Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Spartan Sprint - Blue Mountain, Palmerton, PA

This past Saturday I completed the Spartan Sprint at Blue Mountain in Palmerton, PA. It was my first race on a mountain.

The first half of the course was going straight up the mountain. It was no joke! Lucky for me being a slower racer I wasn't one of the number of people who went off course. The first obstacle (not counting the terrain) was Over, Under, Through (climb over a wall, go under a wall, and then go through an opening in a wall). After that it was more "hiking" through a wooded trail. Next up the sand bag carry. Women carried a approximately 20lbs sand bag up a double black diamond slope, around a bend and down another. Then a bit more of a hike and climbing up part of a slope with the aid of a rope. At the top of the mountain were the next few obstacles (if I'm remembering correctly) was the tire flip, monkey bars, spear throw, and Herculean hoist (my fav!) - I ended up with 60 burpees out of those four obstacles.

The second half of the course was down hill! More of a hike, vertical cargo net and then onto the slide and swimming under tubes in the lake (I'm sure I'm missing a few obstacles). After that it was log hop (burpees), barbed wire crawl (where I got most of my bruises), the inverted wall. I was determined to get over it and on the third try was successful with some help (thank you to the guy that help me). After that it was the 7 foot wall and the traverse wall. I so badly wanted to conquer the traverse wall this time but from all the mud couldn't even get up on the damn thing (more burpees). Once past this we could see the finish line, but first it was the rope climb (burpees), another small barbed wire crawl, "slippery" wall, fire jump and the gladiators. I finally got to jump the fire - so hoping that the pictures come out good from that!

My initial goal was to finish in two hours - the husband said with the course it was a bit unrealistic and figured more like 2.5 hours. I happily finished in 02:21:12.7!

One of Spartan Race's tag lines is "You'll know at the finish", it is so true. You feel such a sense of accomplishment.

Something that was even more rewarding was participating in the Sweeper Wave with some of Spartan Race Street Team (Ron, Kelli, Mike B. and Gary). You go through and clean up the course and help the last racers finish. Doing this we met Annie and Andy Wells. Andy is a former military man, and Spartan Race veteran; it was Annie's first race. There were times were she wanted to just do the burpees but Andy wouldn't let her. She went from someone, as he [Andy] put it, who feared a 3ft step ladder to going over the vertical cargo net. We helped her to get over the inverted and 7ft walls and Kelli and I took some of her burpees at the rope climb. In the end, after the crossed the finish line side by side, there were tears in her eyes and a congratulatory kiss. Thinking back to that moment even makes me tear up! Congratulations Annie I hope to see you at a future race!

View from near the top toward the festival area

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