It’s not very often that I get to hang out with my buddies, perhaps a casual happy hour here and there. Only as much as my busy life allows. Lately it has been consumed with work responsibilities (Backbone) and other family obligations, which includes a new little baby boy and being there for my wife and daughter.
That said, when my buddy Kyle hit me up out of the blue early this year to see if I wanted to partake in an obstacle course style race called ‘Spartan’, after about .02 seconds of looking into the race details I was sold! Checked with the wife to make sure it did not collide with a demanding schedule if Saturday weddings and when all was clear I purchased my entrance fee.
Next, I was to spread the word and see whom else may like to join us and as many of us already know talk is cheap and many pondered but ultimately did not commit. The one, and very pleasant surprise, was that my cousin Marc Thomas was down to join the group. Both of us had discussed doing a race together before but had never gotten the stars to align until now.
The next several months flew by and my training had naturally changed from being an aggressive runner to slowing down in order to bulk up a bit and give my joints a rest. When you like to compete in races like this, having a muscle suit can be a good and bad thing. Therefore, I continued to circuit train in the gym but also was lifting heavier and running less. When it came to race day I felt a bit under prepared…
Having coordinated with Kyle the week leading up to the race, we decided to all carpool together to save on gas and parking fees. Kyle and his friend Cam met at my place and we were to pick Marc up on the way down to Welch Ski Resort where they were hosting the race. Marc, btw, had a conquest the night before in the cities and woke up hungry and so I brought him an omelette, after all, you cannot race without fuel.
Cam, now that’s an interesting guy. With aspirations to be a REAL actor, he has recently simplified and downsized things in his life to accomplish his goals. Pretty admirable and bold if you ask me. With his stellar beard, full of life attitude and outgoing personality he was an awesome addition to the team. With the four of us loaded up and limited liability waivers in hand we made our way to the hill slopes of Welch.
We arrived slightly after 11:00AM and made our way to the check-in station after we paused a moment to put on sunscreen. Hindsight 20/20, I should have put it all over my shoulders and chest instead of just protecting my tattoos (a mistake that shall not be repeated, ouch!). Upon submitting our waivers, we bumped up our race time to 12:15PM to get this show on the road. After all, this was going to be a tortuous 4.9 miles of Spartan glory, AROO!
The four of us sized up the daunting hills and decided to start with a moderate pace as to not burnout in the first couple of miles. Kyle had been having pain in his knee decided to start slightly before us and finish at his own pace. We were convinced that we should carry our Spartan brother but he insisted we part. With some house EDM music playing in the background we got amped up and let out of the race shoot.
Both Marc and Cam surprised me over the next ~5 miles with their athletic ability and endurance. We made the decision to stick together as a pack through the race obstacles, some of which offered a real challenge even for this guy! The obstacles included the following:
- ~40lbs Sandbag Shoulder Carry
- ~50lbs Bucket of Crushed Rock Carry
- ~60lbs Boulder Carry
- Monkey Bar / Rings
- 8ft, 9ft and 10ft Walls
- Cargo Net Pyramid
- Spartan Spear Toss
- Army Rope Climb
- Mud Trenches
- Barbed Wire Mud Crawl
*Not to mention countless hill climbs and steep decent!
Each of us performed differently at each obstacle and yes some defeated me! For those that attempted and failed, your punishment was any number of burpees (typically 10-15 per failed obstacle). By the end of the race we were feeling like real Spartans and jumped the fire pit and crossed the finish line victorious. Together the three of us got a photo and then we headed to shower the muck and mire off of our sun beaten bodies! Right after we caught up with Kyle and were able to get a picture with him as he finished. Thankfully, this is the one race that provides the images taken for free to the participants, so cool!
With our medals worn proudly we finished the event off with a complementary victory beer and discussed meaning of Spartan victory, lol. We looked at the race results and realized we timed in at just over an hour and a half for the event. See below for the actual results and rankings. After a bit we packed it up and made our way back to the cities. Dropped my cousin off on our way and gave him a solid hug and thanks for making it to the Spartan race!
Less than a week later our results and these images (free) you see were made available. Overall, we did awesome!
Until next time, AROO! AROO!