Spartan Race Minnesota Sprint
OTG Spartans took on the Minnesota Spartan Race Sprint which was held at Welch Village Ski Resort on June 25th. It was a special weekend which consisted of Ryan’s friend Marc’s birthday festivities as well as Courtney, Ryan, Caleb Bryant, and Dave Lippe completing the Spartan Race Sprint in the morning. The race site was about an hour from Richfield (where we were staying) and the temperature for the day was forecasted to be in the 90’s with evening thunderstorms.
The four of us woke up early and got in a nutrient dense breakfast and hydrated for the race ahead of us. Loaded into the car and our spirits were high as we drove the hour to the race. The drive there was deceiving as the terrain was mostly flat with some rolling hills. We were still about 6-10 miles away and it still appeared to be mostly flat, but it wasn’t until we were only 2-3 miles away when we started to go downhill. We went down some pretty steep hills and then arrived at the resort. Upon pulling into the resort we were welcomed by the sight of what looked like the start of the race which was pretty much straight up the mountain. Nerves kicked in a little as we all got geared up and ready for our 10:00am start time. The sun was hot and we could tell it was going to be a little longer of a race than we expected.
We all got registered, got our hydration packs full of water, and did some stretching and warming up
before out heat started. 10am heat was called and we got into the corral and got ready to run this race.
The first initial 1/4 mile was straight up the mountain. Quads were burning and calves were screaming as we made our way up. The combination of heat and elevation change made this race one of the hardest we have competed in. There was a total of 1,377 feet of elevation change from the start to the finish.
Some of the obstacles that gave some of the team a hard time was the Multi-bar obstacle which requires a ton of grip and upper body strength. Moving from rings, to a baseball attached to a rope, back to rings, then to a steel pipe, and then across a horizontal bar and then back to rings before ringing the bell. Ryan was the only one from the team who was able to complete the obstacle.
Another new sight on the course was the 285 foot barbed wire crawl. The wire was about 18 inches from the ground and it was all really wet mud. Started out by doing a very low army crawl pulling myself through the mud with my arms until the barbed wire got a little lower and then had to switch to rolling. There were a few spots during the crawl where the wire was so low that I had to lift it with my hands as I rolled under it. From that point on in the race we would all be covered in mud as there were very few other spots where we would be immersed in water to get rinsed off.
Next obstacle that really tested our grit was the bucket brigade. It consisted of filling a bucket up with gravel and carrying it UP the mountain and then back down. Wrapping my arms around the bucket and gripping one hand on my opposite wrist is the method I usually take so I can keep the bucket as close to me as possible. This carry was no joke, I had to set the bucket down over a dozen times. One tip that I have learned from previous races is to never put the bucket completely down on the ground. If you need to set it down, lunge forward and put the bucket on your thigh as you rest with your back knee on the ground. As you go to get back up, lunge off the front leg and lift the bucket, this will prevent you from having to bend over and pretty much deadlift it off the ground. Due to some injuries and light-headedness not everyone was able to complete this daunting task.
The race was an excellent team building event, we all stayed together really well and helped motivate one another one someone would get tired or down. We overcame the heat and elevation and crossed the finish line as a team.
After the race at the Spartan SGX rig they were holding different challenges and one that was starting was a rope climb challenge. You had 1 minute to complete as many rope climbs as you can while doing one burpee every time you come down the rope. There were only a handful of participants that had signed up so Courtney and Ryan both signed up for a chance to win a free race. The first male participant completed 9 climbs in 1 minute which set the bar pretty high for the men. Ryan was able to do 5 climbs before his hands just couldn’t handle any more. Courtney was the female winner with 4 climbs and she won a free race entry to any race in the country.
This race was a good indication of what the Vermont Beast is going to be like come September. OTG Spartans have another race in Indiana in 2 weeks which will be more great training for Vermont.