Spartan Super Manitoba: Race Recap

*Once Spartan releases pictures from the event, I’ll update this post with pics. Unless I look stupid, then I won’t. Long live vanity.*

So after yesterday’s deep thoughts inspired monologue, here is the actual race recap for Spartan that I meant to write yesterday before my brain hijacked itself into being all serious and stuff.

Last year, I ran the Sprint which is 3+ miles and generally about 20ish obstacles. This year, Spartan added a Super as well as the Sprint so naturally, I decided that 3 miles wasn’t enough and 8+ miles and 29 obstacles was more my jam.

Going for over double the distance, not having run more than 7 treadmill miles in 3 years was a bit ambitious but what can you do?! My plan was pretty simple: run my own race, run when I could, walk when I needed to and conquer some obstacles!

Let's do this!
Let’s do this!

My first of 2 sets of burpees came really early in the race on the parallel bars. Last year, we could put our legs on the bar but that was a no-no this year. I’m pretty sure I could do that obstacle but underestimating how slippery the bars were after many people going through and the water pits just prior, my right hand slipped right out from behind me and letting go was the only way I was going to keep my shoulder from getting seriously wrecked. 30 burpees for me. Not the best start to the race.

My plan of attack for the burpees was vastly different from last year. Last year, I just wanted to pound them out as fast as I could to try and save a minute on my time. It ended up hurting me more because I was completely spent. This year, I went a bit slower and broke them up into sets of 5-10. Yes, it took a bit longer but it didn’t kill me either. Good plan, especially having to knock out 30 so early in the race.

One issue I had that really had an effect was my foot. I have a bunion (cue the sexy music) and some time between Battle Frog and Dirty Donkey my big toe/surrounding area started bothering me a lot. Anytime my foot was flexed, my toe throbbed. I took a week off running just prior to Dirty Donkey and it seemed to help settle it down. But after that first set of burpees and the numerous uphill runs and carries in sand and it was screaming at me. Pushing off to climb the hill or to jump my legs back to my hands in my burpees was painful. So annoying. It meant doing more walking in the second half than I wanted to but I’m not going to lie, walking felt nice too. Especially as the fatigue started taking over.

The 2 obstacles I really wanted to get this year were the 2 I missed last year: the Spear throw and the Rope climb. Happy to report, I got them both! I underhand threw the Spear which is allowed but not truly “Spartan”. I’m ok with that because it was a money shot and allowed me a good reason to do a quick dance before moving on. I nearly didn’t complete the rope. Halfway up, arms burning, I couldn’t get a lock on the rope with my feet. Similar problem that I had last year and since I chose the rope without the knots, I didn’t have anything to prop my feet to help me. I was determined to get to that bell so I essentially climbed the second half with just my arms and smacked that bell with authority! Aroo! Mad props to the volunteer who cheered me on and encouraged me not to give up (all the volunteers were really good and made a good experience, great).

Before I hit the rope though, I had to conquer the Multi Rig which is a beast that tests agility and grip strength using a combination of rings, bars and ropes that you have to maneuver across without falling. Think monkey bars and steroids. I got to the last bar and was just about to scale across the last 5 feet when suddenly, I was flat on my arse wondering what the heck just happened. I guess I didn’t get a good grip on the pole coming off the rope and down I went. Would love that one back but at the same time, it was out of my hands (literally) and I didn’t give up or question my ability to complete it. 30 more burpees. And a sore hip.

Crossing the finish line this year felt good. I was spent but know I put a good effort in. I was really happy at how well some of the obstacles went compared to last year. Some of this was due to where the obstacles were placed on the course compared to last year and another was because I’m stronger, both mentally and physically, and able to do much more because of it. I refused to let those thoughts of “you suck”, “just give up”, “you’re not strong enough to do this” get the better of me. In fact, I didn’t even open the door to them and it was empowering. Never underestimate the power of the words you speak to yourself.

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What was cool about the longer distance was getting to experience some new obstacles I hadn’t done before as well as try my hand and some from last year.

New Obstacles this year included:

-Hobie Hop (jumping over stuff with a big rubber band around your shins-worst enemy of anyone who’s ever given birth)

-Bucket Carry (up/down 2 steep sand hills…I’m still feeling the burn of that one)

-Atlas Carry (didn’t make us do the 5 burpees though-this was the easiest of the carries)

-Hercules Hoist (aptly named…that one was haaaaaaard)

-Multi Rig (similar concept to Platinum Rig at Battle Frog)

Repeats from Last year:

-Monkey bars (owned them this year!)

-Tire Flip

-Hurdles

-Walls a-plenty

-Cargo Climb

-Over/Under/Through

-Rope Climb (who’s your daddy now?!)

-Spear Throw (nailed it!)

-Balance beam

-Transverse wall

-Parallel Bars

-Inverted Wall

-Slippery wall

-Barbed wire crawl (it….was…ENDLESS!!)

Can’t wait to do this again next year!