Vernon New Jersey Spartan Super/Sprint weekend – 10/27/18 & 10/28/18

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This year has been crazy and unpredictable with the weather. This weekend in New Jersey was no exception. We ended up having a Nor’easter and it down poured all day during the Super on saturday. What made it even worse the wind was blowing at around 30 mph that day, so it made the temperature even colder than the 40 degrees that it was.

Both races were part of the Mountain Series, so these races were important to a lot of people for points. Plus the medals were different.

A lot of people speculated that Spartan would close down the dunk wall and the water obstacles. Well those obstacles actually stayed open till about 12 pm, and they then got were closed. Also parts of the Super course were cutoff at some point due to other issues that were caused by the weather. I wasn’t exactly sure what had happened, but there were several people mentioning that Staff and Volunteers were directing racers off the regular course.

The parking at this course is in several different lots. The only parking on-site is for VIP parking. So if you are in general parking they had several shuttles running to take you back and forth. There were several going and I never waited more than a few minutes for a shuttle ride on saturday or sunday.

Venue

Normally this is one of my favorite venues to be at. This weekend it was kind of a mess though. With the cold temperatures and the rain, everyone was huddled into any area that they could find that was dry and warm. The venue doesn’t allow racers to stay inside, so the outdoor tents had a lot of people in them. Luckily they brought the big merch tent so there was a good deal of cover there. Also they had several fire pits around the venue, even one near the starting corral. That was nice because racers could get warmed up and then hop into their starting heat right after.

After the race, I noticed that the changing tents had a heat generator pumping hot air into them. That was a really nice surprise, as it would have been a pretty painful experience trying to change in those cold temperatures.

Of course because of all this, the spectating was kind of limited. There was a big tent by the last tow obstacles, Herc Hoist and Rope Climb. Besides those obstacles, the only thing the spectators could see from the venue was the start line and the Dunk wall. So not the best weekend for spectators either.

I didn’t even get a chance to get my free beer either day, so I can’t comment on that. Not even sure what the beer choice was. Also I didn’t even see any food vendors, unless I totally missed them. But because of the weather I didn’t hang around much afterwards.

This race was very different then a lot of others I ran this year. I dropped down to Open, because I didn’t feel the risks of trying to compete were worth it in that weather. There were more than the normal cases of injuries, and also hypothermia. I ran in a rain coat on saturday, took my time, and tried to stay as warm as possible.

Volunteers were kind of scarce on the course saturday, but I’m going to assume that’s because of the weather. I think that scared a lot of people off, and I can’t say that I blame them. Racing in that weather seemed like a bad idea, I can only imagine how it would have been standing in one spot for hours.

Also shout out to all the awesome Spartans that took the time to take care of each other on the course. These races are competitive, but no ones health is worth being risked over a medal. I saw a lot of selflessness out there both days, and it made me happy to be a part of the community!

Pros

Despite the bad weather, I feel like Spartan created a good challenging course. They used a lot of the elevation, and really made some of the carries difficult.

Water stations were plentiful, and also there were port a potties on the course. I know that’s something that racers had been requesting in the past.

Again, parking was pretty smooth, and there were lots of shuttles going back and forth. The extra tents were great, as well as the fire pits.

Cons

Too many high fail obstacles at the end! Multi-Rig, Olympus, a water soaked Herc Hoist, and then the Rope Climb. A really brutal gauntlet of obstacles, especially since they were all soaked. Would have been nice if they weren’t all literally right next to each other.

That’s really my only complaint, as I feel a lot of the other issues were weather related and completely out of Spartans hands. Things like lack of volunteers or marshals. I was glad they didn’t cancel the Super, as many of us needed it for our Trifecta goals.

Thanks to Josh Chace for allowing me to use his medal photo as the cover of my blog post.

As always, I appreciate you reading my race review. Please share your comments, questions or opinions! Also if you have ideas about future posts, let me know what you would like to read about! πŸ¦πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

2 comments

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