From The ARCHIVES 7/24/2012: This is an old post from the very early days of when I started! I use it for reference of what I was doing right and more so WRONG, but also as motivation to see how far I have come. I will try to add in updates as I go over these, but I hope you might get something out of them!
WOW!! That is the first thing I can say about the Super Spartan!
If you came here for the official results you can click here
Out of 3500 people I came in 556 click here to see I was pretty proud of myself!
Ken came in 493 click here to see.
Craig came in 758 click here to see.
Bill came in 849 click here to see.
Also have some pics of all of us at the bottom!
Below I am going to try and write out my whole experience of the race. I will try to answer some questions I had going in and talking about obstacles etc… I might get a bit all over and I am sorry if I do, but the race was long and I forget a lot of it.
What a great day! I was still a bit nervous on Friday since I was still a bit sore from my deck of cards workout on Tuesday, but Friday night I had a decent sleep and woke up at 6AM feeling pretty good!
My buddy Ken came up Friday night so we could get a jump start on the day and get up to Mountain Creek for the 9AM heat.
Race Day Nutrition for Spartan Race
- We both had pretty much the same meal. Cooked up a few eggs, some oatmeal with real blueberries, some green tea with a bit of honey some vitamins and we were heading out the door! We also planned on eating a banana and a cliff bar about an hour before the race when we got up there which we did. I had also planned on taking C4 pre workout drink that I had gotten a sample of at GNC a few weeks earlier. I had taken some during training and figured I could use all the help I could get. My plan was to take it at about 8:50 ish so it would kick in about 30-40 minutes into the race which it did and was very welcomed.
Eating during the race? Gels? GU Packs? Water Stations?
- I had never done a race like this and had no clue how my body would react during it. We decided to pack some GU gels. We each had 1 pinned to our shorts. We ended up taking them at the second water station which was at the 3.5 mile mark I believe. Would have known, but Kens’ $250 Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS watch was gone! Ugh! Somebody was a but upset We think it came off at the second obstacle where my other buddy Mike broke his ankle! Yeah it was starting off great!! I’ll talk more about that when I get the obstacles section. So we had our Gels took them and continued on. Let me just say I wish I had more!!
The first water station had water and brownie bars or something that we did not grab. The second station where we took our GU gels just had water. The third water station had water and some gritty Gatorade which was good. I wish I had one more GU pack, but I did not. After the 3rd series of wall obstacles I could feel my stomach getting HUNGRY!! Then out of nowhere and the rope net climb, some dude was like “anyone want a GU pack I have like 5 extra!” I grabbed one so fast and chowed down. It was some chocolate pudding and was the greatest thing I have ever tasted lol. It def helped me get through the rest of the race! After the race you are welcome to help yourself to all the sponsored goodies and a banana which I pretty much took all in then felt like I was going to yack 5 minutes later! Anyways back to the race. That was just a Hodge podge of how nutrition went for the day.
Spartan Race Gear
- While training for the race I was constantly searching for information about what to wear race day, what shoes to wear in a Spartan race etc… I think I was prepared fairly well, but next time I know I will make a few changes.
Sneakers for Spartan Race
- I had trained in New Balance trainers the whole time, even ran about 10 miles total in them while training. I was planning on just racing in them since they were old and I knew they would get ruined, but I decided to buy a pair of running shoes. I chose to buy a pair of Nike Air Pegasus + 28 while I was down in Delaware on vacation. These sneakers felt like I was walking on clouds and the grip they had was phenomenal! I slowly decided to wear these to the race and I am glad I did. With all the hills and rocky terrain I would have been slipping and sliding all over with my New Balance trainers. I can only recall a few times when I slipped up and I saw many people slipping up during the race. They also drained well in the water and I never felt weighed down by them or that they were soaking wet. They also cleaned up nice… tossed them in the washer machine with the rest of my gear. Who says you will ruin your shoes
Socks for Spartan Race
- I wore Nike Dri Fit Running socks. They make a few styles, basketball are a bit thick so make sure you get the running ones. They actually have a left and a right sock and are really comfortable. They wick away water etc… so they never got soaked. I can say I had no issues with my feet at all! During the trail running I had about 3 little ankle turns, but nothing serious, just quick little turns that were fine.
Shorts for Spartan Race
- I grabbed a pair of New Balance running shorts with the built in undies. Very nice They seemed to do the job just fine and seemed to dry up just fine after getting out of the water. I had pinned a GU Gel pack to the pockets. Yes these had pockets; most running shorts I saw did not. Of course after I wash them I find the tiny little inside flap I could have stuck the GU packet in. Next time
Shirt for Spartan Race
- I wore your typical under armor T Shirt that I have had for about 5 years. It was great and dried fast. Had a few pulls from the barb wire in the end, but cleaned up fairly nice with a nice tint of brown to it lol.
