I wasn’t actually going to sign up for Spartan Sprint this year, the only reason I signed up was because I had forgotten to use the free race code I had when I signed up for the Spartan Beast and Super. As it turns out I am so glad I did sign up for this one! I had originally signed up for the Age group heat (formerly the Competitive heat) but due to a shoulder injury I decided to switch back to the open heat so that I could get assistance if needed on the obstacles. I was supposed to run with a couple girlfriends but they both ended up deferring their race so I ran with another friend and her crew instead which worked out wonderfully.
On Friday night my best friend and I headed up to Red Deer, we were staying overnight both Friday and Saturday since she was volunteering the early shift and started at 7:30 am on Saturday. We went for a delicious dinner and a glass of wine and then headed back to our hotel for an early night. Unfortunately I hardly slept thanks to our very noisy neighbours who came back to the hotel at 11:30 pm and proceeded to talk loudly outside and take turns having showers until 2 am. I think I ended up with about 3 hours of very broken sleep.
Waking up Saturday morning I felt exhausted and was a bit concerned about running not only the Spartan Sprint that morning but also the Hurricane Heat that night. I felt nauseous and was not able to eat much but I threw a banana and some of my homemade date balls in my bag to eat before I ran.
We were parked and on the shuttle by 7:15 am and at registration right on time for Kristi to head to the volunteer tent. My friend Heidi was waiting by registration so we met up and waited for everyone to join us, our plan was to hop into the first open heat at 9:30 am so that they could finish with lots of time to volunteer for the afternoon shift at 1:30.
After we got registered we checked our bags and warmed up a bit before we headed over to the starting corral. It was supposed to be a hot day but the clouds had rolled in and the rain started right as our heat began. I was having some serious doubts about the shorts I had brought for after the race.
The first part of the course took us into the trees from some single track trail running, unfortunately this created quite a backlog of racers and we were slowed to a walk until we hit the first obstacle back in the open field. We went over some hurdles, over the vertical cargo net and then into a barbed wire crawl which was on the grass not the mud (although there was a lot of horse poo in that grass which made it easier to crawl rather than roll through). Then it was up a vertical cargo net again and back to some running.
When we came to the rolling mud it wasn’t too bad and the dunk wall water was low enough we didn’t have to stick our heads underneath, I was grateful for that.
The course this year included a lot of trail running which I really enjoyed, this was the first year I got a really good pace going and didn’t trip and roll my ankle constantly. I decided to wear my new Salomons which may have had something to do with it, or maybe my training was just better this year. The pace setter for our group was a 14 year old track athlete and man was she fast! She kept us moving at a great pace.
My goal going into this race was to get across the monkey bars with no shoulder pain and to get over the 6 foot wall unassisted. I’m happy to say I did both and I almost made it over the inverted wall unassisted except that I got stuck on the top and needed a butt boost to free myself (darn cleavage lol). I wish I had given the 7 foot another try but got a boost after my foot slipped off when I tried to walk up it the first time – the trick with the wall walking technique is to find a dry spot on the wall.
I failed the Rig which was no surprise, rings are my nemesis with my injured shoulder and I can’t seem to get from the low to high ring, that’s something I’ll work on once I’m healed and can train for them again. I would have failed the Olympus too if it wasn’t for my awesome team mates who helped me across, I need to work on my grip strength, I could really notice the difference since I haven’t been able to do farmers carries or bar hangs this year.
There was only one heavy carry on the course, the sand bag, which was the obstacle that my best friend and another friend were volunteering at. It was much easier than last year since we didn’t have to go down into the river valley and deal with all the boulders on the way back up.
The rope climb felt much easier for me this year, I think it’s because I didn’t think about it, I just went for it and kept my eye up and on the bell. When I came down I took some time to coach the girl beside me on the J hook technique I used.
A couple of my favourites were on the course too – the plate drag and the Hercules hoist (which felt surprisingly light this year, I really should have tried the men’s hoist). I missed seeing the tire flip although it was on the Super course the next day.
I ended up missing the Spear throw, which resulted in my second round of 30 Burpees, those were extra crappy since we could see the finish line. Then it was up the slip wall and across the fire jump to the finish line.
It was a really fun race this year, a great course with a great group of new friends! I enjoyed the Sprint a lot this year and I am looking forward to tackling it next year with my oldest daughter who will be 14 :).
Did you race in Red Deer this year?