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Sep 9 / Jane

Tri-State Spartan Super 2013

Yesterday I completed my second Spartan Race which was held at Mountain Creek. Today I can barely move, I’m so sore!

It started on Saturday. After work, I made my way to Alex’s hometown after having dinner with my Dad in Hillsborough. I arrived at my in-law’s right before our friends Dan and Issy. Alex had arrived before me via motorcycle (his new toy) and planned a ride again Sunday with his father; which put Martha in charge of shuttling Dan, Issy and I to the race to avoid a $10 parking fee for a 10 minute trip. We spent the evening chatting and working out logistics for Sunday’s race. I enjoyed a glass of wine, stretched out and went to bed early.

Sunday morning we woke for 8am bagels and coffee. We geared up and headed to the South Peak. There, we checked in and headed into the venue. The festival area was smaller than I was expecting, smaller than the Sprint at Blue Mountain and less crowded. This was probably due to a combination of it being Sunday (the less popular racing day, the same race took place the day before), and it being a “Super”. The Spartan Race has 3 distances, the Sprint (3+ miles, 15+ obstacles), the Super (8+ miles, 20+ obstacles) and the Beast (12+ miles, 25+ obstacles). I would assume races become correspondingly less popular as the distance (and difficulty) increases. Additionally, they also become less frequent (there were approx. 30 Sprint’s in the US in 2013 opposed to 9 Beast’s).

The last four obstacles were in view at the finish and off to the south side, the start had you running straight up a black diamond trail. We watched some of the elite (first) heat finishing up and then found a spot to get our race gear on. After affixing our race numbers and timing chips, we checked our bag and headed to the start of the race.

The "before" picture

The “before” picture

Issy was super nervous. They do not publish the routes or obstacles ahead of time, so you really never know what you’re getting into. You don’t know if the race will be 8 miles or 11 miles, it could be 30 obstacles or up and down the mountain 2 or 3 or 6 times, who knows? We’d gotten a little bit of a preview the night before reading Facebook posts but that still didn’t tell us much. From the Sprint in July, I had an idea of the format of the race at least, the terrain is one of the biggest obstacles, and this race was going to be at least 8 miles, and likely less than the 11 miles it was last year. So I was excited, but not really nervous.



At 10:30am they sent us off. Uphill we climbed, a black diamond called “Kamikaze” all the way to Bear Peak, then South Peak, and beyond the boundaries of the park. On the way, we encountered our first obstacle: a set of walls, first one you went under with a net to crawl through after it, then a short wall to jump over. Over and under 3 times and back uphill we went. The next set of walls was the Over, Under, Through set; the same we started with at Blue Mountain. Issy and Dan were ahead of me as I pulled myself up on the wall (6′ tall maybe?), but I couldn’t get my arms straight and Issy saw my struggle, “get your leg over!” she yelled at me. I pulled my leg over the side and swung right over. Duh. And it was downhill from there.

The next obstacle was the swim. Already? Third obstacle and I’m soaked! Either way, the water was refreshing; we swam to a floating dock, climbed up onto the dock and jumped back in on the other side to a beach. Directly after the beach we found the balancing logs we encountered last at Blue Mountain, except this time there were ropes strung between them and we had to jump box-jump style across them. Different, I liked that.

The Spear Throw was next; Dan made it, Issy and I missed. We completed our 30 burpees next to a horse stable with 4 horses looking on. Then we made our way to the tire flip, male and female specific for weight, we flipped one tire two times one direction, then two times back to the start. After that, it was back uphill, not on a trail this time, just steeply up the mountain.

The next section brought us through the old Action Park remains, through the “trenches” as I call them. They are a series of small hills with water on either side, so up and down, up and down, 5-6x. This was followed by a walk through the woods, a water station, and then we came to a 7 foot wall.  I went over first, waiting while Issy hoisted herself up.  She ended up with a charlie horse and had to massage out her leg before making it over.  Ouch!

At the top of Granite Peak, we encountered the Hercules Hoist, which felt so much easier than during the Sprint; and the Tractor Pull, which was longer than the Sprint, but about the same difficulty. After that, we finally got some downhill. All the way from the peak, down a green trail that turned into a blue trail (Osprey, Red Fox, Fox Trail, Charlie’s Run, Doe Run, from what I could tell at least!). At the bottom was the Sand Bag Carry, just up and back down “Doe Run.”

The Sand Bag Carry

The Sand Bag Carry

Then we climbed back uphill and across the mountain. We encountered the 8 foot wall, followed by the Cargo Net. Further downhill was a large inverted wall (leaning towards us). Once we crested that, it was close to 100 meters of Barbed Wire Crawl! I kept getting snagged on my camelback, it was rough: very rocky and low barbed wire. That ended with a pool of mud, and a barrier at water height you had to SWIM under!! Nasty! That was AWFUL!

Barbed Wire Crawl

The Barbed Wire Crawl

After recovering from my muddy swim, we hit the Atlas Lift: a cement block we have to carry from one flag to the next, complete 5 burpees, then put the block back at the first flag. The flags were maybe 20 feet apart? But MAN that block was heavy! And slippery from everyone just having come out of the mud pool.

From there we headed back uphill, slightly, only to slide back downhill on the Slip N Slide, wohoo! The water at the bottom was less clean than I would have preferred, but at least there was soap on the tarp to get us down there. Somehow this made me feel a little more clean, haha.  This is where I left Issy and Dan, the finish was practically in sight! I sprinted downhill to the Rope Climb (yes, at the Finisher Festival!). I knew I wouldn’t make the climb so I didn’t even attempt it. I did my 30 burpees and headed over to the Traverse Wall. AND I made it!  I jumped up on the wall quick and easy and off I went. Impressive!

I rounded the South Peak ski lift and under one final set of barbed wire. Over a Slanted Wall, over the Fire, and through the Gladiators to FINISH!

Spartan Fire

The Fire Jump

The Gladiators

The Gladiators

Well, that was crazy awesome.

I had a banana and waited for Dan and Issy to finish. We cleaned up and took some “after” photos. When Martha picked us up we celebrated at a nearby winery with a tasting and gourmet pizza. YUM! 8 miles and 3 hours later (official time: 3:07:52), I was really feeling great after the race, alert, energized.

And then I woke up this morning. Whoa, soreness. Still, totally ready for the Trifecta next year!

Photo Sep 08, 2 49 17 PM (1)

PS. So I totally couldn’t remember the whole course, yes, it’s been a day. Thankfully, a fellow Spartan posted his experience here.

PPS. While I wrote this post the day after the Spartan, our site was down, so I’m backdating the post, but including images that are available now (10/7) for the full effect!

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