This was my very first venture in the world of OCR. Before hearing about Spartan, the only race involving obstacles I was aware of, was the Tough Mudder (the thought of it scared the crap out of me). I had looked around on facebook a bit, and ended up winning a book about OCR from a Facebook contest) – Ultimate Obstacle Course Training – Crush the World’s Toughest Courses by Brett Stewart.After flipping through this book, I was interested in maybe participating in a smaller race to check it out. I was invited to join a team to run it, and soon I was registered. To be honest, I was just running at the time so did not have alot of strength or agility training in my background. In retrospect, I should have put more time into cross training, but I survived.
I broke most of the rules of an OCR: wore street shoes, wore cotton clothes and socks ect. I was super new to this form of racing, so I just wore what I thought would work. Driving up to the site, I got super lost and turned around (I am super direction ally challenged). The team that I was supposed to race with ended up starting at our teams time, and after geting registered onsite, I hopped into the next wave.
The OC at the race got the group revved up, and instilled in my head at that moment, No one gets left behind. Before I knew it we were off. The course was held at Mt Seymour, in North Vancouver, B.C. and in June there was snow on the mountain.
At each obstacle, I sat back and watched others do them first to try and get an idea of how to complete one succesfully. At this race there were standard obstacles: wall climbs, running through mudd, a cynder block carry, monkey bars, the spear throw, the knocking down of the Gladiators (which has since been removed from the sport), and the fire jump. I dont want to give away all the obstacles, it’s best that you check out a race yourself. http://spartanrace.ca/
for me, the most challenging obstacle beside the 8 foot walls, was the mental grit. I was alone, by myself to face this challenge and finish the race. It was not easy, but in my head I kept saying “pain is temporary, quitting is forever). I made it through and jumped over that fire. Looking back, I think honestly I would have loved to have raced with my team, but things happen and you have to embrace the race day events. This race got me into the OCR world and community, and I know more now, but back then I was just a solo racer taking on an enormous challenge.
Overall I though the course was well laid out. We were on a mountain so at times lots of hiking was done. In my honest opinion, it would have bee nice to have more lanes on the obstacles (wait times got a little tedious). The penalty for burpeeing out was not a huge deal, but a few of the volunteers made you feel like you had failed big time for having to do your burpees. I didn’t like the cotton finishers shirt we got, but the medal is pretty cool and proudly hanging on my wall to this day.
For a more in-depth review of this race, please feel free to read the review I wrote for Mud Run Guide.com