Watch for Spartan Race
- While I was getting my running shorts at Sports Authority they had a nice G Shock Iron-man Triathlon watch for about $39 which help up real nice. Couple scratches on the front thanks to the barbed wire crawl in the rocks, but it held up well for sure. I highly recommend you use a watch at one of these races. Mentally it was good to have so I could look at the time and how long I had been racing. There were moments where I had to take a break and it was easy to just look at the watch for a 10-20 second count rather than relying on me and my tired brain counting it out.
Other than that I had a change of clothes in the car and a plastic bag for all the muddy gear I was going to bring home. Oh yeah don’t forget another pair of shoes like I did. Had to drive home barefoot
The Start of the Super Spartan!
Waiting at the starting line was pretty intense since you had to sit there and wait and stare up at this huge mountain that you were about to climb up first thing! Ugh hills duh. Glad I had done those few mile sessions in on the stairs The race kicks off and we start running up the hill. Oh hey there is a copper head sneak!! WTH lol. Well… most people did a light run as long as they could, then like most of the race it turned into a hike up and down the hills which was killer on the legs. In fact when you hit level ground or ground with a slight grade it felt so easy to run on. Like I said the race was long so I am going to try and go through the obstacles in the order I can remember. I really don’t know how long each hill was or the trail running etc… and I hope The Spartan Race might post the actual course on the site so we shall see.
Anyways here is the best I can recollect of the race course. If you have any notes to add please add them in the comments below. Seems like every time I go over it I remember some other obstacle! Lol
Tri State Super Spartan 2012 Obstacles
“Warning – Some obstacles I am just making up names ”
Over Under Through
- This was the first obstacle which was pretty easy, over a wall, under the wall with some netting, then through a wall with a hole in it. I remember it was easy, but my first jump over the wall I put my foot on the top and it slid to the side, but luckily I caught myself. Could have easily pulled my groin, so the next one I made sure to just hop over since they were not that high. All these little things you learn as you do them. Ken still had his GPS and said that was a the 1 mile mark. Ugh 1 mile up a hill for the first section of the race!
Swimming Under Canoes & Onto a Floating Dock
- This is where things went a bit south. Basically you had to swim like 20-ish feet, go under a canoe then swim under another canoe then climb up a floating dock and jump off onto the shore line. It was not that hard and it felt good to get wet and cool off. Unfortunately this is where my buddy Mike jumped off and busted his ankle. It was shallow on the other side of the docked and he jumped off to hard. Not sure if he landed on a rock under water or what, but all I know is he screamed that he heard a pop. So… we were watching him wondering if it was just a quick twist or was he really out of commission. Like a trooper Mike said go ahead, so we did and his buddy Craig stayed for about another 10 minutes. Later we would find out that he had a clean break on his ankle. Not good!! There was a water station right after that so I am assuming that was mile marker 2… because oh yeah that is where Ken noticed his GPS watch was gone… so he ran back to see if it was floating or around, but no luck. We carried on!
- Next were some pretty basic mud pits. You jump in and climb out. There was probably 4 of them I think? The one thing I took from doing the first obstacle and seeing Mike break his ankle on the second was use caution in every one! I wasn’t jumping in like crazy or just going at it. I was trying to actually see what some other people were doing and then go into it with caution. At 34 years old, with 2 kids 3yr and 6 months I cannot afford to be out of commission, so that is how I rolled the rest of the race. The bad thing about this obstacle was there was some grit and mud getting all up in you and your shoes.
After the mud pits there seemed like what had to be a few miles of trail running. I have to say I felt really good running, so mentally that was a boost. This is where the C4 started kicking in too
- We came to the cliff jump. I forget if it was 23 feet or 25 feet. All I know is if you did not do the cliff jump you had to do 50 burpees. Honestly I don’t know how you would do 50 burpees then continue on, but if you did then kudos to you. I looked off the cliff, bent my legs and weeeee…… jumped right in. It was refreshing and it cleaned us up nice! It also cooled us down and I felt ready to rock. I had actually been feeling good at this point and I think we had been racing for about an hour , so we decided to take our GU gel packs. Yummy. There was a water station after the cliff jump as well. I think I only took about a cup of water, maybe a cup and a half.
Hobie Hopps? “ I think they are called this”
- These were a pain. Take this little rubber band and stick it around your ankles then walk up the hill and hop over the logs. Wow my calves were on fire from this, but we got through it.
