Saturday, December 3, 2011

Super Spartan Race

This weekend was the Super Spartan Race in Glen Rose, Texas.   Jes has been training for the Tough Mudder for months; however, it was rained out and he got the opportunity to do this race for free.  Plus, this race had a smaller version that Mason could do.   So, we all packed up the car and drove to Glen Rose this weekend for a quick family trip. 

Jes's race started first at 10AM.   It was raining and the wind was slightly blowing, but that didn't matter.  The race was just over 8 miles and he can usually run this distance in about 1 hour 10 minutes, so he told Ashlee to watch for him around the finish line around 11:30AM.   Big mistake.  They didn't release the obstacles or course design, so he really didn't know what he was getting into.   Here is what he recalls:

The race started out smooth.  There was never a good running trail, always jumping over rocks, mud, plants, and cacti, but it was pretty flat.  Then I had over-under-through obstacles.  Jumping over 4 or 5 sets of 5 foot walls, the crawling under walls, then through windows.   First obstacle down...  it tired me, but I kept running.  The next obstacle was trenches...filled with water.  You had to jump into them and then climb out.  It was cold.  There were multiple trenches...   It was a bit harder to run while went and muddy, but the course led you into a creek, running in water, through trees and mud, up waterfalls, into ditches, and so on.   We seemed to get muddier and muddier, but luckily the run kept us warm.   That is...until the lake.  We had go swim across a lake.  My guess is only 50-75 yards, but it was the coldest thing I've ever done.  Once you emerged from the lake, you had to climb a rope 20 feet to hit a bell.  Now, this was the first obstacle I couldn't do.  And if you couldn't complete an obstacle, you had to do 30 "burpees" or squat thrusts.  This was tiring and time consuming.  Once I completed those, I moved on to the spear throw.  I missed the target...30 more burbees.   Then to the slick wall climb.  I was able to complete this and that's when I passed the 3 mile marker.   And I was very tired...  Continuing to run, we climbed cargo nets, more trenches, climbed mud walls, under nets, dodged cacti fields, and eventually I got to the barbed-wire crawl.  My guess was this was 100 yards or so through think mud and cacti, with barbed-wire about 1-2 feet from the ground.  After scratching my forearms and legs up, I decided to roll.   I rolled for a while, but got dizzy.   Switching back and forth from rolling to crawling, I made it through...but very dizzy and sick.   I ran about 30 feet from that obstacle, and that's when it hit me.  I puked into a bush and then sat down.  It took me a good minute to re-orient myself but I started running again.  
Now at this time, I started to realize that these obstacles were taking longer than I anticipated.  I knew Mason's race started shortly after noon, and I REALLY wanted to see him run it.  So I used that as inspiration to keep going.  I accomplished pulling a heavy weight carefully 30 feet into the sky and slowly dropping it, then fell off the slick monkey bars, so I was faced with another 30 burbees, then I came to 4 sets of walls.  The first being 6 feet, the second 8, the third 10, and the last 12 feet high.  No ropes, just teamwork to climb over.  Accomplishing that, I stepped up my running.  I jumped over 6 foot high hay bales, slide down mud slides, and eventually made it to the bottom of a hill.   You had to pick up a sandbag and carry it to the top of the hill and back down another side.   This wasn't just some hill.  Steep enough to require grabbing trees, many people were stuck half-way up, just sitting on their sandbag in despair.  At this point, I got a second wind, and blasted up the hill and back down.  Only to discover, the next obstacle was filling a "home depot" utility bucket with gravel and carrying it back up the hill...and back down.   This one was hard.   That bucket was slick, awkward, and hurt.

Now at this time, Mason was starting his race.  Realizing I wasn't coming, he got in line and took off for his .5 mile race.  He was assigned number 1 which was very cool to him!  Taking on all the obstacles, such as a net crawl, balance beam, mud pit, and gladiator, he made it back and got his reward!  He ran the whole thing and did great!  We were so proud of him for accomplishing this. 

And meanwhile, completed with the hills, I now passed the 7 mile mark.  I knew I was close and I really started to run.  However...little did I know, I still had many obstacles to go.   There was ANOTHER barbed-wire crawl..this time on gravel, but not as long.  And you had to drag large bricks around in the mud.  There was a balance beam that I accomplished, and a log hop, that I also finished (avoiding more burbees).   Finally, I had to crawl along a rope hanging above a pond and ring a bell.  I made it half way before my arms gave out, falling into the water below.  This forced another 30 burbees (after tiring from the effort to make it across)  I couldn't complete a slippery wall obstacle near the end and was forced to do a final 30 burbees...  before the jump over fire, battle with a Spartan (who hit you with all his might) and then over the finish line. 

Bleeding, tired, muddy, and hurting, I was so happy to see everyone standing at the finish line.  I was very sad I didn't get to see Mason run his race.   I did not expect this race to this hard, but I'm glad I finished and I know what I need to work on for the next time!

Before the race...

Standing in the start line, Mason was giving me encouragement.

Mason in his start line.

Mason has just crossed the finish line!
Crawling out from the 100 yards of barbed-wire.

Running down the fire path, almost finished!

Battling the Spartans at the end.



Carriea81 said...

Love reading Spartan stories! I'm the blog editor for Spartan Race! I'm thrilled you guys had fun! I'm bummed he didn't get to see your son run, will you be back in May when we come back to Texas?