Disclaimer: I was provided with a free entry to participate and review the Spartan Sprint Race in Tampa.
When a group of girls from CrossFit En Fuego announced that they'd be doing the Spartan Sprint I was SO EXCITED!! I had already planned to do it, but didn't have any friends to do it with. Obstacle races are always more fun with friends!!
Our wave was at 1:30pm, so we met at CEF at 11am, and all carpooled together in ONE Honda Pilot. Not one empty seat was to be found.
We were all pretty quiet on the ride down. I think we were all wondering about what awaited us!
Parking was a breeze, and we quickly made our way to packet pickup, and I noticed this little piece of information on the packet.
See that in BIG RED LETTERS? YOU MAY DIE!! What in the world did I sign up for??
We took our time exploring the festival grounds and they even had a few practice obstacles like the rope climb and some crazy wall. Coach Jen managed both with ease. I didn't even bother to try. LOL. I wanted the element of surprise on the course.
I started to get more and more excited and we began to work our way towards the starting area. On the way I happened to come across this little map of the course. The idea of mystery obstacles scared me a little bit.
On our way to the start I came across my friend Nanci who was there to cheer on her husband!
We gathered at the start line and soon we were ready to go!
And then it was 3, 2, 1 and we were off!! Our first "obstacle" was to run up some crazy big ramps! This was hard and since I'm such a slow runner, I lost my group! LOL. It was bound to happen. But I did manage to find a beautiful American flag!
I was in the back of the pack and really just enjoying myself! I knew that some of the obstacles would be challenging to do by myself, but I was okay with that.
This was our first obstacle and I snapped a photo after I completed it. I was pretty proud of myself. So far NO BURPEES!
A few more ramps, and I emerged to look at this!
I could see people climbing stairs up to the highest height. I could see people crawling on their hands and knees and bellies through the sand pit. I just had no idea how many other obstacles would be in my way before I got down to ground level again!
A few more obstacles and I caught up with 2 friends! That made me happy :) while I was still behind them on the course, it was nice to see them and know that I wasn't too far behind!
And then I came to a wall. Ugh. I hate walls. I don't like heights and am always afraid I'm going to fall, but I think I dislike burpees more, and so I went for it!
And I made it!! I had great encouragement from the 2 dudes that were there manning the station! Of course, I had to celebrate with a selfie with my new buds!
And just as I finished that obstacle I heard my name being called and it was my buddy Lydia!! She was there as a volunteer and our timing just happened to be perfect!
And off I went running up and down some more ramps and then I finally caught up with my friends who were in burpee land!
I joined them in the 30 burpees, and lucky for me, we were able to stay together for the rest of the race!
Our one friend got a surge of energy and took off running up the ramp while Brie and I took in the sights!
It really was a beautiful day for a race!
After some more up and down with ramps and stairs we came up to the Pancake Obstacle. We had to carry a 25# weight up and down up and down up and down hundreds of stairs. It was at this time I noticed my left inner arch was starting to bother me.
And then we climbed some more. Eventually we made it to the top of the stadium.
I looked at my step counter and was not all too surprised to see that from the start until this point I had gone over 7,000 steps.
And as we worked our way down the steps I noticed Coach Jen in the dirt pit. I called her name and somehow she heard me, and somehow I managed to get a photo of her. And she's smiling. She's always smiling.
How much longer until I would make it down to the dirt pit??
FINALLY we made it down to the ground and first up we had a football toss into garbage cans. If you made it into the can, NO BURPEES, if you didn't make it, 30 burpees!
And here I go....
And GUESS WHAT?? I made it in the can!! It bounced out and then went through a teeny tiny space between the can and the wooden barrier, but they counted it. No burpees for me. But I did some anyway so that my girls weren't all alone in burpee hell.
And then it was upon us. The dirt crawl. I was hoping for mud, but it was like sand. VERY VERY rough sand.
My elbows were KILLING me from the roughness of the sand. But I made it through! I was so glad to be finished with this obstacle. It hurt.
The three of us stayed together and went outside the stadium to tackle some obstacles!!
This is one where my weight had an advantage. I got that weight up like it was nothing. Poor Brie was just hanging from the rope. She must have weighed less than the weight we were trying to pull up!
Then we had to carry a 60# Atlas Stone to one end, drop it off, do 5 burpees, pick it back up and set it down. This was another super easy obstacle for me, and my CrossFit girls managed it with ease as well.
Brie got her second wind and was quite happy!
We went through some mud, climbed some walls, and before we knew it we would be at the rope, but not before we had to attempt to throw a spear! Would I have the same sort of luck I had on the football toss?
That would be a big fat NO. I had to do burpees.
And then there was the rope....
Brie went first and hustled right up that dang thing.
I tried, but I just couldn't do it.
So I did more burpees.
And then, FINALLY the finish line was in sight. We only had to jump over a fire to be finished!
And I did it! I was finished! I was a SPARTAN!! AROO!!
So...I ended up not being able to do 3 obstacles, and should have done 90 burpees. But I was there to have fun, not do burpees, so I compromised. I did 40 burpees total, and 50 pushups.
Overall, I was pretty happy with how I did. I'm not the fastest girl on the course, but I wasn't the slowest one either!
How muddy did we get?? And why are there extra shoes in our photo??
And then it was time for our well earned beer!!
Overall, I really enjoyed this race. The obstacles were challenging but do-able. The stairs...oh my word, the stairs inside the stadium, those got very tough towards the end! But I loved that the race was inside the stadium. We had cold drinking fountains, clean bathrooms, and shade. And once we got outside the stadium, there was water available on the course. It was very well done!
I did end up with some pretty good bruises on my inner thighs, my arms, my legs, my stomach, and those awful sand burns on my elbows are still healing. But the worst thing was that I bruised my left foot really badly. For two days after the race I couldn't walk and I ended up needing to defer my Gasparilla race to 2015. But it was worth it. I loved the Spartan Race and I loved being there with my CrossFit girls! And without a doubt all my CrossFit training paid off in spades!
Have you ever done a Spartan Race?