- After those we started and uphill battle again, only to go back down a longer hill. I actually remember this hill from when I used to snow board up here. It was a lot easier on my Burton The one good thing that was going on was that we would talk to a few people and would hear they were from the 8am heat or the 8:30am heat so it made us feel good that we were doing fairly well. At this point Ken and I were still running together. Bill was somewhere behind us, Mike was down waiting, and Craig was somewhere back by Bill… I think…
- So after going up and down a huge hill, we come to the bottom and they have 40lb sand bags for us to carry up and then down the hill. Ughh…. This was tough and I took a good amount of breaks. I opted for to carry the sand bags on my shoulders alternating sides. I saw people carrying them on their heads, but I did not want that weight on my neck since I was tired and unstable and my old herniated disc, did not need any more damage. I am not sure how long that was, but it had to be at least 50 yards up then down? Maybe even more? Anyone?
Water Station – This was the 3rd water station and they had water and some gritty Gatorade which I think helped. Who knows, but it was better than water. I had one cup of Gatorade and 1 cup of water.
- So right after the sand bag carry and the water station was the tire flip. You need to flip a giant tractor tire 4 times in any direction. My first attempt and I didn’t lift it. I did not realize how heavy they were and how tired I was. So I had to really use everything to get them flipped.
OK so after the tire flip it was back up the hill then over to a nightmare of a rock hill. This was not an obstacle, just part of the course, but it was insane. It was just rocks up and up an up. People were yelling out… watch out! Rock falling lol. There were a few times I had to sit down and take a good 30 second break. I am not even sure how long it took me to get up that hill, but this is where the gap between Ken and I started to grow. Also I remember just looking down not only at the rocks, but at other times thinking about all the plants I was crawling through just thinking about poisons something. Well today some bumps are popping up on my arms so we shall see how that goes!
Concrete Block Chain Drag
- After the rock climb this was waiting at the top. So you had a thick heavy chain tied to what seemed like half a cinder block, but bigger and you had to drag it behind you. I was so tired when I got to it. I was trying to keep up with Ken and I was getting so drained so I took another little break. When I got back up there was a guy in front of me going so slowly. I was like go faster, but then I said to myself, pace yourself or you are going to burn out. I think on that rock wall and here I was getting the most tired and had thoughts of… “Can I do this? “Will I finish?” I dragged it around a put it back in the box I took it out of. I could see Ken up at the next obstacle.
- This is basically a rope over a pulley with a big cement chunk on the other end. Seems like a 5 gallon buckets worth of cement. You have to pull it to the top then let it down gently. I had watched people online doing it so I grabbed as high as I could and then used my body weight to pull it down and sat on the ground to pull it. It was actually easier than I thought so that was a good thing.
After another little run we came to the next obstacle.
- By this point I was exhausted. I did not want to do burpees. I had messed around on the monkey bars at the playground a few times to see how they felt and I did OK on them, but I wasn’t the best. I figured this was going to be tough. Being 6’3” is good sometimes so I reached out to about the 3rd bar and started on the bars. I was swinging pretty well and going from bar to bar. I got to the second to last one and I was dead in the water. Aghhhh… I was able to swing my body and get some momentum and get to the last bar and finished them! Boo ya!
- Not Sure of Exact Height, but was 3 series at lets say 6, 7, and 8 feet?
- Well… this is the last that I saw Ken , as I came off the Monkey Bars I saw him waiting there rubbing his legs. We both looked at each other and that was it. He would later tell me he had to catch up to this woman who was beating us the whole time lol. Seriously she was in front of us half the race and we just could not catch up. He eventually passed her Go Ken…….. I was stuck on my own…. As I approached the wall a woman “Melissa” asked for help. I said sure, but I cannot assure you where my hands my slip helping. She was cool with that lol. I gave her a boost over then attempted the wall myself. I was able to get over it, but banged my knee and can now see the bruises under my arms as well. Ouch. I continued to help her over the next few and I also got some help from another guy who I helped on the last series of walls as well. Turns out she had a baby 3 months earlier and a C-Section! Dang and I was complaining! Good job Melissa!!
Final Water Station – There was a final water station there where I actually ran into a guy I played BBall at home with. They only had water. At this point my stomach was starting to feel empty. I knew that wasn’t good and was not sure what I had left in me. I felt tired, but I was not totally drained and knew I had more left in me.
Rope Net Climb
- This was pretty cool. I had never done anything like this before, but basically it was a roped net you climb up and over. Had to be 20ish feet high? People that climbed before you would wait at the bottom of the other side to pull the net tight to help others. I heard one guy say “always keep 3 points of contact on the rope and you go over” so that is what I did. Low and behold as I got over and started to hold the netting tight for the next person, some guy shouted who wants a GU pack I have extra. I grabbed one like it was my last meal. It was chocolate pudding flavor and so good! That was what I needed! Thanks to the dude who handed them out! You da man!!
