WoW. What. A. Total. Blast.
The camaraderie, the effort, the surprising myself going around and blasting through all the obstacles. Some with more style than others (let’s not talk about that first wall just yet). It was so much fun.
The Twickenham Spartan Stadion on 23rd November 2019 was the first in the UK and my first run in this type of events.
I went into this with little to no prep, a huge amount of support from an Elite athlete friend, who just did a full on one in Sweden, with her tips and whatever fitness level I have. I’m just about getting into half marathon training, my upper body strength training has been limited to say the least. The only other thing I’ve ever felt so unprepared for was childbirth.
Anyhow, OCRs are on the list of “things to do… one day” but I never really planned anything to make it happen. When my business associate and dear friend Davey G sent me a text pointing this race out; I made sure the kids could be looked after for the day and just went for it.
Fast forward 5 days later, race day. Nerves took over for a moment after registration, and I got a bit lost and panicky. I’m so grateful for the Usana crew, who sponsor Spartan races worldwide for being there. By the time I got to the start line, it was sheer excitement! The adrenaline buzz took over. Seconds later, I was adopted by an amazing team from around Wirral.
After the safety briefing, we had the hilarious pep talk by Spartan Phil and off we went running up these wet steps.
A few obstacles along the way such as little hurdles, slam balls (feels kind of cheating as a woman you only get the small ones), jump box (not my favourite but your allowed to step) and then my first point of concern: multi rig. I tried three times and didn’t get much beyond half way. Burpees it was. Followed by the monkey bars, where I missed the last one! They widen the spacing, cheeky so and so’s. More burpees. I promise myself to train for the next one. What follows is just good fun. Sandbags (again, the littlest ones for women, easy), some fat jump rope (I don’t like skipping but that’s actually alright), jerrycan carry (only one for women) up and down those steps, z wall and paracord crawl were a bit pointless and then I got my first go at throwing a spear. Aced it first time, yeah me (YouTube video helped, plus last minute brief from teamster).
Onto my favourite bits next, with the rope climb being so excited as last time I did it was in high school if that. Guess what, it’s just like a bike. Well you know not cycling as in the skill is there. I did find that it was pretty high actually, but I had already been up, hit that bell and slid back down before I realised. The cargo frame was fun, I looked forward to giving that a go. It’s huge, I could just fit through these net holes! Then there was that wall incident (OUTs?), anyway, I made it at my second go. Again a cheating weight thing to hoist, another climb through and under wall before a good old run up the tower and around the stadium, more stairs, back down, straight up a 7ft wall (gosh how easy is that now!), not sure of the point of the gauntlet, but still fun, and then… we’re finally here, already! Aww… it’s too short! Anyway up that inverted wall, up over the fire and finish.
What a blast. I didn’t want it to end. This makes you feel so alive. I can’t wait for the next one. I’d happily do this every weekend.
This race was an absolute collection of personal achievements and the best test of my health condition, a true testament to the Usana lifestyle, I feel a truly optimised human being.
Just one thing… the next weekend runs might feel a little boring after that.