I know that we should always look forward in life since we can’t go back in time, but this was a defining moment in my life, and has most definitely changed my path for my future.
I remember the day I saw Spartan Races on Facebook. I thought, this looks fun and posted a comment on their page to bring it to Indiana — they replied to my comment “come to the Midwest Super”. I remember someone liking my comment — I often wonder if it was one of my now close teammates from Corn Fed Spartan Group.
Who are these Corn Fed Spartans you ask…well, this is THE GROUP and THE REASON that Indiana got a Spartan Race! I hooked up with them early on and signed the petition to get this race here! I forwarded to my friends to sign, and then I kind of lost track of the group. It was over-whelming — getting so many notifications from people I didn’t even know — I turned the push notifications off and checked in to see when the race was officially a go. That day finally came.
I signed up to do this with 3 other girlfriends. We have all done mud runs before, so we felt pretty confident going into this. Besides, all of these mud/obstacle races claim to be the toughest, most challenging. So this was just another fun race with the girls….right?
Let’s remember how unusually warm it was all week– 70’s and just beautiful all the way up until Friday night…and the temperature DROPPED, and I mean dropped!!!
Then….one of our teammates is a firefighter, and the firefighter convention was in town….at 4:30 in the morning, she texts and says she is stuck downtown and she is going to bail….(her loss!)
The 3 of us who were left met up to drive together — we were in an early wave, I believe the one right after the competitive wave. It is COLD, as in the weather
-was-definitely-going-to-be-a-factor-cold. But we kept our spirits up–because we are fun, pumped up chicks!! I remember hopping around with a big grin — sometimes I think I am a human pogo stick lol! Well, we caught the attention of Andy (yes, THE Andy–but we didn’t know who he was at he time) — I remember him telling us to do the Midwest Super and use “Andy” for 50% off– most of us remember how that turned out– they had to turn it off because too many people knew about it lol!!
Back to this race….we checked in, we got our packets and were a little shocked with the printed statement “you may die”….. Utt ohhh…what have we gotten ourselves into?
We didn’t poke around much, just went to the starting Corrall to hopefully be around more people and more body heat. As we look around, we start to realize that people take this really seriously — some dressed in full spartan gear. All I can do is continue to human pogo to keep warm and shake off the nerves.
Now this is the part where my memory will not remember every detail of every obstacle in the order they happened, but I can hit the highlights.
I remember yelling I AM SPARTAN a few times and then a cannon blasted–I mean a real cannon….loud…we were off — not too fast as there was a muddy pit right at the start–nothing like starting out with wet shoes on a cold day (I really don’t think I would have it any other way).
There was a rope climb– we had to stop and wait a minute, but at least there were some boards to help me up– rang the bell, and felt a great sense of confidence building. Down I went and waited for my girls to finish… We were on our way! I know we ran down a hill jumped over fire into a mud pit– I came out pretty wet and cold, but I did it!!
I know we ran up and down hills, I remember my hands feeling unable to clench or move for that matter. I also remember continuing to have a big grin on my face. We carried a log….up and down and up and down and up and….well, you get it. We ran up big hills and down and up and down– we ran up and down extremely dangerous loose rocked ravines — I believe one was called the devils backbone (if that gives you any indication).
As we kept running these crazy motocross trails, we are sometimes the only people around– weird, eerie… But then an obstacle such as a cargo net is in front of us, and all of a sudden there are men out of nowhere helping to anchor the net so we can get over. The camaraderie in this race was an amazing thing to be a part of. Strangers seemed to come out of nowhere to help…it happened time and time again.
So we have already heard the cannon go off a second time — an hour in– this race should be almost over……then, the barbed wire. Brand new shiny barbed wire and LOTS of it–must have been on special at the hardware store 😉
We start crawling……and crawling …and pulling…. And rolling,…ahhh , finally, a mud pit (any one’s guess on the depth–they were all different) getting in, easy — out on the other hand, well, required a hand — muddy slickness everywhere. Once we got out and over a mud hill, we discovered a dirty little secret — more barbed wire! This went on and on…. Barbed wire, mud pit, mud hill, repeat….Then we hear the 3rd cannon– we were an hour and a half in, freezing cold, covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire, and I got the giggles– I could not stop laughing. It all seemed so absurd, and I was loving every minute of it!!
Needless to say, we finally got thru what seemed to be a mile of barbed wire and mud pits! I remember crossing a creek on a tree–there were shorter trees, and then the tree that someone yelled, “Spartans run across this tree” — challenge accepted! It was really bouncy in the middle, but I made it (almost broke into a little Dirty Dancing).
I know there was a second rope climb in the middle of some woods– I did not want to do 30 burpees — thankfully again, some awesome strangers lifted me as I pulled with all my energy to get to the top — I RANG THAT BELL– high fives all around as my girls did the burpees and then on we went.
At this point it really gets blurry as to what happened when ( I really wish I had written this right away, but not sure I would have gotten it straight then either). I remember coming to a lake and we had to cross — we had to do this two different times– some people opted for the burpee penalty– I decided what the heck, I’m already wet and muddy so I just jumped right in- it actually felt very warm– it later occurs to me I was probably close to hypothermia.
More log carrying and running…. More hills and frozen fingers…jumping across pits..we finally came to the end. All we had to do was cross two high logs. We helped each other over the first — at the second (and finish line) we watched a fellow Spartan go down with a crack of a bone — I went back into pogo mode as I heard the crack and saw him in such pain. My friends walked under the last obstacle — I just stood there — I was not giving up– I was not quitting! I pulled myself together, had one of my friends come back to help boost me up, and I got over …. Finished!!
I now understand when they say “you will know at the finish line”
I finished right around 2 hours and I am ok with that. I didn’t give up, I didn’t complain, I loved every minute, and I am hopelessly addicted!!!
I AM SPARTAN!
Please note that immediately after this race was over, I went back to find my Corn Fed Friends and see what they were saying about this raw and epic race….I have been very involved ever since! I have met a bunch of my teammates thru different events this summer, and consider each one of them good friends. We are all different, but tied together by our passion for being slightly crazy and loving pushing our bodies to be the very best they can be! It goes beyond Spartan Races, but that will always be the uniting bond that brought us all together.
WE ARE CORN FED!