Saturday, 8th of April I have participated in my first ever Spartan endurance race! And I have to admit, that was awesome! Everything from the beginning to the very end, where every finisher has been awarded with the medal. Very nice, heavy metal medal.
But let’s start from the very beginning. But let me answer the question why I have participated in such a race in the first place. I always have been kind of a challenge person. I have done some hiking from 25km (15.6miles) to 50km (31miles) in one go or some cycling in one day 220km (137.5miles). But it has been quite some time ago and just appeared as part of the momentum. During the years I was like a gym and weights guy, doing cardio only for the fat burn reasons and nothing else. So I spent last 13 years in a gym, doing weight sessions most of the time 4-6 times per week all year long. And not sure what happened but my motivation just dropped because of the weights and I was no more interested in it. I had to find other challenges to keep me busy, fit and healthy. And probably it was the right time when I was hooked up about the military guys, navy seal guys, SAS and other guys who are going though unbelievable challenges just to qualify. And somehow it inspired me so much, that I had decided to register for some endurance races. I never ever was endurance and stamina guy, I always could lift, could lift heavy, but if you tell me to do it for 100 reps or so, I will be done and I will be done very quickly.
Anyway, I used that motivation and registered to the Spartan Sprint race which is basically 6km run with 18+ obstacles or so. My training routine has changed and I started working on it. So from 2017 January, basically I haven’t been doing any weights session anymore, just super sets, lots of pull-ups, push-ups, million of bur-pees and every single time, every single workout it just killed me. I was sweating, trying to get my breath back and recover. I had totally switch my workout sessions and explore different waters. It was hard, it was difficult but I enjoyed it. Really did.
Anyway, back to the race. So I managed to get my friends register as well, and 5 of us have decided to participate. Our goal was not to win, but to compete, to have new experience and most important to have fun. I had no doubts that all of us are going to finish.
The race was with different obstacles, where you have to climb, to carry, to crawl, climb up the hill with the sandbags and do other stuff. It wasn’t easy and running up the hills in the very very beginning just destroyed me. I was thinking what the heck? And all of my friends overtook me. Finally I have reached log carrying obstacle where I recovered. For me, when I have to sprint, run up the hill, it’s the hardest things to do. But if I have to use lots of strength in the steady pace, I will do quite well. So I managed to get and overtake one of my friends, and always was keeping an eye on him that he would not take over me 🙂 Additional motivation to keep running instead of walking was just behind me.
I saw another two friends of mine who were quite ahead, and had almost 0 chances to catch them, unless they get lots of penalties. Which is, if you fail to complete the obstacle for any reasons, you have to do 30 burpees and 30 burpees is a lot! However they were doing quite well and I was left behind. On few obstacles where it took so much of energy and was doubting if I can make it happen or not the only thought I had was: “the least thing you want to do now is 30 burpees. Just finish this god damn obstacle!” And I really did, all the obstacles I finished without doing a single burpee. Even on the last obstacle where you have to throw spear and make sure it hits the target, otherwise you will be punished with 30 burpees. I did concentrate while running towards the obstacle, visualised the spear hitting the target, took my time to prepare and I hit it. Few more obstacles were done with no sweat as I already saw the finish line and that’s it.
My result is 1:01 which I qualify in 144th overall place out of 2094 participants. Which is not good, but is alright. Next time, will be better as I know where I have to improve (mostly loosing weight :)) ). The best time of my lifelong friend was 58 minutes which gave him the first place in our team, and the time for me to beat him.
It was great event, great team spirit, great challenge. Before this event I was already signed to another Spartan race, to compete in 12-16km run with 24-29 Obstacles. My friends were not very passionate about it, but next day after the challenge they said let’s do it and even we made a bet who is going to win.
And as a final word I want to address to you guys who wants to do it, but thinking that they are not prepared or it is not the time yet. Just do it, just register to the event, sign up, ask friends to join it and go for the challenge. Start preparing and I guarantee you that it will be worth it. And as I saw one of the ads on the red London busses
Eating don’t kill you, sofas do.
Spartan Magic Marty