Help! Spartan Race

I’ve done a Tough Mudder, how different could a Spartan Race be?

Very different if you aren’t actually racing/running it.

Yep you read right, but guess what? I still participated, just as a volunteer. And let me tell you it was an eye opener.  Spartan Race makes Tough Mudder look like a walk in the park!

The Differences

Spartan

  1. Is Timed, get through the course and the obstacles as quickly as you can.
  2. You’re in it to win it. (Elite runners race first)
  3. If you fail to complete an obstacle (or skip it) you have to do 30 full burpees (one’s with push ups)
  4. There are 3 distances, Sprint (7km with 15 obstacles), Super (14km & 20 obstacles), Beast/Ultra (21km & 21 obstacles)
  5. At the end of the obstacles you have to get past the Gladiators.

Spartan race Melbourne

Tough Mudder

  1. It’s untimed
  2. You can skip an obstacle if you are not confident or have a fear i.e. heights, water etc.
  3. It’s 20km long with anywhere from 17-21 obstacles
  4. Expect help from random strangers to get you through obstacles
  5. Expect to get electrocuted.

Tough Mudder 2012I’m glad that I volunteered for Spartan Race, I learned loads even though I was standing around for most of the day. The look on peoples faces when I told them they were nearly halfway.  Some where like “YES” others were like “No, you’re kidding right?”

What I learned/observed from Spartan Race

  • Elite/Advanced participants ran in trail/minimalistic/or vibrams.
  • Black seems to be the colour of choice on course.
  • Only a handful of participants were honest with their burpees (I witness some seriously pathetic burpees from one particular woman)
  • Not a huge amount of costumes, but those that did wear costumes you could tell they were having a great time (mostly super hero theme)
  • Saw about 3 participants that wore goggles during the water course. (I thought this was an excellent idea for those that wear contacts)
  • If you are not confident in the water DON’T GET IN. One guy nearly drowned and nearly drowned the lifeguard too.  Know your limits (and do your burpees).
  • Saw some women with makeup caked on.  Seriously?! Why bother?
  • Lunch is supplied.  However bring your own food and cold/hot drinks.  Also if you have any dietary needs, provide your own lunch.
  • If you aren’t sure you are going to race that day, take a race credit and race at another event.

Once I was relieved from my post (at about 2.30, over an hour what it was suppose to be), I got to have a bit of a tour of the course, and some of the obstacles (see the photo’s I took above), and quite a few of the obstacles are a lot harder than Tough Mudder. That being said, I like a challenge and I’m still going to do Spartan Race, I’m taking my race credit to do the race next year, I would have done it on the day, but I hadn’t trained for it, and I knew it was a lot different from Tough Mudder. I also had to drive 2 hours back home and didn’t want to fall asleep at the wheel.

Overall I had a great time, and look forward to doing this in May 2014

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Have you ever volunteered for a race?  If so what was your experience?
Have you ever done a Mud run? Did you enjoy it? 
If you haven’t done a mud run, why not?

Footnotes

1 – A lot of volunteers, ran in the morning and then went home, and never did their afternoon shift, which is why I got stuck at my obstacle for so long, as they hadn’t had anyone to replace me. Personally I think this is really rude.  It tells me they just wanted to do it for free, which makes me really angry, and it’s unfair and and insult on the people that organise the event and the other honest volunteers.