the mud, were not so refreshing. Then we were hip deep in mud. My foot got stuck for a bit. I kept trying to get it loose with someone yelling for me to keep moving. I really thought I was going to have to finish the race barefoot. I eventually got it loose, and carried on. Once we were out of the mud I realized why we were adviced to wear shorts and a tee and not to wear cotton. I was in shorts, but they were cotton. And they were HEAVY! Oh boy... I wore gloves because I have very sensitive skin that would have for sure blistered. Those gloves were also, very heavy after the mud crawl.
There were a few wall climbs. Small spaced tunnels to crawl through, where I got more cuts and bruises. Jumping over a firepit. Spear throwing. Wheeling a wheel-barrel that held a few heavy sandbags. Carrying a sandbag on your shoulder running up and around a hill with dude yelling calling everyone morons....... and a few other obstacles. Then there were the last jaunt of obstacles where they make a spectacle of you while the crowd watches and cheers. A small ramp (apparently earlier there were two ramps and an ice pit where you crawl through, under barbwire, but they got rid of that just moments before were got there) and a few roped haystacks to climb over...
...and then there were the Gladiators... that once again, favored the females... This has got to change! I'm not big on feminism... to each their own, but seriously!? We joined this knowing and fully accepting the challenges that come with it. Hit me! Bleh... he psyched me out once then tapped my back with his pugil stick. Lame.
The last one was a rope climb over a wall where a line up started to develop. I stood and waited and watched. I began to think this wall was well oiled or something because people were having a very difficult time getting over it. In fact, I saw a girl make it half way then somehow flipped over and off the side landing on her back into a bush. DANG!!! That must of hurt! Ah well, it had to be done. And done it was. Poor technique was the poor girls problem. That wall was cake. The finish line was the behind that wall. We were rewarded with medals and t-shirts, and handed in our timing chip. Which, mine and the whoever else came in around that time up to an hour later didn't get accounted for as a small electrical fire occured when it rained. Convenient.