I am Spartana!
If I ever had a thing against mud, it’s gone. Fully submerged in mud making my way under a log, with no option but to dive into the stinky stuff or get out and do 30 mud soaked burpees, I can never be ew, mud again. I faced the obstacle I was least looking forward to. Any mud pit after that, bring it on, it’s just mud. For I am Spartan. Mud is just mud. Just don’t swallow any!
This past Sunday I ran what I have been training for all year, the Barcelona Spartan Race Super! 13km run with 25+ obstacles and loved every minute of it. Even the mud. I looked a sight, but so did everyone else. I’ll try to keep the recap short!
I took the coach set on by the organisers to Les Combs a private event management estate in the Pyrenees and got talking to 2 other girls on the bus who were also running solo. I felt a little more at ease that I wasn’t the only solo runner! Most on the coach it was their first race minus one girl who ran the Sprint the day before (she’s working towards the Trifecta. All 3 Spartan Races). The day before was also the Beast, 21km with 35 + obstacles (the elite winner won it 2h16min! I took about 2.5 hours for my course!) and the Sprint, 5km with 15 + obstacles.
Coach ride in
Les Combs. It was the perfect day. Chilly start for this city girl, warm later even with sun cream and mud to tan and burn very slightly on her shoulder.
After checking in at the cloakroom, walking around the festival area, getting changed, popping to the bathroom numerous times it was showtime! The only way into the start line was a wall climb before warming up to Highway to Hell. Everybody was full of smiles, with Spartanos being told if a Spartana needed help on the course (walls) they were to help (The Elite racers aren’t allowed to help other as they run I believe for prize money. They’re also the first race of the day. Less mud for them.). The truth, everybody helped each other, but it was nice to know the guys had been told as I had to ask for help with the wall into the start area as did a few other girls. I made sure I said thank you to whoever helped me with the walls. I don’t think anyone burpeed for not climbing walls.
Bye bye trainers
The course was trail, up and down the mountains/hills, some steep slopes, one you had to shuffle down crab style, some ledges to jump down. I bumped into pre run the instructor who gave the training session 2 weeks earlier who advised to walk up the hills, run down them. I ran up as much as possible, but parts were steep and while I’m fine running trails, I’m no sky runner!
The mud they introduced gradually. Baby mud pit to swimming through stinky stuff before over a log, under a log, over a log. Then crawling under barbwire and nets though mud, wading through mud, climbing up mud banks, more rolling in mud! In-between the mud pits were walking logs balance beams, slip 30 burpees, walking logs over mud pits, dragging weights, if they loose contact with ground 30 burpees, log, atlas, sandbag carries, monkey bars, Herculean hoists (thank you to the couple who helped me until the rope was mud free for me to continue. I never got to say it or to those who helped me with the 8ft+ wall. I shouted it, but I don’t think they heard), spear throws, sled dragging, rope climbs, net climbs, wall climbs, tyre pulls, wall traverses and jumping fire or for me embers. Failure to do any, fall, 30 burpees. 65 burpees for me, spear throw and rope climb in a mud bog which 95% of runners burpeed. The 5 were for the atlas carry: carry to a set distance, 5 burpees, return. I would have liked less mud and more net climbs, monkey bars, log carries etc, but it was fun all the same. I don’t think if I hadn’t have worn trial running trainers I wouldn’t have found the mud so easy.
A: Crawl through mud under barbed wire. Climb out, run up into the mountains.
B: Commando roll under barbed wire into mud pit. Repeat X 2, smile for the camera, run to next obstacle.
Home straight and the infamous fire jump!
Crossing the finish line, period dressed Spartans placed my medal around my neck. The greatest feeling! I did it! Before moving to get my finisher t-shirt and first part of the trifecta medal, then final photo (I tried to clean the mud off my headband so my number could be seen, but I got it all over my nose and eyebrows instead. Double sight! Plus I didn’t place the band over the tops of my ears, so they stuck out and the mud isn’t good for crows feet. Lines everywhere! Next time! (I’m still waiting for official photos)), then onto the showers. Open mixed showers, rows of hand held cold water showers or the option to be hosed down! I think I spent about 20 minuets getting the mud out. My hair was like a helmet, my bra a mud catcher. I really wanted to take it off, but it was mixed showers so it stayed put and did my best. Some girls did, but nearly everyone kept underwear on and everybody was to busy concentrating getting mud out to look. I didn’t think to take flip flops, I forgot to wash the mud from my ears, but I did take cleansing wipes which removed the mud from my ears 5 mins later.
Only war wounds a few scratches and one swollen ankle. My foot slipped between 2 hay bales scaling down 1 wall which I knew would hurt later. Which it did on the Metro home. Apart from that and an achy right shoulder from the log and sandbag carries, I’m not really sore much. I hurt more after the training session Spartan Race held! I’ve had to scarfice the top I wore. I can’t get the mud smell out. It took about 1 tank of hot water to get the clothes in state for hand washing and their already on their 2nd hand wash soaking before the washing machine. I can’t believe how stubborn the mud is!
Would I do more obstacle races? Definitely! Would I go for the trifecta? Yes! In shorts and sports bra. The top I sacrificed, I really wanted to sacrifice it 1/2 way round. It kept being dragged down for me to keep having to tuck it in, only for it to untuck and drag down with the next mud pit. But I know for next time!
Have you ever participate in a Spartan Race or obstacle race? What was your favourite and least favourite obstacle? Have a great week!