After a series of really tough Blue Mountain races, I was looking forward to getting a small “break” by doing the stadium race at Washington Nationals park. My last stadium race had been a wet and slippery mess since it poured the whole day, so when I saw no rain in the forecast I knew I should have a good race.
However Mother Nature always like throwing a wrench in my plans. The week leading up to the race, the temperature was in the 90s and the humidity was thick! Walking a block or two lead to a lot of sweat, so I knew I was in for a test Saturday.
Stayed about 10 minutes from the hotel the night before. Woke up around 5 am, had a small breakfast since it’s a shorter race. My race gear was just regular workout gear and brooks launch 4 running shoes. Wanted to keep it light and simple.
Could feel the heat already being an issue. Got lined up around 8am. They started us at the bottom of a concourse. Starting Spartan chant and then we were off in groups of 15. Up 2 levels then bungee cord wires to crawl under. They weren’t very low so I was able to basically crawl on all fours underneath them. However, since they weren’t the typical barbed wire, other racers were rushing through and the Bungee cords were snapping back. So I stayed low so I didn’t get smacked in the face. Also my calves were really burning after about 3 sections. Think the total was about 6 concourse levels of cords and I was moving pretty slow near the end. Going to have to work on doing long crawls. Not a typical workout move for me.
Up and down stairs. Over a wall. Then up and down more stairs. The theme for most stadium races. Plus most of the stadium obstacles aren’t “obstacles” more of exercises. The jump rope was the first up. 20 reps. Rubber cord around your ankles then jumping rope with a thick battle rope. Harder than it sounds. Especially after all the stairs.
Over a short wall, then more bungee cords. Ugh!! 2 more levels. Not liking it very much but it’s something that really challenged me. Up 2 concourse levels, then MORE BUNGEE CORDS! This time out in the sun. Calves were burning at this point. People standing around with hands on their hip, breathing heavy. Didn’t stop though, wasn’t moving fast, but I kept going.
Finally at the top, then over another wall. Back up and down the stairs. Stairs stairs and more stairs. Back in the stadium and the roller skates were next. Feet on the skates, hands down in a plank position. Crawl to the orange line, then pick it up and bring it back. No problem.
More stairs, then down a couple levels, and we’re outside! Spear throw. Last 2 races I’ve nailed it. Been using a different technique and it’s paid off. Planting with my left foot and throwing with a swinging hip motion from the right. Worked again at this race, made it pretty close to the center of the target. Was hanging downwards but I was off as soon as it stuck.
Up and over 3 short military walls. Then box jumps. 20 of them. Not a lot of fun especially since they only had 2 setups to jump onto so I had to stand around and wait a minute for a spot to free up.
Up several staircase, back into the stadium, then more stairs. Into the concourse to grab a sandbag then back out into the stadium to run with it. Fairly long carry but not too bad. Mostly carried it on my neck so I could run with it. But when going down the stairs I carried it in front of me so I didn’t lose my balance.
Dropped off my sandbag then kept going. Over a high wall then more stairs of course. Got stuck behind a group moving fairly slow which is one of the issues with stadium races. Tight quarters make it hard to pass. Finally saw an opening and I took it. Into the stadium and the Z wall. Normally not an issue and since it was nice and dry this one wasn’t either. Rang the bell then ran down some ramps.
Into the bottom of the stadium and entered the locker rooms. 20 push-ups. No problem. Continued on into the water jug carry. 2 water jugs about 40 lbs each. Carried them down a couple flights of stairs, then had to drop them. The sun was beaming on this section, no shade. Arms were pretty tired and so were my legs. Trying to swallow air but it was hard to breathe. Kept moving along but not at a fast pace. Had to drop the jugs several times. Lost a lot of the momentum I had going and even got passed by people I had passed earlier. Wasn’t feeling good, felt a little light headed. Got some encouragement from swallow Spartans and pushed through. Finally dropped the jugs off and got some much needed water. Dumped half of my cup on me and continued on.
Atlas carry next. Picked it up, dropped it off, 10 burpees this time, then carried it back. Think the 10 burpees was because I was racing competitive. It’s normally 5. Arms were pretty tired at this point. Multi rig up next. About 8 rings then 2 ropes with baseballs on the ends. The rings were very slippery from sweat so I had to grip them very tightly. The FitFour gloves I wear helped a lot as well. Got near the end and I could feel myself losing my grip. Knew I wouldn’t make the last transition. So I grabbed the baseball and swung as far as I could, skipping the 2nd baseball and reaching for the bell. Just hit it by the edge of my finger!
Herc Hoist was next. Had to pause for 30 seconds to try to catch my breath and recover. Planted my feet in the fence and started pulling. Got the sandbags up with no issue, then brought them slowly back down.
More stairs. Now we’re running through the bottom sections of seating. Through a couple sections and now we’re onto the field! Climbed over the cargo frame. 20 slam balls up next. Finished that then all that was left was the rope climb. Arms were exhausted but I knew this was the last obstacle. Didn’t want to fail this. Gave myself about 30 seconds, then started the ascent. My gloves helped a lot, was able to pull myself up and ring that bell using just my arms. Terrible strategy but it worked. Dropped down, ran through the gauntlet, and received my Finisher medal.
This race was a lot tougher then I thought it would be, mainly because of the elements. The bungee cord crawls really tested me, and the humidity had me gassed by the middle of the race, which was surprising for me because I’ve run races that were much farther and harder with less issues. Just goes to show how much the elements can mess with our systems. I had debated doing a 2nd lap, but it had gotten so hot by the end of the race, that I decided to pass. I wanted to finish the race around 45 minutes but I missed that goal by 12 mins. Not too bothered by that because the humidity wrecked havoc on me. I know what I need to work on for next time.
Thanks again for reading and I look forward to any comments or questions! AROO!! 🤡👍🏽👍🏽