It’d been two years but it was Spartan Race time again! Why, I dunno. I guess I have a phobia about losing my physical ability as I age so I have to test myself. Plus, I was disappointed with my last race result even though it was comparatively good. Turns out I did in fact do better this time despite much different terrain (lots of hilly ups and downs). On the plus side, the weather was cool and overcast. It was still humid, though, but you only felt it in the brief instances when the sun came out. The venue was definitely more crowded than in Hawaii which I worried would crowd the course, but it didn’t.
I’ve rated the obstacles on a scale of 1-6 with 1 being easiest and 6 indicating a failure. Commentary follows the harder obstacles.
Start Line – 3.5 : The race immediately zipped downhill and did a number on my thighs before we’d even gotten a quarter of a mile.
Overwalls 4’ – 1
Rolling Mud – 2
6’ Wall – 2
Atlas Carry – 4 : The first ‘hard’ obstacle which I had no problem with last time. However, this time the ball was slick and harder to hold. In fact, it rolled out of my hands the second I finished and nearly crushed a fellow Spartan’s toes!
*I think it was after the Atlas Carry I saw some guy puking off to the side. I hoped he wasn’t foreshadowing the race for the rest of us. (My wife says that while I was racing some guy was stretchered out. That’s never good.)
Plate Drag – 4 : For some reason I felt weak on this obstacle today. Probably because I hadn’t ‘warmed up’ yet. Also, by this time in the race almost everyone I saw was walking the course already.
Bucket Carry – 3 : I was very happy to discover the bucket I practiced with at home was much heavier! The bucket carry gassed me last time and I wasn’t going to let that happen again. The preparation paid off.
Spear Throw – 1 : I failed this last time; this is probably the most failed obstacle for every racer. The second I let it go this time, I knew I’d nailed it.
Inverted Wall – 1
Vertical Cargo – 1
Rope Climb – 3 : Very slick rope this time but otherwise not too hard.
Monkey Bars – 3.5 : My left triceps were unhappy after I got through utilizing a different strategy today. I almost slipped off at one point, probably because I was overconfident since it was so easy last time.
Barbwire Crawl – 4.5 : The crawl this time was quite long; even people next to me were commenting on it and how much it was hurting their knees. I rolled when I had room, but yes, it was a knee-buster.
Helix – 2
Sandbag Carry – 5.5 : As I approached I could see 1) How steep the uphill was and 2) people struggling to pick up the sandbag to begin with. The slope was probably about 30% or so. The group of women next to me coaxed each other on saying, “Don’t look up. Just keep going.” Yeah, I made that mistake. Frankly, I almost threw the sandbag down and walked off the course while once again wondering why I was doing this. Funny thing is, it would have been easier and faster to skip this obstacle and do the penalty burpees.
Multirig/Rings – 3 : I was quite nervous as I approached and almost went right to the penalty burpee area without even trying the obstacle. Somehow I pulled it off, though. This buoyed my spirits.
Z-Wall – 4 : Hard because I couldn’t see the hand or footholds around the last corner. I hadn’t done this obstacle before so had no frame of reference for success or failure.
Dunk Wall – 1
Slip Wall – 1
Hercules Hoist – 5 : This sucked today because my feet, which I planned to use for leverage, couldn’t reach the top of the guardrail. So I laid on my back in the mud and dead lifted it. The rope was very slick, however, and I nearly lost it several times.
A-Frame Cargo – 1
After the A-Frame I could see the finish line. I ran like hell for only the second time in the race. I’m also happy to report that unlike last time, my wife was right there at the finish line today and that finding her did not become another obstacle.