Last year I did a Spartan Race with my girlfriend and my younger cousin. My cousin played football and worked out regularly, so he was already in good shape and ready for the race. My girlfriend and I, not so much.
Our “workouts” consisted of doing 10 minutes of YouTube yoga videos (maybe twice a week), running an untracked, untimed distance maybe once every two weeks, and totaled approximately zero weight lifting days in the gym. Not exactly the recipe for a great Spartan Race – but hey we really wanted to try it and hoped it would be able to motivate us to begin seriously working out. Besides, how hard could it really be??
We signed up for the easiest race, the sprint. Advertised as the beginner level run, averaging about 3 miles with about 15-20 obstacles. I may be out of shape but I could still run 3 miles I thought, no problem.
Except big problem. We pulled up to the Spartan Race decked out in our sick sports gear expecting to see a flat 3 mile track set up with some obstacles, only to be shocked to see that the race takes place on a mountain. Yes, we unfortunately did not research this enough and we missed the part where the race would not be a straight 3 mile run with obstacles. Instead it was a run up and down an old skiing mountain. And best of all they announced at the site that the run would total 5.2 miles! Good stuff.
The race began with a nice 8 foot wall to climb over, followed directly by a sprint straight up the mountain. We managed to somehow push/pull each other over the wall and then “run” (read, light jog at best) straight up the hill. After about maybe 30 seconds of our best efforts to run, my girlfriend and I were already conceded to walking. My cousin, who had promised to stay with us the whole race, saw the writing on the wall and continued on without us. The rest of the race was more of a casual walk for us, mixed with about 30 obstacles of mud, walls, water, ropes, and barbed wire. It took us a total of four hours (my cousin was able to do it in about two).
Don’t get me wrong the race was a blast. It helped that a lot of other people were also walking for most of the race, so we did not have to feel completely ashamed (shame…shame…shame). We had a ton of fun struggling at each obstacle and despite being completely not ready, we did push ourselves to finish the race. We will definitely do another race; only this time we plan on training, at least a little bit.