LOCATION: Blue Mountain Ski Area, PA
DISTANCE: 5 Mile Obstacle CHALLENGE
Looking for a REAL fitness challenge? Let me be the first to tell you, go ahead and sign up for a Spartan Sprint! No need to go all out on the Super or Beast because the Sprint will work you like you have never been worked before! This is my Blue Mountain Ski Area, PA – Spartan Sprint Race Review!
I’m pretty sure NOTHING can prepare you for the UPHILL battle you face on this race course. I’m far from being in superior fitness shape but I do feel like I’m in GOOD shape. I run marathons, I train daily, I’ve done 9 fitness programs, and every morning I wake I say and believe “I’m in the best shape of my life!”
So, let me give you a little perspective on this particular race. In order to even get to the start line corral, you have to jump over a 5 ft wall. That says A LOT right there! Logistically, they had everything really well planned out. You sign a waiver that states you may get bumps, bruises, and injuries, you get a bib and a headband, and the there is another disclaimer on your packet again reminding you that you may DIE completing this course. << GULP >>
They send you off in waves of 15 minutes and that kept it pretty well spaced out for the duration of the race. My biggest issue… they didn’t have nearly enough water on the course. Typical races have water every 2-3 miles… guess what people, this is far from TYPICAL. They needed water after each obstacle. I think the first station didn’t even come until after mile 2 which was insane to me. Other than that, the volunteers and staff on the course were really encouraging and helpful 95% of the time. It was the other 5% that tried to be tough and tell you to do burpees for every little slip up 🙂
SPARTAN SPRINT RACE REVIEW: COURSE & OBSTACLES
So, lets start from the beginning. I could feel the corral packing in and as soon as we gave our last OOOrah, the stampede went wild. The front half was ALL uphill. I honestly didn’t think it would end. I remember telling my husband that it should have been titled a rock climbing excursion vs a race because there was very few moments of “running” for those first 2 miles. The first few obstacles weren’t bad though.
Here is my list of the HARDEST obstacles during the Spartan Sprint (not sure of the actual names / descriptions included):
5. Sand Bag Rope Pull: It rained a few days prior and those bag honestly felt like they were 100lbs. The worst part was letting them down. You were not allowed to let go or you would be penalized with 30 burpees but it was so heavy it would slide through your hands. LUCKILY, I had gloves but listen… I felt the heat from the rope sliding! I can’t imagine anyone doing that without gloves! << HINT: Where gloves!
4. Horizontal Wall Climb: It’s interesting because in the Savage Race, I flew through this obstacle (known as “Kiss My Walls”) and I’m not sure if it was the placement of blocks or the distance between them but I couldn’t get a grip on the blocks. This was the ONLY one I got penalized for for not completing it. There are four walls to choose from, maybe the first one was the hardest. LOL.
3. 30 ft Rope Climb: Rope climbs scare me. This one was no different. Even with knots about 5 ft apart, I struggled but after making it up, I slipped on my way down and got a nice set of shiners on the inside of my legs. It was the only injury from this course though so I’ll take it.
2. Sandbag Climb: Ugh. Reliving the sandbag climb is hard. Imagine doing it. The elevation and grade of this climb was crazy tough but add a 30lb sandbag and it makes it nearly impossible to walk… forget about running. This course was built to kick you ass, stomp on you, and toss you aside! I found that slow and steady won on this section of the course. I passed so many people who were gasping for air by just taking it one step at a a time and climbing up and up and up! Tough but NOT impossible.
1. Bucket of Rocks: For me, the TOUGHEST obstacle was carrying a bucket (5 lb paint bucket) FULL of rocks UP another grizzly hill IMMEDIATELY after doing the 30ft rope climb. My arms felt like lead and I was terrified of how I would feel trying to hoist that bucket up and around the course. It wasn’t too bad UNTIL they told us that we weren’t allowed to carry it on our shoulders. Talk about awkward. I couldn’t comfortably hold the bucket and climb that hill. It was brutal. But again, slow and steady and we never stopped. Just kept moving until the end!
I remember finally getting to the finish line and thinking “IT’S DONE! IT’S FINALLY DONE!” The funniest part was walking up to the results table. My husband and I were thinking maybe an 1h 45m … we knew it took us a LONG time to run those 5 miles so when we saw 2h 20m all we could do was smile. Maybe that’s because we couldn’t feel any other muscles in our body other than those in our face. LOL!
I got on Facebook and immediately posted that it would be my one and only Spartan.
That was short lived. I will be going for the Trifecta this year. Bring on the Super and Beast baby! Stay tuned for those reviews….
P.S. They have AWESOME medals and great race shirt premiums. LOVED both of them!