Monday, February 3, 2014

EMG - SoCal Spartan Sprint 2014 Recap

 This was my third Spartan Race, all sprints so far, I am doing my first Super in Vegas April 5th.  At first I enjoyed the Tough Mudders a lot more than the Spartans, but that has changed recently.  I don't know if I have changed or they have.  I do feel that each race the Tough Mudders have catered more to the "Bro" crowd with obstacles getting less challenging, or at least not getting more challenging.  Spartan on the other hand seems to get harder each time I do one.  It may just be that want I want out  of these events has changed, but I like the fact that the Spartan races are timed, and that you can pay a little extra to be in "tougher" heats.  It forces me to really push myself, which is what I want out of an event like this.

This was my first time running in the "Elite Heat" and I have to say I got put in my place.  I thought I performed pretty well and still only placed 80/97 finishers, granted I think nearly 200 people started.  There are 30 burpees for certain failed obstacles (if you can't complete them you are DQed) and if you can't get over any of the walls you are DQ'ed, so there was quite the attrition rate.  I am relatively proud of the fact that while I failed two obstacles (spear toss, and balance posts) neither was a fitness obstacle.  I just need to practice both of them.

The course was a relatively challenging 4+ miles up and down hilsl and through dust and mud.  The obstacles consisted of (to the best of my memory) crawling under several tarps through mud, running through some muddy creak beds where they have something called "the gamble" you can choose a longer less challenging branch or a shorter more challenging, I chose the shorter.  I think it was a good choice this time.  Crawl over, under, through a series of 5 ft walls, monkey bars, run through some hip deep water, small "cargo net" more like a wooden lattice to the top of a c-train.  Crawl or roll under about 100 meters of barbed wire,

Big "cargo net", sand bag carry up and down a hill,

 tire flip pretty big tire 3 flips down and back, wall traverse finally figured out the "trick" and completed this, 8 ft wall angled towards you, rope pull 70 lb block on a rope and pulley up 20 ft failed this last time but got it this time, a series of posts that you walk across the top of got in a hurry and paid the burpee god his 30, a nasty hill, 8 ft wall, block drag concrete block 40 lbs? on a chain drag it a sandy 100 meters?, spear throw FAIL another 30 :( , rope climb made it and fell halfway back down to the muddy depths below, scale a slippery incline with a rope wasn't thinking clearly and it took me 3 tries, several mud pits capped with a wall you had to dive under

jump over fire

fight through gladiators

As I said before I performed okay, much better than in Malibu.  Even though they are not comparable I ran 15 minutes faster and the course was a mile longer.  Before April I need to continue to work on my grip and practice the skill based obstacles.  I think I can do well there, as running is my strength and the course is twice as long with only about 5 more obstacles.  My goal is under 2 hours.  For the end of the year I want to complete the Spartan Trifecta and my stretch goal is Spartan 300 in the elite standing.  The later is pretty unlikely if I can't find fourth race to do.

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