In May of 2012 I participated in the Spartan Sprint at Reveille Ranch in Burnet, TX. The only OCR I had participated in was the Warrior Dash, which is a 5k with obstacles. The Spartan Sprint advertised to be 3+ miles, so having finished the Warrior Dash without too much difficulty and a finish time of 48 minutes, I signed up with expectations that it would be similar in difficulty level.
I was wrong.
I had increased my training a bit through a local gym X-Train that offered a weekly workout to prep for the race and had started running more distance and more consistently. But I wasn’t expecting this level of intensity. This shit was hard. Let’s recap…
On race day I met up with a local Meetup Mud Run group member and rode the hour out to Burnet. The ranch was beautiful… rolling hills and green grass. My anticipation and excitement was growing as we pulled into the parking lot and heightened as we tattooed our race numbers on our arms and foreheads in black permanent marker.
After we entered the venue, we checked our bags and headed to the start line. We only had a minute until our heat started because we were a little late, and began to start running as soon as our heat began. And running we did for quite some time before the first obstacle. The landscape was beautiful and there were quite a few streams of water, rocky boulders, and hills to maneuver through on the trail. Some of the obstacles included climbing ropes, muddy monkey bars, jumping on wooden posts placed several feet apart, flipping tires, and lifting buckets of rocks on pulleys. I had NOT trained enough and I failed at a few of the obstacles and had to suffer the penalty of 30 burpees. NOT FUN! There was quite a bit of running, as approximately 15 obstacles were spread out through 6 miles of terrain. The time flew by with each obstacle but I was grateful for the multiple water stations offered on the course.
The running was the most challenging part for me, and my upper body was getting tired towards the end. I kept saying positive quotes to help keep me going when it got tough.
“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish”
Towards the end of the race there was a 100 yard barbed wire crawl where I ended up rolling underneath to save energy, getting covered in mud head to toe in the process. After one last rope climb, I headed towards the flaming fire pit and jumped over it with the last of my energy. Then only a few Spartan volunteers with foam bats shaped like big Q-tips standing between me and the finish line.
Oh that finish line.
After over 5 miles, 15+ obstacles (you kind of lose count), 1 hour and 43 minutes later, I crossed it. A wave of accomplishment and pride swept over me as I passed the black “FINISH” banners and crowds of cheering people. All the sweat, scrapes and bruises, fatigue, pain, and happiness… it was all worth it.
I signed up for a few other OCRs such as the Tough Mudder and the Spartan Beast, which I’ll review and post pics soon! And I started training a little bit harder 😉 Check out my YouTube videos and blog on how to train for an obstacle course race.
Sign up here for 15% off your next Spartan Race! http://share.spartanrace.com/x/LSC8c
What races do you plan on doing this year? Have you tried an obstacle course race yet?