Spartan Sprint 2014 – Georgia

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I enjoy “mud runs.”  They remind me of the way I used to play when I was a kid.  Only, I never quite played like this.  Mud runs can be the ultimate playground, but they aren’t always depending on the organizer.

The Georgia Spartan Sprint, aside from Reebok’s backing, was extremely well built and staffed.  Of course, it should be well hosted, as it’s not an inexpensive outing after admission, insurance, parking, and baggage storage fees.  Oh, and spectator fees as well.  Sheesh.   That said, it was a pleasant surprise not to have to pay for photos they took at several obstacles.

Still, it was also fun and challenging enough for a moderately in-shape adult to feel a sense of accomplishment the day of and to feel sore the days after.

And, I’ve got to say, It was also fun as daddy/daughter adventure.

The Spartan Sprint was held at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, GA.  It was one of the few beautiful days we’ve had this winter, warm enough and with a cool breeze in the right places.

Parking was organized, but the walk to the event was about a mile.  It shouldn’t be a problem for people about to wear themselves out, right?  Right.  It’s not as much fun afterwards.

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Below is the entrance, which has an “obstacle” – one of the playground type experiences found in the 4.5 mile course – which passes overhead.  The ground was particularly muddy, and appropriate welcome for runners but less welcome to those just watching.

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We arrived just before our wave launched.  Around 200 start every 15 minutes, and 4000 raced that day, plus almost as many the next day.

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One difference in this race was that I was wearing a GoPro video camera that a friend loaned to me for the occasion.  Spectators can make it to a certain number of obstacles, but there’s a lot on the trail that is unobserved.  I’ve posted a YouTube video at the end of this post.  The resolution is significantly compromised when uploaded from what the camera recorded.  However, I was also able to retrieve some pictures from the video. 

One obstacle was carrying perhaps a 30 lb. bag of sand a few hundred yards.  The “spring” is still a measure of endurance, and it’s moments like the below that inspire a “yes, I can” attitude.  The fellow is a double leg amputee, doing the course on his hands.  The two behind him are a support team.  Pretty amazing.

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The Spartan Sprint didn’t give any clues as to what types of obstacles would be included.  You come to expect certain things, like lots of mud.  The hill below, though, was a fun surprise.  There was an option to take a longer path around but... why?

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The view from the top:

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This was another fun one.  Stick the spear in the straw body, and off you go.  We only got one chance, and I nailed the guy in the head.  That doesn’t count, however, so 30 burpees was the penalty.  Ugh.

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Again, bags of sand, this time to be raised on a pulley system.  Maybe 30 lbs; ladies had lighter weights on the opposite side.

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They had quite a number of vertical walls to pass over, from 5’ to 8’.  At least they were sturdy and splinter free.

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The equivalent of rock climbing.  Fail.  More burpees.

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These can be difficult due to wet ropes, slippery boards and grasping the top.

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The park has nice trails, and apparently one of us said something funny.

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And then there’s the mud.  This is muddy, but it’s not the mud finale.

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This is the mud finale.  About 50 yards of little moguls, with plenty of mud in the ditches.  The trench I’m about to enter here was the half way point, though that was not obvious until you went under the spectator bridge. 

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Aha.  50 more yards to go.

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Jump, Jackie, jump!

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Maybe these “gladiator” guys took it easy on her... since she ran around them.  The finish line was just beyond.

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No flying leap picture for me.

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Maybe I should have run around them, too.

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Nothing like crossing the finish line and being handed a banana and a drink.  Maybe after my hands are clean, please?  You can see the muddied over GoPro camera on my chest beside the medal.  It can’t see through mud, surprise surprise.

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After an extremely cold hosing from water from the hydrant system (though in abundant supply), we’re in a hurry to go to the changing tents, which were absolutely filthy, but heated.  All is forgiven.

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Somewhat cleaned up, and ready for the mile hike back to the car.  And a burger.

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Thanks to Brian and Lance for taking pictures!  The full set is posted on Flickr.

And, if you have 30 minutes...

1 comment :

  1. Well, I have to be honest and say I did not watch the whole thing. I was getting vertigo or something similar from watching it. LOL! Loved the hands showing up on the vid as you ran. Kind of reminded me a little of the Lego movie.

    I think you did well using the chest cam. I think a head cam would have been for more jerky. Besides, who doesn't love seeing mud on the lens!

    Congrats to the two of you!

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