After a long trip home yesterday, I'm back from my Spartan weekend in Atlanta. And it was INCREDIBLE! This was my second Spartan Sprint and certainly not my last. It was brutal, inspiring, fun, crazy, hectic, challenging... pretty much any adjective you can think of. Spartan has definitely stepped up their game this year.
We didn't race until 2:30pm on Saturday so by that point, weather was pretty good. Not TERRIBLY chilly thankfully--lower 60's and sunny. We ate lunch at Panera before hand and it was CLUTCH. I went into this year's race thinking it wouldn't be "too" bad since I never remembered feeling super tired after Charlotte last year... yeah. I was wrong.
The race was held at a horse park right outside of Atlanta and it was a killer course. Super hilly--more so than I expected. By the time we got out of the gate, I was pumped and ready to go. I ended up running the entire thing with my co-worker and we killed it. We had a great pace going and only stopped when there was a backlog at some of the obstacles. I won't go into too much detail just because words can't do this race justice. At least not mine. ;) I will say that we literally climbed a cliff (seriously) and that probably the most grueling obstacle of the day was one where you filled a bucket up with gravel and walked straight up this GIGANTIC hill and then back down and around. It was one of those obstacles where you feel pretty darn proud that you made it.
I have to say that I'm super proud of myself and all of the progress I've made in a year's time. I thought I was strong and in good shape last year but I still had trouble with some of the strength obstacles, specifically pulling myself up a wall. This year, you better believe I was hauling butt over those things. And it felt GOOD.
We ended up finishing in around 1:40 which at first, I was a little disappointed with because it was slower than my time last year but then I realized a) this course was a LOT harder than Charlotte and b) there was a bit of a log jam towards the end so we lost some time there.
Out of all the mud / obstacle runs I've done, Spartan is BY FAR my favorite. It's in my opinion the most challenging--it REALLY pushes you to your limits. And not only that, the Spartan community is AWESOME. I can't tell you how many incredible people I met this weekend!
On Sunday, our group volunteered from 6am-7pm (!) and all I can say is that I definitely earned my race entry. It was HARD work--but so very rewarding. I got a chance to motivate and help other racers on the course and it was AWESOME to see people overcoming their fears and accomplishing things they weren't sure they could do. Not only that, the teamwork I saw was incredible.
It's safe to say that I'm hooked and already planning my Trifecta this year.
I know this is kind of a lame race recap but when I say there are no words that can accurately describe my experience, I mean it. It was truly a life changing weekend. I'm sure that sounds corny but when you get with a group of people who share the same passion that you do, it motivates and inspires you to push your limits beyond what you thought was possible. It was the kick in the butt I needed right now. I've felt like I was kind of in a "slump" as of late and just following the same old routine day after day without really "living". I feel alive again and let me tell you--it's a wonderful feeling.
Have you ever done a Spartan or mud/obstacle race?