Spartan weekend

How could I resist an adult jungle gym race when it was so close to home? Citi Field became the Gladiator Coliseum built for 10,000 Spartans. A 3 mile obstacle course with various challenges in between, sounds like fun. If you fail to complete an obstacle then you have to pay the price; 30 burpees (alternating push-up and jump). This is how the story goes…

But first, running photos of the me running the Cherry Blossom 10-miler at DC. Thumbs up at the camera man.

Spartan Sprint Race @ Citi Field, Queens
April 13th, 2013
10,037 finishers
Results: 3436 place, 66% percentile, (D)

As soon as you step into the Gladiator Coliseum, you first notice that this isn’t the running crowd at all. This was a much rowdier and muscular group of athletes. Am I the only one here who doesn’t lift things everyday? Yea, I hardly trained for this one. My reasoning was that the running and martial arts training would be enough. Before heading to the start line, I couldn’t help but notice the unused field. No mud, no barbed wire, no fire!? Maybe there were limitations for this race since it wasn’t outdoors, oh well. And I was all prepared to get muddy and everything, meh. So the race looked like a large conveyor belt of athletes snaking through main walkways, staircases and stadium seats.

A line for the start line? Nobody gave a crap about their assigned times and created a bottleneck at the start. A group of Spartans were released every 15 seconds, but there were at least 1000 in front of me. Well this sucks. Maybe I should’ve started with the elites. After a 20-30 minute wait at the start, I’m finally released. Zoom, I’m running, doing what I do best. After a minute, my fast running ceases for the rest of the race. It was obstacle after obstacle madness.


Summary of obstacles from a jumbled memory:
– 4 floors of ramps with horizontal wire tied high and low in various combinations. Hop, crawl, hop, crawl, crawl, hop, hop… all going uphill. Why am I breathing heavy already? At the top, whew.

– Three 6 foot walls to climb. 1,2,3, done.

– I turn a corner and see 2 lines of people lifting 25 pound bags above their head and dropping them down. How many I ask? 20. Ok. Ugh, Whoo, I felt that. Onward.

– Going through the nosebleed seats now. Upstairs, downstairs, across. It’s a follow-the-leader kind-of thing. At the same time, I call my wife and swing my arm around so that she can spot me.

– Turning the corner now. Wow, that is the thickest jump rope ever. How many I ask? 50. Sure. 29, 30, 31, ugh, break. 37, 38, break. I’m tired but there are people waiting for my rope. Fine. 49, 50, done. My arms are now noodles.

– Monkey bars, but I’m so tired. While hanging, I recall the 30 burpee penalty if I lose my grip. Nope, can’t have that. Ehhhh, cross, cross, whoa almost slipped, cross, cross, ehhhh, done. Wow, almost didn’t survive, whew. No more arm stuff please. And then there it was, the hernia obstacle.

– A concrete block attached to a rope and pulley. The goal: to pull the rope such that the block reaches the top, and the top was really really high. The big muscle guys were grunting and turning red, which means I’m toast. I tugged the rope with everything and it didn’t move. I hung off the rope and my body weight wasn’t enough to lift this thing. How heavy is this thing!? I scanned for non muscle-head types to see how they are pulling this off. On my left, a dude was pulling the rope while sitting on the ground. Ah, good idea. I copied, and the block rose a bit, yay. After struggling for minute or two while watching the block rise only an inch or two for every power sucking rope pull, the block touched the top.

– Ran down to ground level. Oh great, 2 more walls, but they were higher than before. 1,2,done. Walls are easy.

– Around the corner into a room. What? Push-ups, I got this. How many I ask? 20. Done.

– Into the staircase again. Theres a large bucket full of rubber straps. Why? To wrap your legs and hop up 4 flights. By floor 3, some of us (me too) just started walking up the steps since the strap wasn’t that tight, lol.

– Then back down. Now I get to run through the front row seats, but with a really heavy sand bag on my shoulder, ugh. After several zig zags and going up and down steps, I pass the demon bag to another.

– Yay, I get to run for another minute. And an even larger wall blocks my path. A wall that you have to jump to reach. Several couldn’t do this one. Good thing I can place my foot above my head. I conquered the 7-8 foot wall.

– Next, dozens of these rowing machines. I had nothing left after that concrete block earlier. This is just punishment. 2 minutes of pull, pull, pull. This is why I hate the gym.

– Now we head to the back of the stadium. I see that concrete block again. Grrr. The goal: To carry it a few meters, 5 burpees, and carry it back. I felt like a little boy struggling to carry his daddy’s toolbox on my way back. There is nothing left in this Spartan. But it’s not over yet.

– What are all these large water jugs and steps? Oh I get it. Just like carrying heavy groceries. My legs are kind-of wobbly though. Almost tripped to my death going up the steps for the third time.

– Next, a rope climb. Ha, I did this everyday in high school. Halfway up, my arms had no more juice and I was going no higher. Down I went. 30 burpees for me.

– Next, a sideways wall where you had to hold on to small pegs sticking out. If your feet touch the ground, its burpees for you. I slipped and didn’t care. 30 for me again.

– The spear throw was cancelled. I was looking forward to that one.

– Finally, outside. I see the finish. But first, the net climb. Piece of cake. Next, 10 high jumps onto this ledge. Fine. I make one last run for it, a run through the finish line protectors who knock you with pugil sticks (from American Gladiators). Boom, I take the hit and cross the finish line! An hour of non-stop workout. My body is still sore.

I’m a Spartan!

Training Report:

RunDate Distance Pace Comments
Apr 14 Sunday 6.21 10:50 Body is so sore, shins are stressed, no running for another week

Speed Jams (tunes to run that sub 8 min/mile pace):
No more fast running until I heal. This section will just have to be “Slow Jams (tunes to run that relaxing 10-11 min/mile pace)” for the next few posts.

Random Thoughts
There was also a JFK airport runway race the day after the Spartan race. How did it go? Correct answer. I didn’t go. My body was too sore, especially my gluteals for some reason. Maybe next year.

4 thoughts on “Spartan weekend

  1. PDX Running Chick April 15, 2013 / 6:40 pm

    Were there any badass women doing that Spartan thing? I’m just curious… My body was in pain just reading your account!

    • Liana@RunToMunch April 15, 2013 / 9:11 pm

      I did the Spartan race a few years ago, and it was awful. Long lines everywhere. I also failed at most things and ended up doing a lot of push ups and burpees.

      • PDX Running Chick April 16, 2013 / 12:07 am

        Liana! I’m glad to see your post and know you’re ok. You were one of many on my mind today. 🙂

      • sephiroth796 April 16, 2013 / 9:51 am

        Yup, plenty of badass females took the challenege, my muscles are still sore. Liana is right, long lines everywhere which makes it impossible to actually “race”. I thought of you when I heard about Boston. I’m glad you’re alright.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s