A couple of weekends ago, a few of us from the US office and our Woodburn outlet took part in our first Spartan Race. For those of you unfamiliar with Spartan, they’re a series of races that range from a 3+mile Sprint with obstacles, to a 48-hour Death Race that only 10% of participants finish. We opted for the Sprint.
As our team drove the winding roads to Washougal, WA, we were all looking forward to the race, but there was a certain amount of dread mixed in with our anticipation. Our fear was based on the Spartan’s waiver, which very clearly lays out the fact that you may die. In fact, that’s the URL of the Death Race – www.youmaydie.com! I usually just skim the standard run waiver, but then most waivers don’t mention the fact that you could suffer “animal bites or scratches.” I read every last line of that Spartan waiver. A few times. Many of us are experienced runners and have participated in mud runs before, but this was no normal mud run. We knew next to nothing about the course, but based on the videos we watched, we expected ourselves to be challenged both physically and mentally.
And those expectations were correct! The race started off with a rousing speech from a Spartan, and then, to the strains of The Dropkick Murphy’s “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” we were off! Now I’m not going to ruin the Spartan for those of you crazy enough to try one, so I’ll skip the detailed description of each obstacle. Let’s just say you will get a chance to lift and carry heavy objects, climb walls and ropes, run through the woods, and get so muddy that even after multiple showers, days later, you’re still a little dirty. You will crawl under hundreds of yards of barbed wire, sometimes uphill (probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done). And you will do lots and lots of burpees. If you like burpees, which are the official penalty exercise of the Spartan (30 for each failed obstacle, 200, yes that’s right, 200, for dropping out of the uphill barbed wire crawl), then you will love this race!
Immediately after the race, shaking and covered in mud and blood from my damaged knees and elbows, I could only think of rest and relaxation. But now, a few days removed from the race, I’m already planning for next years’ race. I think I may even do a few burpees this evening.
Matt Hazel, US Marketing Coordinator