Guest Post: Edmonton Spartan Race, July 6, 2014

This post was posted on Google+ by my husband, Jason, after he completed the 3-mile Spartan "Sprint" race in Edmonton on July 6. It took me this long to get it up here because I wanted to get the photos ready to post, too!

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Mud, lotsa mud.

For those of you unaware, I ran my second Spartan Sprint (3 miles/5 km’s) Obstacle Course Race this last Sunday in Edmonton. If you don’t what that means go here:

http://youtu.be/cSTNXTyBNMA

and here:

http://youtu.be/M4aM0fpS0IU

for video explanations. Last year I ran the Spartan Sprint in Edmonton and loved it.  So I set some some goals, trained harder and smarter and went for round two on Sunday. There were over 4000 competitors over 2 days. I had 3 performance goals going into the race: finish in the top 10%, crack the top 100 and be #1 in my age group. I accomplished 2 out of 3 so I am pleased.  Below is a more detailed account of the event. I’m doing this for my own record but feel free to read, ask questions or (by all means) comment.

Wake up call

Wow, what a day.  After going to bed about 2 hours later than I planned, I was about to doze off and our 2 year old woke up because he was teething and not in his own bed. Talena did a great job getting him to calm down eventually but my nerves were on edge and it was after midnight before I fell asleep. First alarm at 04:30 groan!!! 4:55 I dragged my butt out of bed, fed the gang of blurry eyed zombies that dragged themselves up to the kitchen table, packed up from a week's holiday and hit the road by 07:00. After 2 hours of driving and an hour behind schedule we arrived at the designated area. Talena drops me off with a short walk to the shuttle buses. As I pick up my registration at 09:30 I can hear the announcer going through the usual Spartan "pump-you-up speech" for the heat I am supposed to be in. I decide not to stress about it and run at 10:00 instead.

When I got to the starting line I was behind approximately 300 people. I politely wiggle my way to the middle of the pack hoping to get up closer to the people who would keep a good pace. As I look around there are pecs and abs everywhere as younger and better-looking people chat with their friends and stretch before the race. In my mind I’m thinking they’ll keep a good pace and hope I don’t hold them up. Hindsight, I should have moved even farther up front because I spent the first mile trying to pass half of them. The paths through the trees were narrow and hard to get around people and it wasn’t until the first obstacle that things started to thin out.

Here is a list of the main obstacles that I can remember. Keep in mind that between almost every obstacle there is more running and more mud holes than I can count. Apparently God decided to help out with the course construction on Saturday with a massive thunderstorm that flooded everything. Of course, that just made things more interesting for the Saturday runners but by Sunday everything seemed par for the course.

1.  Balance Beam - 6-8 eight foot two by four’s on edge in a zigzag pattern. Fell about half way through. I was pissed off because that should have been a gimme but I did my 30 burpees and kept moving.

2.  Tire Flip in a mud pit - The mud was an unexpected twist. It’s like moving a greased walrus in the mud.

3.  8 Foot Flat Vertical Wall - I think I heard one of the volunteers making fun of my technique on this one.  It may be unconventional but it’s quick and effective.

4.  Sand Bag Carry - Here I took a calculated risk that didn’t pay off.  I tried to pass someone by stepping off the narrow path into some mud to go around them. What I thought was 6-12 inches of average mud was actually about two and half feet of mud that was like quicksand. I would still be stuck there if a fellow Spartan hadn’t helped pull me out. Thanks a million!

5.  Monkey Bars - About 20 rungs about 9’ off the ground.  Slippery but doable. Don’t hang there too long.

6.  Drag cinder block with rope through pond. This was fairly easy.

7.  Horizontal Wall/Rock climbing Wall -  The lady manning the station said that only a few of the elite Spartans had made it across without falling so they recommended pairing up and helping each other across. I was about to go alone when the guy behind me asked to be my partner. I reluctantly agreed. I made it across without any problems and even my partner was surprised. He, on the other hand, definitely needed a hand almost falling off several times.

8. Extra thick mud pit - Approximately 20 feet of soul sucking mud. I’m talking about mud that holds onto you like fat kid onto a donut. Crawling seemed to be the only option because it spread your weight out and even then you made it by sheer force of will. You had better not stop moving otherwise you will have an appendage sunk right in. When I finally got out I had a half inch of mud covering my arms and legs. Nastiest mud I have ever seen.

9.  8 foot Inclined Wall - This was easier than I thought it would be.

10.  Pyramid Wall/Rope Climb - As advertised.  Slippery but I didn’t have any problems.

11.  Barbed Wire crawl and mud.  This is where all those bear crawls you do in your workouts pay off.

12.  Military Rope Climb - My nemesis. Some day I will beat this obstacle. 30 Burpees

13.  Spear Throw - Missed the target - 30 Burpees.

14.  Fire Jump - As advertised

15.  Finish Line -  There is a small part of me that missed the Gladiator Gauntlet. It’s too bad they had to take it out.

I’ve taken a couple of days rest since the race. Now it’s time to get back to it and get ready for September. The Red Deer Super is more than 2.5 times longer 8+ miles\14 km’s and I’ll need to have my A+ game to do well.  

#Spartanrace #Aroo #NevergiveupNeverSurrender

"Jason Winters finished in 53:37 at Edmonton Spartan Sprint!  Jason Winters finished the Sunday Sprint Opens in 53:37 — placing 10th for Age Group, 83rd for Gender, and 90th Overall or 7%"

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Jude didn't get to run in the kid's Spartan this year, due to insurance issues the company had for that age group. However, he got to do a little "Chocolate Milk"-sponsored "Kid's Spartan Workout" thing they had set up there, as did Jabin and Noah.

Then Noah and Jabin ran in the Kid's Spartan race and found a little mud themselves.

I'm proud of all my "boys" for finishing, and with good attitudes!

Levi works on busting a tooth while he waits... :-)