Here's my good news: I went to the Spartan Race, spent 4 days out of town, completed the race without injuries to myself, and drove the 3 1/2 hours back to our home safely. Arrived alive - winning! Click on photo's to enlarge.
The above is a picture of me in the hotel room on Friday evening after picking up my event package at the Sportsman & Ski Haus in Kalispell, Montana. The package contained my headband, bib number, orange wrist band for microchip, and white wrist band with starting time. I felt cocky as well as a little nervous about what to expect the next morning. Now look below...
This is me just seconds after crossing the finish line and getting my medal placed around my neck. I'm exhausted. I've just went up the mountain and down the mountain and then repeated that over and over and over. I've flipped logs, I've carried logs. I've carried sandbags up and down the mountain. I've climbed walls with ropes, and without ropes. I've swung across monkey bars, climbed up and down cargo nets, crawled under endless barbed wire, cleared hay stacks, walked through ice cold water, and rolled in mud. I don't feel so cocky at this moment. I'm just looking for someone I recognize. Oh...and let's not forget the burpees.
This is a before picture of most of us that were on the 'Here for the Beer' Team. We had no idea. The starting area and arena had a carnival atmosphere to it. You had people who really got into the Spartan mode...
And you also had a few exhibitionists. Amazingly...these guys ran the race wearing only speedo's and did really well actually.
The event was not without some injury. The picture below shows 3 young men who finished in the top 10 fastest times. The center one broke his ankle coming down off the last wall (8 feet high).
Below is a picture of me sailing over the burning fire at the end, after successfully getting over the same wall he broke his ankle on. Safety first is my motto. (Speed...who has speed at my age?)
I learned a lot from this experience. I learned what it means to be a small part of some thing bigger than ourselves. I relearned what team work is all about. I didn't finish last on my team (though pretty darn close). There were three slower than myself. Angelina could have went ahead and gotten a better time. But she waited on the old man (me) to catch up before she continued. At some obstacles we needed each other's assistance. We used the buddy system.
The rope climb, which I had always successfully accomplished in training...well it was towards the end of the race. Not the last obstacle challenge (there were 16 altogether over a mountainous course less than five miles). But close to the last. By the time I got to the rope climb, I had developed Charley horse's in both my right and left legs in the upper inner and outer calf muscles or Gastrocnemius muscle. I got 3/4's up the rope and didn't have any leg strength left. I knew I couldn't muscle it up the rest of the way with my arms and "ding" the bell without leg support. So I lowered myself down and paid the penalty...30 burpees. I'm owning up to it right here, right now.
I want to tell you though...that Angelina had the strength to successfully climb the rope, ding the bell and lower herself down. She is one tough gal!!! Check out her Youtube video below:
Now I never successfully at practice/training ever stuck the spear in the target. I would hit the target with the spear, but never actually make the spear stick in the hay stack - at practice. Well no one was more shocked than I was, when I threw the spear and it stuck and stayed there on Spartan Race Day. I did it. No 30 burpee penalty to pay. I practically got choked with emotion. Unfortunately for me...Angelina's husband Chris was not there with the camera to capture the moment. He was with her on the last sandbag carry. Darn my bad luck!
I feel like our entire team did awesome!!! Some failed at more than one obstacle, but paid the price of 30 burpees and moved on. Angelina had to pay only once and that was at the spear throw. I only had to burpee up once myself and that was on the rope climb. My daughter Angela had to do her share of burpees at the monkey bars, rope climb and the spear throw. Burpees are not the end of the world. Just pay your burpee dues and move forward.
The only real injury our team had was a young husband from Spokane, Washington that drove down for the race. He is Dustin and married to Devin. He sprang his ankle on the last set of 4 walls we had in sequence, where you climbed up over and jumped down the other side of a six foot wall. Out of 24 on our team, his was the only injury, so hoorah for us!
I will put together a longer in depth video to post later, when my laptop quits crashing. I'll be using still photos and video from Chris and Heather, and other's footage. For now, just know that Spartan Races are family events, bonding events. They are challenging. If you are a street runner and want to try obstacle course racing, give Spartan Race's a go.
One last thing...I really wished that people's jaws would not drop wide open in shock when they discovered that I did in fact, successfully complete a Spartan race. I may be old enough to be most of the other racer's Dad, but I'm not dead. Just older. That is all.