How was your weekend? Did you live it up to the fullest?
If you’ve been following my blog, you most likely know that I ran the Spartan Sprint in Ottawa yesterday. Well, small correction… The race itself was actually held at Edelweiss Valley, a ski mountain and resort located in Wakefield, Quebec, only about 20 minutes north of Ottawa.
Since Montreal is about 250 km away, Justin and I left home around 7.15 am. We decided to pass by my favorite coffee shop, Tim Horton’s, *you certainly know the story of how it saved my life and therefore became my favorite location, lol!* to grab a plain bagel and a coffee to fuel for the race.
The bagel definitely hit the spot; however, I never finished my coffee. I was too excited to drink it because:
- my hubby was running the race with me,
- after completing the Sprint, I have only a Spartan Beast to finish in order to get the Trifecta medal *= 2/3 done*,
- oh, and my toenail came off the day before, so I didn’t have to worry about it getting inflamed again!!!
When we got to the parking lot, we were surprised to find out there was a shuttle bus that would take us to the venue. It was unexpected, but I enjoyed a short 5-minute drive since everyone inside was so hyper and ready to embark on the adventure. It was contagious!
Initially, we were registered for 12 pm. However, our friends and us decided to run at 11 am to avoid the heat as much as possible. *It was an extremely hot and humid day!* We quickly checked-in, dropped off our bags and located the rest of the group. 30 minutes later we were ready to run.
I love the hype at the start line. All participants are asked the question ‘Who am I?’ They joyfully shout back ‘I am a Spartan!’ and then scream off the top of their lungs ‘Aroo! Aroo! Aroo!’
Right off the back, this creates a tight bond among everyone and readiness to overcome whatever is thrown our way. However, this can also be tricky. I learned it the hard way at the Montreal Super Spartan Race. I started sprinting up the hill from the get go; not even 5 minutes into it, my lungs were on fire. It probably took me a good half an hour to recover afterwards.
This time around, I decided to control my excitement, and I am very glad I did so. The first hill was extremely steep, but I was able to keep up a fast walking pace without stopping.
There was much more mud compared to my previous race. A lot of people tried to avoid it, but I embraced it. It definitely helps to avoid crowds on either side of it. This also meant a pretty dirty barb wire crawl, but I couldn’t help but laugh at it! The truth is, I’ll take rolling in cool mud over being under the merciless sun. But… lots of mud made for a hard rope climb. Gosh… how slippery it was! At some point I wasn’t even sure if I’ll be able to reach the darn bell because I kept slipping down. After weighing my options, I chose kicking the bell over doing burpees! *It didn’t take long to figure this out either. Hehe!*
*The image above is NOT from my race, but you get the idea!*
Needless to mention my upper body was shot and I wasn’t able to complete the traverse wall. ‘A mistake was worth 30 burpees. I was very much like that guy in the picture below: MISERABLE! Lol!’
There were other obstacles too, such as a Hercules hoist, sandbag carry, heavy object carry, etc., but the one obstacle I can’t seem to tame is the spear throw. Hopefully, it’ll stick in the hay stack the next time!
What I found extremely challenging during this race is the heat. At some point, there was no shade for a long stretch and I felt pretty light-headed. Thankfully, I had a Camelbak and Gu with me. Also, there were these giant fans *in 2 different locations* that blew an enormous amount of water mist as we were trying to walk through a pretty deep mud patch. The mist was very dense and I could barely see. But it was definitely a blessing in disguise, it was so refreshing!!! *On a side note, I was wearing contact lenses and this mist caused me to see mini rainbows, which made me think I was hallucinating. Later on I found out I wasn’t alone. Fewh!*
After the second mile, the race was really really enjoyable! It was mostly downhill too *duh!*, and there was pleasant breeze blowing. A variety of wall jumps, hay bale jumps, net climb, fire jump, slippery wall, and a rope descent flew by, and the next thing I knew I was done!
The only thing I really regret is that Justin got a little behind and we couldn’t do a fire jump holding each others hands. *There is usually a photographer who takes pictures of participants.* But I made it up by having this picture taken.
*Aren’t we an adorable Spartan couple?*
We walked around a little bit to see different vendors on site and got some free Oikos yogurt. Finally, after having everyone of our group finish the race, we went to take a ‘shower’ that was more of a hose down *But, hey! I’m not complaining!*. While standing in line, I OBVIOUSLY took a picture with this beautiful backdrop. *I’m NOT referring to the garbage bins. LOL!*
It was a wonderful adventure and I am already looking forward to the Spartan Beast, which will take place at the same location in 4 weeks. Woop Woop! Beast mode is ON!!!
Did you have any races this weekend? What are your biggest fears during a race?