- Not fun! Well we came up to the Tyrolean Traverse where you climb across a rope that stretches across a river or stream. I had never done this before and I tried to watch others do it, so I had some idea of how I wanted to do it. I am not even sure how long it was, but there was a bell you had to ring in the middle to complete it. I hopped on and started to move, but I was basically using all my arms and just dragging my ankles across the rope. Not good! Note to self “long socks next time”. So I started burning my ankles with the rope. My legs came off the rope and I was ready to fall, but somehow I managed to get my legs back up! Thanks AB Ripper X! I really was not able to get the right movement and after seeing my ankles getting bloody I dropped into the muddy waters, the first obstacle I failed. Boo…. Check out my ankles. Hurts the most!
- Next there was a net climb I guess you call it where you climb up and over the net, but it was not straight up like the other one. This was easy, just had to take your time because that net would stretch and move so I needed to make sure I had a good footing before taking another step.
Slip & Slide
- Woot Woot. Some lady was shouting about 100 feet of awesomeness, so that sounded good to me. It felt nice to just lay down and slide down the wet, cold, and clean slide into a muddy pit lol.
- This is basically an angled wall with ropes you can use to pull yourself up and over. Of course they cover it in soap. The back side of the wall had like rungs of 2 x4’s to get down. This was the only time I thought I was gonna cramp up. My calf cramped for a second, but I got over and was good to go. On a side note I saw a lot of people cramping up or curled up in balls screaming because of cramps. Ouch! I held up well with that somehow. I also saw people rubbing powder on their legs. Anyone know what that is?
The END is NEAR!!
After that it was a downhill jog to the bottom for the last obstacles to finish the race!
- This is where you toss a spear into a bale of hay from 10-20 yards.I had been watching the volunteers practice when we got there and tried to pick up some tips, but who knew how it would go when your exhausted at the end of the race. I got my spear and was given the instructions. The cool thing was this was right at the bottom of the mountain and all the racers and spectators were there just yelling cheering etc… I grabbed the spear and just tried to balance it in my hand and give it a toss. Bam right in the hay! AROO!!! People cheered me on and it felt great!!
- Ugh this looked tough. I had tried the practice wall before the race and did ok, but not so much here lol. Basically there is a wall with small 2×4’s nailed to it and you need to get yourself across it. I went to the last wall which looked the driest and grabbed on. My grip felt OK and a made it a few feet, but somehow I got my one leg ahead of me and just could not get it back and I fell. Buu!!! 2nd Obstacle I failed!
- I was a bit nervous about this, but the good thing was the rope climb had knots every 3 feet. You had to climb to the top and ring the bell. I hopped on, pulled up, got my feet on the knots and made my way to the top. At the top my feet lost grip and I was hanging on with my arms. I managed to get my feet back on and pushed up and got the bell. That one felt good!!
Barbed Wire Crawl
- You gotta be kidding me!! I want to get the actually distance of this. This was an uphill barbed wire crawl in rocks and mud. More rocks them mud I think. I have scratches everywhere. Thank God I was wearing a shirt! Just when you thought you were at the top there was another stretch. There were a few ravines of water to go through as well. Knowing that the finish line was right there made it a lot easier!
- After the Barbed Wire Crawl I told myself take 30 seconds to recoup. I did not want to trip or fall into logs on fire lol. They were not that high and I jumped over with ease…
- There are a few dudes with Pugil sticks trying to knock you down before the finish line. On some of the videos I have seen people really get hit hard with this, so I was trying to not get knocked out or tripped up. I ran at them with medium speed and jumped over the guy on the lefts pugil stick and knocked the other one with my arm instead of my head
The FINISH LINE
- Ahhhhhh the finish line. I crossed and was awarded a metal. The lady told me I was awesome and I whole heatedly agreed Some lady handed me a banana, some guys gave me a t-shirt, there was Chocolate coconut water I chugged, then some Gaspari nutrition drink, then some body armor drink, then I ate my banana and some water. Then I wanted to yack lol. They cut off my time chip and tossed it into the box to reveal later that I had finished in 3 Hours & 33 Minutes. Not bad! I was originally thinking about 2 hours maybe a little more, but who knew I was going to hike up and down Mt Creek half a dozen times
It was an awesome experience and was great to see Ken and Mike at the finish. It was also good to see Bill finish up as well. He didn’t even train!! Crazy man, but he did it. Craig finished up as well and we started packing it up. Mike would later find out his ankle was broke. We get em next year bro!!
We showered off at the hosing station and hobbled to the car. The soreness was setting in. We started our drive, got some food and got home! I was ridiculously hungry that night and the next day! I ate what I wanted lol
As of today, Monday I am still pretty sore, but my ankles are really what is bothering me. Pretty much anything I do hurts with them, so I will have to wait and see how they heal up. I am going to take the next few days off and see how I feel before I start up again. I will go for a massage tomorrow or Wednesday as well
What to train for next
Here are some pics of us at the event. Maybe next time I’ll carry my water proof handheld.