This was the second time I've tried a Spartan race and with a new venue I was looking forward to attempting to be as Spartan as I could be for a day. I am not the smallest or fittest of individuals, but I love challenging myself and Spartan races are challenging. This one took place on some ski slopes. Now I know you're thinking... "You're in Indiana, how bad can a ski slope there be?". It was intense! 1800 feet net elevation. That was plenty for me, especially when you throw in the obstacles.
So first piece of advice for running a Spartan race... sign up as a team! Having people to help you through obstacles is absolutely wonderful. Going into the race I was on a team of 8, so I knew when I hit the 7 or 8 foot walls and couldn't just scoot on up and over, I'd have people to throw me over. But here's the absolute best part of the Spartan experience... your teammates aren't the only ones that want to see you succeed; EVERYONE is out there to make sure EVERYONE finishes. There were a few women I don't know that were there to help me over some of the early obstacles. Just after the halfway point, a woman eating those amazing energy beans offered me half of her bag of them! I owe that woman my post-race beer!! Of course in that moment everyone is helping everyone and I gave some of my gift beans to my teammates, but that boost of energy helped me to climb that dang mountain (used loosely) for the (I don't know, I'd lost track by this point) 4th time! And at the end of the race as i was climbing the slip wall and was close to making it over but needed a little help. Sure enough there was one of my teammates along with a complete stranger telling me to grab their hands so I could make it over the very last bit of the course. The entire race people were there helping, supporting, and encouraging one another. And for those few hours I was able to forget how terrible the world has been lately. In those moments I was able to see the good and I can't begin to tell you how refreshing that was. So as I'm still recovering from the bumps and bruises I've earned from the race, I hope that I never recover from the mindset of the race. AROO!