Date: May 8th, 2016
Location: Cumberland, Ohio
Race Type: Spartan Sprint
Length of Race: 4.0 Miles
If you asked me if I liked the race now I would say “hell yes!”, but if you asked me in the middle of the race I would have given you a very different answer. I ran the race with my friend Zach and my girlfriend Kaitlyn. I was VERY unprepared for the race. I had somewhat trained before the race, but not nearly to the extent that the race required. For some, running 4 miles would be next to nothing, but I had never done track or any kind of distance running. The most I had done at the time was run an orienteering course.
I started out by pushing too hard and burned out within the first half mile. By a mile in I was at a fast walk, but the course was tough. We hit the first couple obstacles and I was already exhausted and my muscles were hurting. We got through the barbed wire crawl and I was not only exhausted but also scratched up and bleeding. We struggled though a few miles and a couple dozen burpees and by the time we reached the bucket carry I was ready to drop out. At about mile 3 I slipped and cut my knee open. That was pretty much the breaking point. I just sat there for a minute and collected myself. I didn’t think it would get worse…until it did. About a mile from the finish (not that we knew that at the time) Kaitlyn and I climb one of their 10 ft walls and drop to the other side. I was doing okay, but as Kaitlyn dropped, she landed on her toe wrong and immediately she fell and started crying. We both thought she broke her toe. I carried her and also supported her weight and we hobbled down the course. We were both exhausted and in pain, although admittedly she was in more pain than I was. The hardest part about the last part of the course was the A-frame wall. The wall had a pool of water right before it which made the whole wall a slippery mess. Between myself, Kaitlyn, and a few people who generously helped, we were able to get Kaitlyn up the wall and back down again. After a long and painful day, we eventually were able to hop over the fire at the end of the course. The power bar and the banana at the end of the course was the best tasting food I think I have ever had. We hosed off and took Kaitlyn’s shoe off in order to better look at her toe. The toe itself wasn’t broken, but the nail had flipped up, pulled out of her nailbed about half-way, and was causing pressure on the nailbed. We got in the car and Kaitlyn had me flip it down. She screamed louder than I had ever heard her before. We considered going to a hospital, but she decided she was okay. She ended up going late that night due to the pressure that built in her toe (partially due to the nail flipping up, and partially due to the dirt trapped under it) to see if they could clean it and remove it. The hospital didn’t do anything for it at all and Kaitlyn and I ended up cutting it back until the pressure was released.
When I look back at the race, I realize that despite the hard parts of the race, it was a great experience. The sense of accomplishment that I felt at the end of the race is unmatchable. I highly suggest that everyone try a Spartan (or other obstacle) race at some point in their life.