This Saturday was my first Stadium Sprint of the 2017 year. Being that I’m a Yankees fan, it always feels weird hanging out at that “other” NY teams stadium. But Stadium Sprints are always fun races that I like to be at. There’s no mud or water obstacles, and since you’re just running on concrete, most people just wear road running shoes. Also since most of them are less than four miles, they’re a popular race to do multiple laps.
Last year when I did this race it took me an hour and 18 minutes. So my goal this year was under an hour. My start time was 7:30 am for the competitive wave. So I left the house around 4:30 with my brother. It was drizzling and cool, so I was wearing a hoodie and running pants over my race gear. However, by the time we got to the stadium, it was actually coming down a decent amount. I quickly realized I may have been unprepared, clothing wise, for this race. Decided I was still going to “Rock” the sleeveless UA shirt, but I was going to keep the running pants on. Plus they had great pockets to put my gloves in to keep them dry, which I knew I would need.
Got to the starting block and I was ready to race. Stadium races send 15 racers every 60 seconds so it keeps congestion down among some of the tight stadium confines. Took off at the front of the pack and felt really good through the first couple sets of stairs. Got to the cargo climb, and ran up it quickly. Slipped on the way up but was able to keep myself from falling down. At the top the wind seemed to really pick up and the cargo was swaying. But I got over the other side and kept it moving.
More and more stairs, then we were outside for a couple obstacles. 8 foot wall then a 6 foot wall. No issues just very slippery. Z-Walls was a little tricky cause of being soaked. Just took my time, didn’t rush, maintained 3 points of contact always. Atlas carry next. The carry was much lighter then the one at NJ. Picked it up, walked it to the other side, 5 burpees in the rain, then brought it back.
Spear throw followed. Not usually a good obstacle for me, I’m throwing it at like a 30% make rate in races. But today the spear flew true and stuck in the middle of the target. Making that felt really good, as I now felt like I was going to have a great race!
Stairs, stairs, and more stairs. Sandbag carry followed. Usually not much of an issue, but the slippery footing had me feeling very tentative. Basically walked the whole thing up and down the stairs. Was glad when that was over so I could start running again.
After another series of stairs, the Herc Hoist was up. If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you know I’ve struggled with this obstacle. The stadium race has no fence wall for the Hoist, so I couldn’t use it as leverage like I usually do. However I was able to power the Hoist up, much to my surprise. Not sure if the weight was lower then previous races, or if my arms were just feeling really good! But whatever it was I was happy with the outcome.
Down another stairwell then outside for some jump rope with a thick rope. Monkey bars to follow. Looking at the bars, they were all soaked. Saw several guys slipping off almost immediately. But I pulled out my dry gloves, and started to swing. Wasn’t going to get brave today, I was doing a 1 1 combination on the bars, keeping the swinging to a minimum to prevent slipping. The dry gloves definitely paid off as I was able to move through the monkey bars despite all the rain. The bell was a decent swing away, but I made sure I got to it and hit it with authority.
Now I’m pumped! I know there’s not much left in the race obstacle wise and so far I’ve done 0 penalty burpees. More running through the stadium, some push-ups in the locker room, then I’m back outside for the final obstacles. I could see the rope climb ominously in front of me. I slowed to a walk as I put my gloves back on in preparation. Picked out a rope on the end as the guy next to me flies up his rope. Gave him an AROO, then grabbed my rope. Could feel the water on the rope. Thought to myself I’ll use my legs some more. Big jump up the rope to start, and my grip felt really good. Made another climb and I just kept going. Never actually ended up using my legs, I just tried to get up it as fast as possible. Rang that bell, and now I knew I was about to have a perfect race with no penalty burpees. Ran to the box jump for my 30 box jumps. Calves were hating me but I pushed through it. Pushed through the Gladiator Gauntlet and claimed my Finisher medal!
Went back to registration to sign up for another lap. Unfortunately they were sold out and weren’t offering additional laps. So that was very disappointing as I wanted to do the race again and have a little fun with it. Also was a little disappointed that the Stadium medals were exactly the same as last years, with only minor changes. Wish they would have done something different like they did with the “main” Spartan medals.
Hung out at the stadium for awhile but the rain and the wind were not much fun to stand around in. Felt bad for the later racers because the rain definitely came down much harder later in the day. Met a couple IG Spartans and had fun cheering on a few of my friends.