Towards the end of 2016 I decided I wanted to push myself to its psychical limits but I wasn’t sure how I would go about doing this. So I decided that I would do an obstacle race, one of the most challenging ones as well. The spartan race was the pick, I didn’t quite understand the culture around obstacle racing, it was long distance running whilst completely various obstacles along the course.
I decided that to not die on the course I would actually have to train appropriately for the course. What entails being a spartan? All I knew about Spartans was what Gerald Butler and Brad Pitt had shown me in the movies. Ok, to be fair, I knew that they were the best warriors of their time. So was my training to now look like a warrior’s ?
Nervously, I signed up for the race and joined the forum with other fellow racers. Once a week, some of the elites of the competition would upload training videos, hints and tips of how to ensure we were preparing for certain obstacles (racers don’t know for exact what they will face in terms of obstacles, so previous obstacles are an indication).
My training was well underway, a 10-week intense program of vigorous things that pushed my body to its limits. I didn’t even think I would be ready, how does one even prepare for something like this, it’s difficult to actually prepare for the unknown. Yet I was giving it a go, I watched footage of former races, followed the elites through their training and watched and read the forum.
On the morning of Saturday the 6th of May, I was ready to face the course in the Picton Valleys, the nerves was high, it would either make me or break me (trust me when I say this, by break I mean both physical and mental).
My heat was announced over the PA, there I was standing shoulder to shoulder with my fellow Spartans, the announcer stated that we were Spartan and that we stick together and help each other. We cried our war cry “AAROO” and the sirens went off and so it began.
The first kilometre down I was already covered in mud, soaked in freezing cold water, climbed a fair few hills and gone through a few obstacles, surprisingly enough my fellow competitors were cheering me on. Half way through the course, I have to admit I was dying, it seemed as though this course wasn’t coming to an end. Would I need a stretcher to get home? The sandbag hill came, I had to carry 40kgs sandbag on my back up a 40% incline hill for just over ½ a kilometres and then back down. I was ready to give up, my had cuts from thorn bushes, I was exhausted my body couldn’t push anymore. My brain at this stage could be my best friend or my worst enemy. I told myself I could do it, the weight went on my back and it literally could have pushed me into the ground but it didn’t so I started my climb.