5 hours, 47 minutes, 42 seconds. That’s how long it took to complete this monster. For anyone who has ever completed a Spartan Beast, you have an idea of the torture you go through running this race. I thought I would write a race report while the memory is fresh in my head and the pain is still in my muscles.
The beginning started like every Spartan race I have run so far. 300 eager participants in my 12:30 heat, chanting and psyched. Right before I started, I spoke to a few people who had completed the race and they gave me some advice. “DON’T LOOK UP”.
I started the race slow and steady knowing that I had to pace myself for the next 13 miles. The obstacles came fast, and the mountain was relentless from the beginning. 5 foot walls, over, under and through. No problem. 6 foot walls, over, under, through. As I started to climb the mountain I started to gain some strength. I thought “This is fun”… and then it all went downhill (or uphill from there).
I was happy when I made it through the monkey bars, the climbing wall and the first rope climb at the 3 mile mark. We had already peaked and decended the mountain once by then. I was feeling strong and psyched because I had reached my goal of getting to the top of the rope (something I had failed to accomplish in my last two races). But that’s when things got a little crazy.
I had stood and watched prior to my race as racers swam into the river to the bridge where we had to climb a ladder and then cross four hanging ropes to hit a bell on the other side of the bridge. You ring the bell, and go right, if you fail, you go left and do your 30 burpees on the opposite side of the river.
The water was cold and as I got to the obstacle I thought “I can do this” but alas… I was wrong… and the wind was taken out of my sails. Those would not be my first set of burpees.
As I recovered from the cold water I realized how far I still had to go. We climbed the mountain a total of 5 times. From top to bottom. Physically my body was prepared, but what I didn’t realize was that the race was going to be all mental. When you thought you had gotten through the hardest part of the race, they hit you with another hill, another obstacle and you slowly lost your will to go on.
There were more lows then there were highs. Some of the climbs felt more like death marches. People on the sides cramping up, just sitting with blank looks in their eyes. Girls crying saying that they couldn’t go on. You had to dig deep and move on.
The last hill climb was deep in the woods. It was the longest hill I had ever climbed. You had to use your hands and your feet to get up it was so steep. It was probably a mile long. At the top of that hill there were some 7 foot walls. Everyone was helping eachother to get over them. We were all in this together. Strangers helping strangers, so we can all get out of this hell that we had PAID for.
When we got to the top, we ran into a guy in a pick up truck, who told us we had less then a mile to go, and that it was all downhill from there. What he failed to mention was the downhill would be a mud slide through the woods. As I descented on my hands and butt sliding down and holding onto branches and roots the only words going through my head were curse words. WTF? When is this going to end. Even going down was torture.
The high came when I heard the cheering getting louder and louder. Back to civilization. I knew the end was near… and that’s when I started running. Running to get to the end. I had made it.
No words can describe how I feel right now. Would I do it again? I don’t know. Ask me again once I can walk down the stairs without excruciating pain.