Thursday, August 16, 2012

Spartan Sprint, New England 2012

This race does not compare to the Spartan Sprint of Toxedo, NY. New England kicked ass. !!! Aroo, Aroo.

Now with that said. My dad signed us up for this race as and made a bet, "Whoever has the slowest time, pays for Lunch. Whatever the winner wants, no restrictions". Well I had lobster for lunch after the race.. :-)

It is a 5 1/2hr drive from The Bronx, NY up to Amesbury, MA. We turned this into a 4:15hr drive on Saturday night. We stayed in a hotel in NH, 10 min away from the parking lot used for the race.. We arrived around 10is and crashed in bed.. My daughter who came with us slept with me on the 2nd bed.. for some reason,  my daughter decided to take a trip on the bed that night and traveled the entire bed.. It was 2:30am and I was still awake trying to get her to stay still but it was just impossible. Woke up at 5am since our race was at 8am.. we had to be at the race site 1hr before the race, so we had a small b-fast at 6am and headed out. 

As soon as we got on the bus that was going to take us to the race site back in MA, the heavens opened up and it began to pour. Everyones face in that bus changed from excited to "WTH? face" the race has mud and water obstacles, did we really need more mud? 10-15 min later, the rain stopped but it did wonders to the course. So every one is back to excited and hyped about the race 'till we arrive at the site and we see the "mountain" I mean, this was no hill, the freaking race site greets every one with an over 225ft hill/mountain.. My dad asked me; "is the race taking place all the way up there?" I said "HA, I think that is part of the race, look at the dividers".. he looked worried.

We got to the number listing boards and to our surprise our wave had been moved to 9am, this was  to make room for the competitive wave" This worked better,, gave us time to walk around, take some pictures, let our breakfast settle and check out some of the merchandise. Well, in our little tour we confirmed that indeed the monster hill is part of the race.. not only do you go through it round trip with a 40lb sand bag, but you go through it 5 freaking times (2 coming down, and 3 going up)... "Guess where the race starts?" yup, you got it.. you start your race running up a "225ft hill"

Every one, and I mean every one started running up the hill, and every one ended up walking at least half of it.. "Try running a steep muddy hill".. As you get to the top, you find yourself immediately wet and muddy. "Five water pits" chest high are waiting for you. Nope you cannot ease your way in, you have to jump in or its 30 burpees. Those are followed by the "under, over & through it" walls. This race had a lot more trail running than the one in Toxedo, NY.

I made several attempts to run the trail, but I twisted my ankle a few times so I opted to walk most of the trail to avoid injury, it was way too muddy... I have 2 more Spartan Races this coming Sept and didn't want to take any chances. I failed the "Log Hop".. "AGAIN". My dad caught up to me while I was doing my 30 burpees. He failed too. The trail took us through a crazy "Mud Trap".. I mean, I went in with shoes, and came out with boots.. I had mud up to my knees. All that mud was washed out in a Pound that not only was deep, but had vines.. People were tripping and getting tangled in them. There was no way you could stay dry for more than 10 minutes.. right after the pound Hello, hello, here comes the "Monkey Bars".

You come out of the water, drenched. The bars are wet and muddy. I made the mistake of trying to dry my hands with sand. This made it worse, I couldn't get it off. My shorts and shirt were soaked and there was no way to dry my hands. My dad caught up to me again at the bars and he tried going first trying to beat me.. Sadly he fell off trying to reach the 2nd bar. I managed to pass the bars but not without a struggle. I almost fell a few times but managed to stay and cleared them. This was mile 1.

I didn't get to see my dad until we reached the Hercules Pull. He was jogging, I was mainly walking the trails. I was just finishing the obstacle when he showed up. I did not see him after this until we reached the sandbag. Before getting there, you go up a "Steep Hill" after clearing the Hercules Pull. People were literally sitting at the edge because it was so steep and people were tired. Some people were crawling. I went up helping myself with branches. Once you get to the top you see the rope climb on a distance. There were "2 more Water Pits" where you had to climb and then ease your way down.

Traverse Wall
You would think the rope was next.. HAHA there was another mile trail run and after the trail you found yourself at the top of that 225ft hill you ran at the start. you had to go up a "Cargo Net", then run down the hill to do the "Traverse Wall". My body was tired and this one was not easy but managed to complete it. As soon as you cleared the wall you are to pick up that 40lb "Sand Bag", go up that hill as fast as you can while carrying that bag and come back down without falling your ass.. Drop the bag back where you picked it up and head back up the hill to the next obstacle.

Well, to my surprise there was more trail running after that hill, go figure. Finally got to the "Rope Climb". The rope was over a water pit that was as dee as my chin with me tiptoeing. I cleared the rope with no problem. This was followed by "9' Walls". I managed to cleared the first one by running and jumping. I tried to do the same thing on the second one and couldn't. Two guys way taller than me were having issues trying to climb it. One of them was whining and saying that he couldn't. They asked if I could help give them a boost, so I did thinking that they will come around and boost me up too. Nope, both jerks took off and left me there. I wasted at least 3 minutes trying to get over the wall untill finally some one helped me. The guy who helped me was right next to me on the wall so off we went.

Next was the "Spear Trow".. I failed this at Toxedo and was my 2nd and final set of burpees for that race. I walked to the challenge knowing I was going to fail and ready to do 30 burpees. I took the spear, got in position and threw it. HOLY SHIT, I hit the target.. not only did I hit the target but it stuck.. You can hit the target but it the spear does not stick, you failed the obstacle. My spear was the 3rd one of the non-competitive waves.. I was so excited and there wasn't a single camera on sight to capture it..

 Next was the "Tractor Pull" which wasn't a big deal.. This was followed by more "Water Pits", the "Truck Tire Flip" and the long ass "Barbed Wire Mud Crawl". This one was much better, there was actual mud on this one unlike Toxedo that was pure rocks. Well, at least for the first half of it. The second half had a crap load of rocks. I was coming out of the crawl when I saw my dad about to start his.. I knew it was going to take him a while to finish this one.. Once you get out of this one you are sort of home free to the finish line. Well, first you need to do the "Fire Jump". The fire was big and high and the smoke from it made it hard to tell how far or close you were from the fire before jumping.  I swear my ass felt on fire because I jumped so closed to it.  After clearing this out you gotta rush down the initial hill and climb the "Slippery Wall" so that you can then fight your way through two "Gladiators" that won't hesitate to beat the shit out of you before you cross the line.

I proudly picked up my medal after finishing in 1:15hr. Over an 1hr and 15 min less than the one in Toxedo. My dad came in 5 minutes later.. May not seem like a lot but in a race a tenth of a second will cost you the championship... just ask the Olympians :-).. Nevertheless he did a mazing at his age. Got to clean up and headed out for lunch.. Lobster Rolls baby.. Went to the beach for a bit and then headed straight back to NYC.

This race was amazing and challenging, a nice warm up for The Super Spartan in NJ on Sept 9th. Definitely looking forward to those two..  

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