Friday, December 16, 2016

Spartan Up For The Holidays

Photos by OHventures and Spartan Race

[Editor's Note: Make it to the end of this entry for details on how to win a FREE Spartan Race entry!]

The Spartan Race was one of the greatest challenges I have ever embarked on, and one that was unforgettable and incredibly fulfilling for the adventurous spirit within me. On May 8, OHventures traveled to Cumberland in Southeast Ohio with my high school friends Matt & Anthony to tackle all of the mud, obstacles, and burpees that make up the grueling course. I had previously run the Spartan Race in October 2014 with my brother Curt, but that was coupled with hail, snow, and a ton of unexpected twists and turns.

Showing off our finisher medals!

Our Spartan Sprint in May was a chance to redeem myself. Having nicer weather and a shorter course were certainly contributing factors. But, also a better understanding of what to expect, coupled with proper training and a great mindset, were the true reasons why this stab at the Spartan Race was a better success (plus the parking debacle that we dealt with last year was fixed - for the most part - this year).

Map of the Spartan Race Ohio from May 2016

For those that don't know, the Spartan Race is not just one event, but several events that you can mix and match. As mentioned, we chose the Spartan Sprint, which is the shortest distance offered in Ohio (the next highest is Spartan Super followed by the Spartan Beast). Just because it was the shortest did not mean it was easy! It was 6 miles, with over 1,000 feet of total climb in elevation (which was probably the most challenging part, since there were many steep hills that were caked in mud.We found ourselves grabbing roots and trees to claw our way to the top of these massive walls of dirt). In all, the course took us about 2.5 hours to complete (see map above for more detail).

The finish line of the Spartan Race Ohio

Some highlights of the course include:
  • The Javelin Throw: None of us successfully completed the javelin throw, but that's because you only get one chance! We all got pretty close, but alas we had to take the 30-burpee penalty.
  • The Rope Climb: I was so proud to have climbed the rope near the end of the course. I really didn't think I had it in me, but because of the support of my friends cheering me on, I gave it my all and made it up to the top of the muddy, 25-foot tall rope (which had NO knots to help me in my climb)
  • Sandbag Carry: I was absolutely drained by the time I reached this task. We had to heave a giant sandbag onto our shoulders and carry it for what seemed like an eternity! You can see in the photo below just how miserable it was. But it was a sign of strength being able to get through this!
  • Barbed Wire: This is a classic! We had to army crawl underneath a series of barbed wire. But, this honestly has to have been the longest barbed wire obstacle I have ever seen. It stretched for so long and it seemed like it would never end! Definitely got beat up on this one, but it was fun, in a weird way.
  • Fire Jump: Who DOESN'T love this part of the Spartan Race?! With the finish line in sight, me and my buddies leaped over the flames lining the course, and ran to victory (see photos above and below)!

We were so thrilled to finish the Spartan Race, we were all talking about someday tackling the BEAST! But first, we enjoyed a cold beer and a ton of celebrating!

So why am I bringing up the Spartan Race now, in December, when it happened months ago? For starters, it is one of my favorite events of 2016, and this is a time to look back on the year as it comes to a close. BUT, also, I am bringing it up because there are a ton of big things happening with Spartan Race in 2017!

For starters, there will be brand new medals, which you can see in the medal reveal video below!


There are also brand new "Open" and "Elite" Season Passes available for the 2017 season, which allow you to run again and again at as many venues you want - all for one easy price. So, not only do you get to Spartan Up in Ohio (May 20, 2017), but you can visit any other place in the US! You might want to consider some of the early races in 2017 that are fast approaching: So Cal (Jan. 28-29), Houston (Mar. 11), Atlanta (Mar. 18), Las Vegas (Mar. 18), and Arizona (Feb. 25-26)!

There are loads of new obstacles coming your way in 2017, including things like The Ape Hanger, Thigh Master, and Stairway to Sparta! So you will never be without a challenge, even if you are a seasoned Spartan! 

And to prepare yourself for next year, be sure to tune in on  to the 2016 Reebok Spartan Race World Championship, Christmas Day on NBC, 5:00 PM EST.

Now that you made it this far, it's time to offer all readers of OHventures a chance to win a FREE entry to ANY 2017 Spartan Race (in the US)! Here's how: just go on Twitter and Tweet to @OHventures between now and Christmas Day with the hashtag #SpartanUpOH and a reason why you want to tackle this challenge! Everyone who does this will be entered to win a free entry and will be contacted via Twitter on Christmas Day at Noon! 

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