Last year, my wife and I partook in our first Spartan Race. It was the Ohio Sprint. 20 degree weather, hail, lots of mud, and rain. It was pretty epic. 🙂
This past weekend, I took part in my first Spartan Race solo. I was pretty nervous to say the least. I had not done any specific training for this besides my typical strength training and some running here and there. This appears to be a common habit with me recently. “I’ll just wing it.”I was registered for the 8:15 am heat, but I wanted to get there extra early so we could watch the elite men and women Spartans take off, get checked in, and have plenty of time to warm-up and mentally prepare for what was ahead.
The Ohio Beast Spartan Race website stated that the Beast course consisted of a distance of 12-14 miles with 30-35 obstacles. I’ve read from most of the Facebook comments that the course ranged between 13-14 with most around the 13.5 mile marker.
Each race started a little bit like this. You can view the Spartan Race introduction speech for each wave by watching the video below. 🙂 #AROO #IAMSPARTAN
“Stand and fight. For today is the day that you rise to glory. Not tomorrow, not next week. Right here, right now in your house, Ohio, your home. For who am I? I am Spartan!”
The elite males were off at 7:30 and the elite females were off at 7:45 a.m.
Below is a pre-race photo. What you don’t see here, is that the day before I went out and purchased a new Camelbak Hydration pack from REI on our way up from Cincinnati. Just before the race, my wife and I got to chatting about it. The Spartan website said that it would take the average individual 5 hours to complete the course and that there were not many hydration stations out on the course. Somehow, our conversation led me to leaving the Camelbak pack in the car and just wearing a SpiBelt with 6 Chocolate Peanut Butter flavored GU Energy Gel packs. Of those 6, I ended up only using 4 or 5.
Just after 8:15 a.m., we were off. I tried not to go out too fast. My ultimate goal, whether running or walking, was to keep moving and not stop. Just as with any other race, I made it a goal to pick off people in front of me. It is one of the many ways I stay motivated to keep pushing myself.
Below is a list of most of the events in order. What you will also not see in this article is the crazy amount of hills, variations in pitches, and the amount of mud pits through out the trails. It had been awhile since I had trained on such inclines. It left me walking up the steep hills. Fortunately, I did used to run cross country in high school and trail run previously, so I was not afraid to take off in a dead sprint down the hills. I felt that my weakness during this course was definitely the uphill portion of the race. I am also quite sure there is probably a more efficient manner in which some of the obstacles could have been performed versus how I completed them. I missed two obstacles and thus had to perform 30 burpees each for my failed attempt. The first was the sandbag rope pull. I had a cut on my hand and was able to get the sandbags up halfway and was then forced to lower them back down due to the cut. The second obstacle was the spear throw. The most effortless of them all! The spear hit the hay bail, and out it fell.
The first obstacle was the three moats of muddy water. Climb one small hill, jump into the muddy water, climb out, jump in, climb out, jump in, climb out, and run to the next obstacle. Not bad at all! It is mostly a matter of getting in and getting out as fast as possible.
The Moats: Video Soure: YouTube by August Geier
The Plate Drag: Video Source: YouTube by August Geier
The Bucket Brigade: The guys were to fill a 5 gallon bucket to the brim with gravel. I’m not sure if the females filled theirs halfway or used different sized buckets. Photo Source: 2014 Ohio Beast by OhVentures.com
The Sandbag Carry: Video Source: YouTube by Sterrett123
6′ / 7′ / 8′ Walls: Video Source: YouTube by August Geier
The A-Frame Cargo: Climb up and slide or climb down the other side.
The Traverse Wall: Don’t touch the ground and don’t touch the top of the wall. Use only the 2×4’s. Reach the end, and you ring the bell. Touch the top or the ground, perform 30 burpees.
The Tire Flip: Flip the tire two times out, and two times back.
The Atlas Lift: Carry the atlas out 15-20 feet, perform 5 burpees, and walk the atlas back.
The Monkey Bars: Video shared via August Geier on YouTube
Classified #3: Walk heavy logs out 10-15 feet and back.
The Memory Test: Take the last two digits of your race number, match it on the chart, and memorize the phrase by it. 1 Week later and I still remember mine: Whiskey-276-4833. They never asked me. I was sad. So, sad, that I had to tell my wife at the finish line that I knew it. Someone had to know that I memorized it. lol
The Cliff Climb with Rope:
Classified #4: Hoist yourself up the wall and climb your way up and over.
The Clif Multi Bar:
The Inverted Wall: Climb up the inverted wall and slide down the opposing side shown below.
The Rope Swing:
The Spear Throw: Unfortunately, the spear fell out. 30 Burpees for me!
The Cargo Bridge:
Classified: Underwater Wall
The Slip Wall:
The Barbed Wire Crawl:
The Rope Climb: Hey, there I am!
The Fire Jump: #AROO
Another water pit before crossing the finish line…why not get cleaned off!
The Victory Wall: “You’ll know at the finish line!”
My Results: I did much better than I had ever expected. I discovered that I had qualified to race at the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in October of this year held in Oregonia, Ohio.
What’s next for me?
I’ve altered my training to be more Obstacle Course Racing specific. I’ll share more on this later. As for races, I am hoping to race in Pennsylvania on the weekend of July 11th in both the Super and the Sprint in order to complete my first Trifecta and later the World Championships in October.
#WhyIRace I took part in the Spartan Race to challenge myself. It gives my training more purpose. I race to be the best version of me.
Now, with all of that being said, our friends at Spartan Race is offering me the opportunity to offer you a free Entry to a Spartan Race. (Note: The codes will work one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental US.). Let’s get this party started!