Tag Archives: Spartan Race obstacles

An Exciting Weekend Adventure: Ottawa Spartan Sprint Recap

Hi guys!

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.

Edelweiss Spartan Sprint

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!

eager to start

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.

steep hill

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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!*

slippery rope climb

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*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!’

traverse wall

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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!* 

not-sure-if-seeing-things-or-eat-this-brownie-meme

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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!

Finish line

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.

Spartan couple

*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!*

Spartan Sprint check

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?

xoxo
Olena

 

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Race Reviews, Running

My First ‘Big Girl’ Race: Montreal Super Spartan Race

It finally happened!!! I completed my first ever Spartan Race! And it wasn’t just any Spartan Race, it was a Spartan Super Race: 13+ km (8+ miles) and 20+ obstacles.

Super Spartan fire

Without a doubt, it was the best and most intense fitness challenge of my life. The Spartan slogan ‘You will know at the finish line’ strongly resonates with how I feel at the moment.

Spartan-Race-Spartan-Logo2

The thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever thought I could push my limits this far. The notion of a ‘limit’ has shattered. An emotional limbo I was in is finally gone. I know that I am capable of so much more and I am motivated more than ever!

But first things first!

MISTAKES NOT TO BE REPEATED *EVER AGAIN*

1. Not breaking in the new shoes ahead of time: I know, I know, I sound absolutely foolish, but I did it. I mean… I didn’t do it… I didn’t wear my new shoes until 2 days before the race. BIG MISTAKE! I put them on for the first time on Saturday morning to go for a light jog with my pup: 5.5 km later I had blisters on both of my ankles. I think the issue was with the ankle cup. Apart from this though, Reebok all terrain shoes are great and they definitely served their purpose and kept me from falling down in the mud.

Blisters

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2. Taping & Mud Races: Some of you may be very surprised that I haven’t heard of it before, but for some of you it may be a new concept. When I got a pair of two bloody blisters just two days before my race, I was very very worried. There is nothing worse than a blister standing in the way of running. I was desperately looking for ways to diminish the pain and discomfort. When I came across this potential lifesaver, I happily prepared a band aid and duct tape for the morning of the race. My happiness lasted about 30 seconds into the race. Lesson learned: water and duct tape do not work together. Haha!

3. Uphill running: When your training calls for running on a mountain, find the biggest hill around. Don’t skip on it or try to substitute it for something else! It is the biggest challenge when it comes to the Spartan Race. Just to give you an idea, I had to run up the mountain about 5-6 times, which was about 8 km (if not more) of uphill running. I definitely didn’t expect that! *Silly me!*

The-road-to-success-runs-uphill.Willie-Davis

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Here is a quick review of the race  just to give you an idea of obstacles that were included in Montreal Super Spartan Race.


According to a runner who participated in the same race, the distance was about 14.3 km and the altitude – 1,126 m.

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge; and even though I am super-duper sore and can barely move around, I can’t wait for the Sprint in the end of June (5+ km) and the Beast in July (20+ km)!

Here is a few pictures from the race itself.

Anxious and excited me before the race

Super Spartan before the race

Climbing 

climbing

Rope Climb

Super Spartan rope climb

Monkey bars

Super Spartan monkey bars

Wall climb

Super Spartan wall climb

Slippery wall

Super Spartan slippery wall

FINISH LINE!!!

Super Spartan finish line

Can you tell I’m a happy trooper?

Super Spartan medal

Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of all obstacles or breathtaking views from the top of the mountain since I didn’t have a camera on me and spectators weren’t allowed everywhere. Some of other cool obstacles were a spear throw, traversal wall and barbed wire crawl. But just believe me, I had the time of my life!!! Can’t wait to get my Trifecta medal in 2 months!

What was your first big race? What did you like the most about it? Have you had any life changing experiences during one of your races?

xoxo
Olena

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation, Race Reviews