I did the Super Spartan race back in July 2016 to test the
waters mud of these types of races. It was a hot day and I was feeling overwhelmed with my schedule that day (having to catch a flight right after the race) and I almost passed out at mile 2.5. I did finish the 8+ mile race but not without skipping a few obstacles and overall taking over 4 hours to do it. Needlesstosay I didn’t feel very accomplished after that event. Why would I want to try it again?
A lot of times these races are ran by teams, they motivate each other and help each other through the obstacles. At the Super Spartan I made some friends from my crossfit gym and we all stayed together to compete. For the terrain race I wanted to do the same but there were no takers this time. This, at first, was kind of a bummer, but then I thought that I wouldn’t have to wait for anyone or in reality they wouldn’t have to wait for me.
I didn’t know what kind of obstacles would be at the terrain race; this is typical of these races. They don’t want to give away the course and also they don’t know how they’re going to set up until they get there. So I didn’t know if these obstacles would be conducive to single runners or if you need a team to help you get through. I was surprised that even though the obstacles were challenging they could be done by a single runner. I was even more surprised at my efficiency through them.
I started at heat 11:30 (I was scheduled for 12:15, but I saw a friend and asked if I could start with them). We started in a pool…3 different pools with about 20 people in each. Then when it was time to start they called us out of the pool. I’m guessing the pool was to show us that we are going to get wet and to get us acclimated to it? There were some armed forces guys competing with us that were doing the 22 push up challenge to celebrate and raise awareness for a veterans charity so they asked the entire heat to do 22 push ups with them. We did. What a good warm up.
The race began and I was in the middle of the pack running about 8:30 minute mile and we get to an obstacle, I don’t remember what the obstacle was but I remember people stopping and getting their bearings to do it and I remember just ploughing through it and wondering what was so hard about that? At that point I was no longer in the middle of the pack I was in the front of the pack. I kept that pace through out the entire race. By the time I got to the seventh or eighth obstacle of carrying a 25 pound weight on my shoulders for about a quarter of a mile, I reached the armed forces guys, who were walking with their weights, and I passed them while I continued to run. I just lost 15 pounds in the last month or so… so I am used to carrying the extra weight while I run. The only part that slowed me down was a cargo net obstacle that my shoe got caught up in the netting while I was still wearing half of it while being upside down. I had to have the attendant at the obstacle get me free.
All of a sudden I was at the finish area with three more obstacles to go back to back and at that point I knew I could do them fast if I tried since I had plenty of gas in the tank. The hardest part was trying to get around the slow people from 2 heats in front of me.
I finished with a time of about 32 minutes according to my watch and the race was actually about 3.6 miles with all the obstacles length taken into account. I was really happy with this performance and am grateful for the opportunity to train every day to improve myself not just for these races that give me nothing but enjoyment, but it improves my mood and my health overall. I am looking forward to my next one. What a big change in my feelings about these races from my first experience.