Besides Ben's birthday, and Freddie's blessing, this weekend was the long dreaded "Spartan Super". What a blast that ended up being. As it turned out the Spartan was 8.6 miles through some very rugged terrain and 26 obstacles. The course was a lot of twists and turns and very steep inclines and treacherous descents but a lot of fun. The obstacles for the most part were also a ton of fun and involved climbing and jumping over things. There were however, some very notable exceptions. If you missed an obstacle the penalty was 30 burpees and let me just say up front that no one was monitoring the burpee count and I for one tended to lose count when doing my burpees. Thirty is a long way to count when you are dying and I watched many people doing them. I'm pretty convinced that no one in that race completed all of the burpees they were supposed to do. The photo shows the route that we ran and all of the obstacles we had to complete. Unfortunately I can't remember what all of the classified obstacles were but the ones that I can remember are the rope climb, memorization test, twister, and a bunch of other monkey bar types.
Six of us ran the race, Ben, Alex, Brandon, Sarah, Frank and myself. We all started out together and Alex and Ben were obviously going to maintain a faster pace than I was able to. Brandon and Sarah were also quite happy to hang back with me but Frank really wanted to run with Ben and Alex. About three miles into the race Frank made the tough decision to run with the slow crowd.
The one obstacle I was worried about and that I really wanted to pass was the rope climb. I had to climb up a fifteen foot rope, ring a bell and then drop back down. When I was a young man I did that often but I am not a young man any more. Ben and Alex were still with us and I was watching with dread a lot of people fail this one. Finally Ben made it and I knew I had to try. I wasn't nearly as pretty as Ben was but I did manage to make my way up that rope and ring the bell. If I failed every other obstacle it would have been OK with me. As it turned out the only obstacles I did fail were the ones where you had to climb hand over hand. I just don't have enough strength in my arms for that. My hands are strong but not my arms. The taller walls would have been a challenge for me to but we were allowed to help each other over them. I also failed the spear throw. I hit the target but my spear didn't stick in the hay bale far enough to stay.
Of the challenges that I did make, the hardest for me was the bucket brigade. We had to fill a five gallon bucket with gravel and carry it about a mile up some pretty tough hills. Carrying it wasn't the problem but the bottom rim cutting into my hands was not fun. I did carry it without stopping and then went back and help Sarah with hers. Another was a 100 pound concrete ball. I could carry it OK as well but getting it off the ground was nearly impossible. We also had to flip a 400 pound tractor tire. When I grabbed onto that thing it didn't even budge. Brandon and I had to do it ourselves. Sarah managed to flip her tire by herself though. I'm impressed. The girls tires were NOT 400 pounds.
They had some mud pits that were pretty cool. We had to slide down a fairly steep embankment into the mud and apparently Ben and Alex decided it would be fun to cannon ball into the mud. I guess there were some pretty unhappy contestants.
After the race I told Lisa that I thought I had sunburned my neck and my shoulders but now that things have settled down I realize that I'm not sunburned at all. My neck is sore from carrying that bucket of gravel for a mile and I have a huge scrape on my ankle. I have no idea where that came from. I have also found a scrape on my elbow (probably from crawling under some barb wire through some sand) and one on my knee. The one injury that took me a bit to figure out was my sore ribs. Finally Ben pointed out that the way I cross every single wall (and there were many of them) was to jump up on the wall and land my chest on the top of the wall while I flip my legs over. Today I have a big bruise on my chest.
My only other injury was a lost crown. At one water stop they were handing out chewing energy candies. I bit into one and bit into my crown. I just about lost it but thankfully found it. It is getting glued back on tomorrow.
What a great weekend this was.