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My First Spartan Race.

9 October 2017

Saturday, BB and I joined three members of my work group at MECMC and competed in the Spartan Race up in Philadelphia. Held in the baseball stadium, it was a lot of silly fun and a brutal 90 minute workout. There were 21 or 22 “obstacles” we had to negotiate over the course of about a 3.5 mile “run” which was really a lot of stairs and jogging up and down ramps.

Some of the obstacles were legitimate obstacles: walls anywhere from 4′ to 8′ we had to climb over. A rope climb (I couldn’t do it) and swinging monkey bars (I couldn’t do them). I failed at three obstacles: the above two and the spear throw (I misjudged the length of the cord and came up short). Each obstacle you fail you can circumvent by doing 30 burpees. The first two times on concrete or asphalt, the third time on the outfield grass. I don’t know how fit YOU are, but for me, 30 burpees is a lot and takes a while.

Some of the “obstacles” were really just strength or cardio or endurance challenges. We carried a 40 pound sandbag to the top of the stadium and back down. The same with a 40 pound jug of water. We did 20 box jumps and 20 medicine ball slams with a 25 pound ball. I needed a boost from a teammate to get over the 8′ wall. But I had a fabulous time, and despite being about 15 years older than some of my teammates, I did great and really enjoyed it.

BB had fun too and thinks she’d like to do it again. I would too. I’d like to try one on a course where they get you wet and dirty, which they couldn’t do at the stadium, of course. I need to work on my upper body strength, big time. Rope climbs are crazy hard, and I just couldn’t do it. Not a chance in hell. My arms and shoulders were sore yesterday and still are today, but not awful. I just need to lose weight and increase strength.

A lot of the people there were current or ex-military. There was a team of West Point cadets. My starting line group included a female Marine who looked like she could finish in 30 minutes and not break a sweat. I see the appeal. The course looked and felt like a slightly easier, slightly shorter version of the boot camp you see in movies.

It was a lot of fun and we’ll definitely do it again. But for now, I have to get back to running. Half marathon in six weeks. Time to go get fit.

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