Virtual Spartan

Back in 2015 I did my first Spartan Race. After that I did a couple of Savage Races but I haven’t done much else lately. It’s difficult for me to find a weekend where I can spend a whole day traveling to a race event.

Since the CoViD ’19 outbreak has caused so many changes in the world there are now more opportunities to take part in the Obstacle Course Race Community. I don’t know if it’s just me but my Facebook feed has been full of different virtual race event the past few months.

At first I wasn’t interested in them because most of the ones I was seeing required GPS tracking for the distance. I don’t have a good area for running where I live so I use an elliptical machine for “running.”

Since I had done the Spartan in 2015 I am on their e-mail list so I get daily workout recommendations and information on events.

A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail from them about a virtual race event they were putting on. The last two days of May would be a big competition where everyone could do the required running and exercises and post their times to see how they rank.

I thought it was a pretty cool idea and wanted to try it. I contacted them for clarification on a couple of things and made a print-out sheet of the requirements to check off as I did them.

For the Sprint version of the race, it is a 5K with 20 different exercises. Each exercise was to be done 10 times at some point before, during, or after the 5K.

For the Super version, it is a 10K with an additional 5 exercises. The Beast version is a 21K, or half marathon, and an additional 5 exercises.

They have the option of ordering medals for each race you compete and you can even get a Trifecta if you do all three. At first it seemed like all three needed to be done that one weekend to qualify but when I contacted them they clarified it can be done any time. The weekend event was just a time when a large group would all be doing it.

So the next day I decided to try the Sprint and see how far I could get through it. I took it slow and just like the first Spartan I had done, it ended up being much easier than I was expecting.

The weekend after was when the big event was happening. I really wanted to participate but I didn’t want to just do the Sprint again. I decided that since the Super was just the Sprint with more distance and exercises I would start and if I didn’t think I could finish the Super I would stop at the end of the Sprint.

I was feeling fine in terms of energy when I hit the 5K mark but my feet were killing me. I wasn’t used to that much distance at one time.

I took a few breaks just to rest my feet for about 30 seconds at a time so I could make it through the entire thing. I finally hit the 10K mark and all I had to do was finish the exercises. I ended up finishing everything in just under two hours.

We got an e-mail a couple of days later with a link to the global results. The number one slot for the 10K was a guy who did it in about 25 minutes. The math on that seems a bit off. That’s faster than I had ever seen anyone do a mile run in high school and he also had to do the exercises.

My plan is to do the half marathon Beast race this coming weekend or the next one. Really the only thing holding me back from just going for it is my head. I think of a half marathon as a big thing that people put tons of training into, and I’m not a distance runner.

I’m sure I’ll be able to get through it though. I’m good at pushing myself with sheer stubbornness to finish things like this. I hate saying I gave up, even if I can still say I at least tried.

I’ve already ordered my medals for all three races so not I have a moral obligation to finish them all. I could have easily just ordered them and not done the races but I didn’t want that on my conscience.

I also ordered a Delta Plate to put the medals in. I can put the first two in when I get them but it’s going to look empty without the third one because I won’t add it in until I finish all three.

Another cool thing that came from this virtual event is that I crossed another thing off of my bucket list and as soon as I finish the Beast I can cross of two more.


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