Spartan races — Getting back to OCR

Published Sat Aug 13 2022 21:41:45 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Spartan profile

It's been about 4 years since I last ran any obstacle course races. After my burst of 5 Tough Mudders
, I've been busy with “life stuff” (work, getting married, moving house etc). This year we decided to get back to OCR in style with a Spartan Trifecta.

Why Spartan?

I wanted to try something a bit different, and I heard Spartan races are a bit more serious than Tough Mudder.
Whilst either event can be run competitively or for a laugh, there seem to be more Spartan racers who consider it to be a sport. Unlike Tough Mudder, every obstacle is designed to be achievable on your own. That said, the gap might be closing since Spartan Race bought Tough Mudder in 2020
Spartan races have more rules too. Failing an obstacle comes with 30 penalty burpees or a penalty loop. The [full rules]( are quite involved, but fortunately if your running in an open heat no one is enforcing them too rigorously.

The sprint — 5km

Strava Link

As "Spartan Phil" always says, this is the best Spartan race — because it's the shortest. Definitely a good one for getting back into obstacles.
We took on Wales — probably the hilliest of Spartan locations in the UK. So definitely a good location for the shortest event. I was quite pleased to only fail 2 obstacles (My arms were too gone for Herc Hoist and spear throw was a miss).
Rope climb to two attempts, and I could have done with conserving more energy and arm strength on that.

The Super — 10km

Strava Link

Our super was in the Midlands - just before the first heatwave of the year. I went out slowly knowing that starting too fast would just make the end of the race impossible. I didn't get round in the fastest time, but I completed it.
Unfortunately I ripped a callus on one of the new Super obstacles (Twister), which made grip challenging for the rest of the obstacles. I was still pleased to get most of the way along Twister and pass most other obstacles.
Z-walls took 5 attempts. They were near the end and my hands were just not up to it anymore! But I got through eventually!
Almost all the obstacles had been set up at a jaunty angle just to make things more interesting. Hopefully that’s just a midlands thing and the next one will be a bit more horizontal!

The Beast — 21km

Strava Link

This year the European Championships were held in Pippingford — the same location as our Beast. That meant we had the luxury of running the Championship course, which was basically a normal Spartan Beast with a few tweaks. Each monkey bar went up and down, the multi-rig had some interesting stuff added, and Stairway To Sparta had been made completely impossible! Vertical cargo had an additional Irish table, slip wall was in a pool of water with sprinklers on top, and Twister was longer than usual. On the plus side, they’d substituted a lot of burpees for penalty loops. I’ll take a bit of running over 30 burpees any day!
The terrain was challenging! The incline itself wasn’t ridiculous, but a lot of the path was covered in fern and other growth, making it quite heavy going.
Despite that we smashed it though! A few more failed obstacles than I would have liked, but it was fun to try out the extreme versions.

Next year

We’ve got the Spartan bug, and plan to tackle more of these events next year, including Trifecta weekends (all three events in the same weekend).
Now the hard work starts to train for that!

Virtual medal board

Bragging rights are a big reason to do this stuff. Check out my virtual medal board.


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