We survived another Spartan race

Spartan Super recap

Congratulation to both my running buddies Kaan and Shai in once again managing to conquer what those crazy folk at Spartan threw at us during the recent 14klm super held way out in Mymiong. A brilliant location for this type of (obstacle )course event held on the grounds of Lake Dewar lodge run by the YMCA.  This third time around we were more prepared before as you would expect if you had put in the training, which we did.

I’m lucky enough to back onto the local plenty valley reserve that has enough kilometres of single tracks and dirt roads that prepared us well for the off road running based Spartan super so for the last couple of months we have all incorporated a big chunk of our running kilometres towards trial running. Fortunately for us all the base training clearly showed on the day as Spartan races are not held on the roads.

They are held over singe tracks, paddocks, muddy sections, hills and occasionally involves a bit of swimming across dams and short lake crossing.

Tip: Get some serious trail klm’s under your belt. and learn to swim.

In addition to the road /Trail running program the general physical preparation with the resistance training added the extra touch to negotiate ourselves through the lifting/holding/carrying challenges we faced. Keep in mind that you are actually racing towards these obstacles you can’t really slow down to rest too much.  After all it is a race.

The folk at Spartan don’t release the course, it’s part of the appeal. If you are not happy with this I suggest you stick to entering 5klm fun run 8 month from now where you get a course map and take as many selfies as you want.

After having discussions with my team post-race it was clear that a few of the obstacles were a little more challenging for us as the others that we simply ran through. The list below is the ones we had to pay extra attention too as they were clear road blocks in running a quicker time around the course.

  • Sandbag carry – This one was as is described. You had to pick up a sandbag (20-25kgs I believe) then march downhill for about 500 metres , under a fence and then back up again. Clearly there was no racing or sprinting going on here. The legs were pounded while the core got its fair share of loading. Pity the person who chooses to carry it without the proper balance. Your physio will be pleased.
  • Various walls – In previous events I had simply taken a run up and managed to get my hand over to the top of the wall, got the leg over and got across. This time around I wasn’t as lucky as we had just run an uphill section of the track and then copped this at the worst part. Thanks Spartan. At my age the legs didn’t have the spring or the sprint in them so made a new friend quickly who helped out.
  • Dead ball carry – This one’s a killer!!! It requires you to pick up a 55kg dead ball that is somewhat difficult to handle, run with it around a maker and then place it back where you found it. Sounds simple? Ask your body how it feels when you start to run again straight after the effort taken and get back to me. Look up Iron edge equipment suppliers if this is something of interest.
  • Monkey bars – Ahhhhh the monkey bars, a nasty little obstacle that too many of us who don’t possess the ability to do either a chin up or simply hold onto your bodyweight find a challenge. A fundamental requirement of Spartan is the ability to manoeuvre your body around the obstacles requiring your bodyweight training approach is sound. We use bars often and I personally take my kids down to the park for extra “secret training” You dealt with them in the school ground so now you have to deal with then in the Spartan race as an adult.
  • Rope climb/Traverse – I left the best until last and included the two. Look at it this way, two for the price of one. If you are thinking about doing any spartan races you need to be able to both climb up a rope ring the bell at the top and then on the next rope obstacle and be able to traverse along what seems a lengthy distance in order to collect you well-earned medal. I’m proud to say that by the time I got to this last obstacle I managed to hang on and make it until the end. The price to pay was a set of burning shoulder and arms along with a slightly scratched pair of calves. Quite happy to pay the price again as I didn’t drop off like some other poor younger folk did!

Spartan Kids – A special mention should go to the kids who also participated in this even. There were two aged group waves that looked after the little ones, my 6 & 9 years old’s both participated and undoubtedly enjoyed themselves.  A must if you want your kids to get involved. Bring a change of clothes for them.

All in all we had plenty of fun this time around and will definitely take on the next challenge that I believe is the Spartan Beast. A mere 20klms+.

For now we are still training for the next running trail event. This time were going to tackle the Salomon run series held around four local and regional locations involving a variety of running distances.  No obstacles this time around, just a lot of natural hills, creeks and plenty of single tracks.

Arooooo!

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