Friday, September 6, 2013

My New England Spartan Race Recap!

After a fun, active, yet relaxing August (in which I took a bit of hiatus from blogging - or any indoor activities, really - to be outside as much as I could), I am finally back at it!  My 1st "fall" post is something that should have been posted a few weeks ago but, hey, whaddyagunnadoo? :)

Last month, I participated in my 2nd obstacle course race, the New England Spartan Sprint. You can read all about my adventures in the 1st Spartan race at Fenway Park last year here.  There was no mud at the Fenway course, so this New England race was my 1st mud run!

I was definitely apprehensive about doing a mud race... not that I'm a girly girl who hates getting dirty but I've never voluntarily gone swimming in mud before.  Turns out I had no idea what I'd be in for, haha...

My team consisted of my boyfriend and another couple, one of whom had done Fenway with me so it was fun to have someone to compare and contrast the two races with.  We signed up for a morning heat time and made it by the skin of our teeth at 11:30am (that may have been because we dragged our feet on registering, hence our official team name, "The Procrastinators").

My Spartan Teammates :)

The race was held at the Amesbury Sports Park in Amesbury, MA.  SO glad we bought the VIP parking pass because it allowed us to park onsite instead of being shuttled by bus to the offsite parking lot, which was 7 miles away in Seabrook, NH.

All marked up and ready to go

We had a gorgeous day for the race!  I was super impressed by how well it was organized, especially considering the number of people who were participating. The Sports Park was a perfect place for it and although we all went home with multiple bumps and bruises, The Procrastinators kicked butt and had a blast.

Not a cloud in sight!

Having said all that, I'm unsure if I would do another mud race... I'm all for obstacle course races but there's something about running, wading and - yes - swimming underwater in mud that just didn't appeal to me. I'm glad I got to check it off my bucket list though and looking forward to my 3rd (non-muddy!) Spartan Race in November, back at Fenway!

Here's a listing of the obstacles we competed in, plus my $.02 about each (in order from start to finish):
  • The start line was on the middle of a hill, which we had to run up then into the woods... mostly uphill through the woods....
  • O-U-T Walls - walls in succession that you either had to climb over, crawl under or climb through a hole in the wall.
  • Rope Climb - this was one of my favorites from Fenway, although this time it was over a mud pool... and seemingly MUCH higher!  My T-Rex arms (and immense fear of heights) kept me from hitting the bell at the top but I came SO close.
  • Sandbag Carry - Unlike Fenway, where there was only one weight option, they had multiple choices this time... and definitely much lighter!
  • Traverse Wall - Made it across without falling but this was another obstacle where being vertically challenged puts you at a disadvantage.

Traverse Wall

  • Wooden Ladder Climb/Walk Across - This one made me nervous because it was about 1.5 stories high! Yikes... when did I become so afraid of heights? However, my shaky legs amazingly led me up over and back down on solid ground :)

The ascent side of the Ladder Climb... trust me, it seems much higher on top!

  • Robe Climb on Slanted Wall - So glad I decided to wear my sneakers with the better tread, as I'm sure my other ones would have been zero help to me here.
  • More running
  • Mud Pools - We had to wade through mud pools of varying depths, on me they went from knee height to chest height.
  • Inverted Wall Climb - This was a tough one because not only are you pretty muddy by this point but the wall itself is crazy muddy too... but I did it!
  • Barbed Wire Mud Crawl - army crawling under barbed wire... either I'm not good at staying low to the ground or my bun was a bit too high on my head for this one haha.
  • Cement Block Drag - My team lovingly renamed this "Pet Rock"... it involved dragging a cement block by a chain up and down a trail.
  • More Running


  • More Wall Climbing - they're getting higher now... I think this one was about 8-10 feet
  • Herculean Hoist - Using a rope to hoist a cement block to the top... the lighter weighted block was too light but I couldn't even get the heavier block off the ground.
  • Mud Pits - Kind of quicksand-like but less so if you ran closer to the perimeter
  • Monkey Bars - hahahaha... nope
  • Tire Pull/Drag - There were two sets of weights for the tires that were tied to ropes... you had to drag it out until the rope was taut then pull it back in using the rope.  This one was my favorite!
  • Spear Throw - let's just say, collectively this wasn't The Procrastinators' strongest area
  • More Barbed Wire Mud Crawls - we quickly realized that you just gotta roll through
  • Underwater Mud Pool - Yep, no way out of this one since there was barbed wire across the top of the wall to keep you form climbing over. 

immediately post-submerge... and inexplicably still smiling

  • Still More Barbed Wire Mud Crawls
  • Fire Jump - Got a chance to channel my inner Tinkerbell...

soaring high to the finish...

  • Gladiator Pit - final obstacle before... THE FINISH LINE!!

And there you have it!  So...would you ever do a mud race??  If you've already done one, why/why not would you do it again??


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