This weekend was the Spartan Sprint in Mechanicsville Maryland. This course was laid out next to the Speedway and speed was definitely the theme of the weekend. Very flat course, only a couple hundred feet of elevation. Nice flat central festival area for spectating.
I was signed up for the 8am Competitive wave. Ended up running 2 more laps for training and fun!
The majority of the running was done in the woods through different trails and dirt roads. When you come out of the woods, then that’s where the obstacles would await you.
Hay walls, overwalls and OUT to start. Twister was the 1st big obstacle. Was pretty nice getting to face this obstacle very early in the race, with fresh arms. Stil saw a lot of people in the competitive wave doing burpees. For me personally I don’t get fancy with Twister. I always start on the ends so I can pull the first handlebar down. Plus it makes it less likely I get bumped by a fellow racer. I take my time on Twister, I don’t rush because that’s how your body weight gets thrown off. I only grab the skinny bars on the transitions, they take less grip strength. Slow and steady, trusting the grip strength.
Herc Hoist was after that. Again kinda nice having it early in the race with fresh arms. Bag felt a little heavier then normal, but not a problem. Then sandbag carry. Was the long black sandbags so I always stretch it across my shoulders. Was a fairly long carry up and around a small hill then back.
Rolling mud was actually sand. Kinda different. Followed by slip wall. It was very dry, early on. Got much worse later in the day. By my 2nd and 3rd lap that wall was covered in wet sandy mud, which made it pretty tricky getting to the top.
Spear throw followed. Had to clean off my hands because they still had sand and mud all over them from the last obstacles. Was able to nail the spear my 1st and 3rd lap, so I was happy with that.
Atlas Carry. Made sure to get in a real low squat before I picked it up. Prevent any back issues. Then up a Cargo frame and towards my nightmare: Bucket Brigade!
The Brigade was long and through the woods. It was the one obstacle I dreaded every lap. Always takes a lot out of me and really slows me down. Something I have to keep working on as it’s one of the things preventing me from finishing with better times.
Multi rig was all rings again, as it is at all Sprints now. Rings were kinda slick but that feels like the norm at most races. The bell was up much higher than normal, you actually had to pull yourself up to ring it. I like that they did that as it added more of a challenge to the obstacle.
Long barbed wire crawl after that. But it was on flat ground with no mud or rocks. So can’t complain too much, just felt like forever.
Inverted wall, then plate drag, then Olympus. Good tough combo. Didn’t have any issues. Over a 6 foot wall and back into the woods. Came out of the woods and into the festival area. Rope climb. Didn’t have any issues with that on my laps. Been using my feet a lot more on my climbs to try to save my arm strength. Plus Spartan loves putting grip obstacles in a row, so I take any chance to save the arms from getting worn out.
Monkey bars right at the finish line. Lots of ups and downs. Really had to get momentum going on my swings. The bars were a little wet from the few so I took my time to make sure my hands were secure on each bar.
Had a great run in the competitive heat. Actually finished with my best place of the year, 16th in my age group out of 56. Was really pumped about that, especially going into Killington next week.
I really liked that Spartan seems to be getting more diligent about the Competitive heat. Saw multiple judges throughout my competitive heats on Saturday and Sunday. Plus they were checking buckets at the bucket carry and making people take 2nd laps if the bucket wasn’t full when they brought it back. Glad to see that, because that has been an issue in previous races this year.
Overall this was a great race venue. I would definitely recommend to a newbie Spartan as it’s harder then a Stadium race, but since it had almost no elevation, it felt more like a trail run.