The 2014 Super Spartan Race in Las Vegas, NV, could not have been held under better weather conditions. The weather was warm, but not hot (a rarity for Las Vegas), it wasn’t raining (which, oddly enough, it had been doing for the days prior), and our wave started early but not too early.
But a perfect start didn’t lead to a perfect race, but then again, when you race a Spartan Race, nothing ever goes perfectly.
Members of Team Goldilocks headed into the desert to prove their mettle in my first race of the season. Accompanying me were Alison Corcoran, the leader of our team, and John-Michael, the other victim… participant.
We arrived exactly on schedule at 10:45am for our 11:45am heat. Spartan recommends you get there one hour before the start and this is excellent advice. Our parking spot was miles from the start – or at least it felt that way, particularly after the race, when, to a great many racer’s dismay, they opened up new parking lots – and many people lost their cars in the maze.
The Super Spartan isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’ve completed the Spartan Sprint, you have a small idea of what faces you during the “Super”. Plan to do a lot more running, and few more bag carries. And drags. And flips, and other heavy, upper body stuff.
I was not prepared to do this race and it took its toll. My wrist, already weak from a bicycle crash last year, was either dislocated or popped “out” during a wall climb – I’m not sure exactly what happened, except that when I put my body weight on the wrist it “popped”… The wrist to this day is fine in compression, but if I put weight on that wrist the pain starts (no more pullups for me for awhile). Next time I’m wearing a wrist guard.
But that is par for the course in a Spartan – you will get injured and bruised. You will, anyway, if you’re doing it right.
If you love Cross-fit, then the Spartan race is the race for you. Many of the exercises you find in a Cross-fit Gym appear on the course: Rope climbs, tire tosses, sandbag carries, frozen lake-duck-under-a-wall, and monkey bars to just name a few.
And if you miss that spear through – or fail any obstacle – it’s 30 burpees.
If you plan a Spartan Race, plan to do a lot of burpees!
It was a tough and long day… for us over 3 hours… but the epsom salt cold-water foot soak at the end of the day was glorious and the Honey Stinger Waffles in the middle of the day saved the growling stomaches and provided much needed fuel.
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Sadly, my HRM gave up the ghost half way through the race…
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