Training Day: 99
Miles: 14-ish (some running, mostly walking)
Time: 6 hours
Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 5
Weather: Partly sunny, started in high 40s, ended in mid 60s
How It Felt: The ascents were brutal (3,300 ft of elevation gain), so we walked quite a bit. Running the downhills felt great! The obstacles I was able to do made me feel like a badass (see commentary)!
Commentary: As you may or may not know, I have not been looking forward to this Spartan. But my friend and I talked about it and agreed not to push ourselves on the running part. It was mainly the running I was worried about, but once I decided walking was A-OK, I felt a lot better.
My friend and I accidentally signed up for the age group start. We didn’t realize those spots were for folks trying to place. We just wanted an earlier start time. We didn’t think anything of it until we got to a group of obstacles.
If you can’t do an obstacle they give you a way to make up for it. Some obstacles had a penalty loop, some required you to do 30 burpees.
The first obstacle I couldn’t complete the lady took my race number and held it up to a camera. She said if I didn’t do 30 burpees I would get a time penalty. I didn’t give two shits about my time, I was out there to have fun, so I didn’t do all the burpees and moved on anyway.
Then there was an obstacle I struggled with, and another racer offered some help. We both got yelled at, so I went by the burpee camera for the obstacle so it could get my number for my time penalty because I had no intention of doing the burpees.
I did these for a couple more obstacles that I attempted and couldn’t complete. Now keep in mind I attempted every single one. After one of them a volunteer literally yelled at me for skipping the burpees. I told him I was fine with the time penalty.
Then he yelled super loud so everyone at the obstacle could hear, “It’s not a time penalty, it’s disqualifying! We have our first Spartan disqualified! You don’t want to be like her and be the next Spartan disqualified!”
This infuriated the ever living shit out of me. I vibrated with anger. Regardless of my actions, that man had zero right to publicly shame me. I took that stupid red headband bib off my head and put my personal one it’s place. Fuck this race.
As I continued on I openly cursed and hitched about the situation. My fellow Spartans in earshot agreed the whole fiasco was bullshit. Later on folks came up to me without prompting and told me that guy was out of line. That made me feel better.
Anyway, after wallowing in my pissed offedness for a bit and running it out, I felt way better. In general though, I had a great time.
The obstacles that didn’t require me to pull up my entire body weight with no help from my legs were totally doable. I seriously surprised myself as far as how many I got through. For a couple of obstacles I even did the men’s weight instead of the women’s!
I also met a few cool folks that we kept running into, and the feeling of camaraderie made the race totally worth it. And I found out that I wasn’t actually disqualified, which made me feel better.
Even though my first Spartan wasn’t the best experience ever, I will do another one. But next time I’ll sign up for one of the open starts instead of the age group start.
Endlessly seeking adventure.