The Spartan experience by Sarah
It had been in my calendar for some time and as the day got closer I found myself wondering how on earth I had been roped in to taking part.
Sarah's Race Report: Spartan, London Allianz Stadium, 17th May 2015
It had been in my calendar for some time and as the day got closer I found myself wondering how on earth I had been roped in to taking part. Looking at videos on you tube and seeing snippets of the obstacles at other Spartan events did little to make me feel any better about it.
When Martin, the Fundraising manager of Dreams Come True arrived to pick me up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning, I can safely say I was not feeling my freshest.
The early start was soon forgotten about as conversation turned to the race, what types of obstacles we would face, how muddy it would be and whether or not we would be electrocuted! The excitement and anticipation only grew when, upon entering the car park we caught site of some very high ropes and pyramids we would need to climb!
The registration process was simple and quick and we were issued with our regulation Spartan headbands – which do not work too well with a fringe, as Claire our volunteer co-ordinator found out!
Before long, and after a brief warm up – which consisted of jogging along a piece of athletics track from the London 2012 games we were stood on the start line of our first ever Spartan Race. Following a lot of shouting (which is customary) and several AROO’s the horn sounded and we were off.
The first obstacle we came to was easy enough – a simple over and under affair, followed by crawling under a camouflage net and a small wall to get over. After this, the obstacles started to become more regular and more difficult. From carrying buckets of water and tyres to crawling under barbed wire (it’s not hard if you roll!) We had to endure monkey bars – which is something I have never been able to do before but got half way and Claire also excelled herself at this task. The only downside is, if you are unable to complete an obstacle the organisers make you do 30 ‘burpees’ – a ridiculous exercise involving press ups and jumping.
Next came carrying heavy stones, lifting weights with a pulley and then the dreaded rope climb. The fourth member of our team, Dreams Come True volunteer, Josh had the most success at this and almost reached the top. However it took him over a mile to recover from it. We then entered the stadium for the last 6 obstacles which included, carrying sand bags up and down the stadium seating, climbing over (more) walls, throwing a spear (I was utterly terrible at that) and some traverser climbing walls.
The final obstacle brought us to the finishing straight which we sprinted towards as a team (although Josh piped us to the post…Just!)
We were rewarded with a great t-shirt and an awesome medal as well as a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction at completing such a tough challenge.
Would I do it again? Definitely. My advice for anyone thinking of taking part – give it a go, the obstacles are much more achievable than you think they will be, the atmosphere is fun and friendly and there are three distances to choose from, we did the Sprint which is around 5k in length – not that we had the energy to run very much of that!