I just did Reebok’s Spartan Race (Sprint Distance) and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had fitness-wise! It’s a beautiful thing to challenge ourselves on aerobic, anaerobic, mental and physical levels – especially if we have a great time doing it. This event was so much fun! I feel like a total badass and am proud to have tested and recognized my hard work and strength.
This weekend’s races – Sprint, Super & Beast levels – are a ‘trifecta’ where borderline psychotic crossfitters can opt to do multiple races over both days! All three were held at Kualoa Ranch on the way to North Shore. It was a perfect venue, with plenty of natural rivers, flats, hills, trees & swampy bits to make it Spartan-worthy. It’s a gorgeous venue at the foot of Oahu’s Koolau mountains and across the road from endless turquoise ocean. Plus, it’s where part of Jurassic Park was filmed. What’s more badass than that?
Since I’m a newbie, I’m stoked that I only did the Sprint distance. To even call it a Sprint is seriously relative. This whole shebang was no easy task! I consider myself decently fit – I run, I lift, dive and surf. I’m proud of my sculpted arms & strong core. Yet, this race – even the sprint level – totally kicked my ass.
Don’t let that scare you, though – this was the most fun I’ve had working out! I loved that it didn’t feel like a race – the obstacles were so nuts that we felt like we were all in it together. It started off with a trail through the ranch’s plains, and then we waded waist-deep in a stream.
I got through the water quick since it’s my comfort zone, and hustled up the next hill, which winded into more hills, and weaved through the crowd as people started to slow down to a half-assed jog/walk.
I can’t even rack my (now very tired) brain to list all of the obstacles I encountered, but they made me feel super strong. I quickly scaled over the first wall and shimmied up the netting. I happily sandwiched myself between the slick, muddy ground and criss-crossings of barbed wire above.
And I freaking loved it.
I loved attempting to climb slippery piles of mud and dropping chest-deep into muddier puddles of – you guessed it – mud. I obviously expected to get dirty, but I didn’t predict I’d be covered in hot, soggy mud from the shoulders down a mere half a mile into the shindig.
The really cool thing is that the variety of the obstacles gave all of us a chance to kick some ass. The smaller girls flew through the barbed wire; the big guys hopped right over the 8-foot wall and up the ropes. For me, my strength was running between obstacles. I’m used to running hills and pretty comfy running through trails – and all of my much-hated interval training seriously paid off.
As the course progressed, we had to carry sandbags up and around a hill, dragged and then pulled a tire, swing across some monkey bars, and then go back under the barbed wire. I was seriously intimidated by the traverse wall – punishment for grabbing onto the top or falling off was 30 burpees. Yikes.
Somehow, though, I made it happen! I carefully held on with my hands and used my core to balance as I hopped my back foot from one teeny-tiny tie to the next.
The scariest thing I encountered was climbing the rope, which I was initially ecstatic about. I knew I had the upper body strength to do it! The rope was near the end of the race, though, and I was pretty darn tired. I hopped up over the first tie with relative ease and positioned my arms to pull myself up farther. That was when I made the mistake of looking up – and realizing how terrifyingly high the top of the rope was.
No freakin way.
The second-to-last obstacle was throwing a spear (yea, you read that correctly) into a stack of hay. Of course, I have no clue what to do with a spear. My throw launched the spear into the general direction of the hay, but it sadly smacked into it sideways. I payed my 30-burpee penance (which was not easy at this point!) and moved on.
We then roped up and over another obstacle and jumped over some fire. I cannot wait to get my photos (hopefully they got some of me) which Reebok posts online for free.
I adored this race and can’t wait to do another! You know you’re in an awesome event when you keep pushing harder and faster as the race goes on!
Doing the Spartan Sprint has made me thankful for every single mile, leg day, interval and lifting session – they were all worth it. I am seriously happy with how I did and cannot wait to do another one! This whole Spartan thing totally resonates with me – getting down & dirty and pushing yourself to your limits.