The Spartan Race is a fun, muddy obstacle and running race. This past weekend The Spartan Beast (20 km +) and The Spartan Sprint (5 km +) were hosted by Sunpeaks, British Columbia. Failed obstacles require 30 burpees by the racer, though these can be split among a team. My friends from Ripple Effect Strength and Conditioning made the journey to BC to participate.
For those of you that don’t know, Sunpeaks is a beautiful little ski resort town. In the summer it is converted into downhill mountain bike trails and the chairlifts are outfitted with bike-carrying racks. Well, late September isn’t exactly summer when you’re at that altitude, and my friends spent a few hours of their race in snow. They finished with smiles, though. The picnics they took along the way probably helped. :)
The next morning it was my turn. While this was my third Spartan Sprint, it was my first time participating without a team. I was nervous since I hadn’t trained for this, and extra nervous that this was up and down the side of a mountain.
Once I started up the serpentine downhill mountain bike track, though, I started to really enjoy myself! Since I didn’t have a team waiting for me (the slow poke), my mind shifted: this wasn’t a race, rather a hike! I had done steeper hikes and scrambles than this earlier in the summer. My breathing and more importantly my mind relaxed. I found myself in a long gap between the fast runners and those that wore themselves out at the beginning and fell behind. I crossed picturesque creeks and reveled in the temporary solitude.
Even though I didn’t have a team to split them with, I had far fewer penalty burpees this time around (only failing the traverse wall and the spear throw). While I did have one low moment where I got stuck in the cold, rocky mud while crawling under barbed wire (did I mention it was 3 degrees Celsius?), I eventually wiggled my way out and warmed up in the Sun. I had to laugh at myself when it took me three tries to get over the 5’ wall after breezing over the 8’ wall.
And like the narcissist that I am, I enjoyed that the rope climb was near the end with plenty of spectators. As I approached the onlookers were shouting words of encouragement, and as soon as I start climbing up with ease they were chuckling and I heard one woman say, “Oh hell, you don’t need us, do you now?”
Many of the volunteers and racers that I chatted with along the way were impressed that I was doing the race solo, but truthfully I preferred this. I’m not a big fan of receiving rowdy encouragement during a physical challenge. I would much rather endure in silence or maybe receive some quiet words of approval by a coach that I respect. This is the main reason that I have yet to take a class in the awesomely team-spirited CrossFit community.
My main supporter (aka my hunky boyfriend, Matthias) was waiting for me with a latte as promised. Oh! And bacon! So much bacon! I’m not sure anything can compare to the wonderful feeling of rinsing away mud in a hot shower while someone reaches around the shower curtain to feed you bacon!
It was a great trip. I spent quality time with new friends and caught up with some old ones along the way. I don’t pretend to be as tough as some of my geology peeps that do the equivalent of a Beast daily for weeks at a time (digging holes and carrying rocks up mountains), and I don’t feel as tough as my friends that raced 4x as far as me the day before (Pam was even doing one-armed burpees thanks to an old injury. Go Pam!), but I feel a little a bit tougher than I did the day before, and much more excited to return to Sunpeaks for another race. Aroo! Aroo!