Spartan Race

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Spartan Sprint 2013

I wasn't real clear on why it took me this long to post about the 2013 Carolina's Spartan Sprint.  It was, after all, months ago.  Then I recently realized the answer.  It's because it was hard.  It wasn't hard because of the obstacles.  In fact, I don't think there was a single thing in it that I had not done before in a at least one Spartan.  It wasn't hard because of the terrain. The trails of the National White Water Center are some of the best around, and there was actually a lot less slogging through the Catawba river than last year.  So why was it hard?  Weather.  The exact same race that Mrs. RQ and spent the last five minutes of last year relaxing in the neck deep water because it was so hot was absolutely freezing this year.

     I didn't notice this while I was running it really. In fact, while it was cold, I didn't think it was terrible. It was only when I got back to my truck and couldn't get my fingers to work well enough to open the zipper pocket on my shorts that I realized how cold it was.  I should have admittedly figured it out on the course.  I should have figured it out when I couldn't get a good hold on the rope pulley obstacle that I usually power right through, and had to hold on to a set point on the line and walk backwards, like everyone else.  I should have figured it out when I fell of the monkey bars.  I never fall off the monkey bars.  I should have realized it when I couldn't hold on the climbing rope well enough to get up to the top and ring the bell.  But I attributed all of that to the wet.  To the constant rain that was falling, not the 38 degree weather.

     After I got back to my truck, and sat there with the heat blasting for 15 minutes before I could move, did I realize just how cold I was. But I was done. And it was fun. That said, it was also my fourth Spartan event. They always bring it hard, but I had done every obstacle at least twice prior. I'd really like to see a bit more innovation on their part - throw a new obstacle in for a new season.

      I also innovated a new technique.  One of the most disconcerting things I have noticed about running in bodies of water (for example, the Catawba River) is the fact that a foot of mud on the bottom of said river is not easy to dislodge oneself from.  Also, one never knows when one is going to hit a hole one end up switching from a 2 foot wade to a 6 foot plunge. As I entered the river this time, I noticed a long root from a ceder tree floating by me.  I grabbed it, and used it to stabilize myself, and also to probe for drop offs.  I'll be using that technique again.

     It also provided me with the best picture I've ever had of me and the fire jump.  I think we usually all think we look cool doing something like that.  If photo evidence is any proof, I almost always just look awkward.  This picture at least makes me look like I struck a Heisman...

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