I come to you today a new woman. No longer am I just plain old Nicole. For last Saturday, I became a SPARTAN!
No need to bow. Unless you feel like it that is. Just kidding (kinda).
Last Saturday, my boyfriend and I trekked out to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for a Spartan Sprint. We were supposed to do our first Spartan Race back in May, but an injury kept me from competing. Needless to say, I was excited to be able to finally get this race under my belt.
We got there a bit early to pick up our race packets and take some intimidating pictures. Grrrrr.
Unlike the Tough Mudder, the race course wasn’t announced ahead of time, so I was anxious to see the course map. Not gonna lie, I got a little nervous when I saw “Box Jumps” was one of the obstacles. Most people would think this is one of the easier obstacles, but I have a confession. I have a fear of box jumps. I don’t know what it is, but every time I attempt to do them I psych myself out and can’t. I convince myself I’m not going to jump high enough and my shins are going to slam into the edge of the box and I’m going to topple over and knock out all my teeth. Then instead of Spartan Nicole, I’d be Toothless Pirate Nicole. “Whelp, guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” I told myself.
Rules of the course: If you can’t complete the obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees. Yuck!
Before we knew it, our wave was off. Stair climbing time. I’m pretty sure we ran up and down every single step in the stadium. Thighs. Burning.
There were a few other tough obstacles thrown in between the stair running, like medicine ball slams, bear crawls under what I swear were never ending bungie chords, and carrying ridiculously heavy jugs of water up and down the stairs. Then we hit a wall. Literally.
I’m going to toot my own horn here and say I was really proud of myself when it came to the walls. I needed a TON of help getting over these at the Tough Mudder almost a year ago. This time around, they were a piece of cake! It was a really nice affirmation that my upper body has gotten a lot stronger.
A few other obstacles we came across include Monkey Bars, Jump Rope (and by rope they meant a legit Marine Rope), and a Javelin Throw.
The Javelin Throw was pretty much impossible. I’d say about 95% of participants had to do the 30 burpees on this one, including me. Here we go:
After a lot of other tough obstacles, and some more stair climbing, we made our way onto the field of the stadium for the dreaded Box Jumps. The professional photographer that was following me along the course (aka my Mom) couldn’t get close enough to get pictures of the Box Jump obstacle, but guess what! I DID THEM!!! Yup! 30 Box Jumps. Beasted! It helped that the boxes were put up against a wall. That gave me a sense of security, but either way, I did them. YES! Fear? Psh. What fear?!
Then it was onto the last two obstacles, Rope Crawl (or something – not sure what it was called) and the Rope Climb. I was determined to make it to the top of the Rope Climb. I made it 3/4 of the way up and then my muscles just refused. I had to come down. I’m still upset with myself for not being able to power through, but hey, now I have a goal for my next Spartan Race!
Then, FINISH LINE! YESSS! We. Are. SPARTANS!
Overall, I had a BLAST at this race. Because it was in a big sports stadium, there was music through the race, which was awesome. There also weren’t any mud obstacles (they can’t tear up the field), but that didn’t bother me. Less mess to clean up later! I also recommend doing it with a friend if you want to avoid all the burpees. You are allowed to get help from your teammates in order to complete the obstacles. If it weren’t for my boyfriend, I would have done hundreds of burpees as opposed to just 60 that I had to do for the Javelin Throw and the Rope Climb. (Just 60. I can’t believe I said, “just 60!” That’s a heck of a lot of burpees!)
If you haven’t done a Spartan Race before, I highly recommend it. I can’t wait to do my next one. Maybe I’ll take it up a notch and do a Super!
Have you ever done a Spartan Race or another type of obstacle race?
If not, would you? Which one interests you?