So I wrote this not yet being a contributor on the webpage, and now that I am I felt like I should reblog. Unfortunately this is a nuts and bolts breakdown of the race and doesn’t highlight the teamwork and camaraderie that comes with the Corn Fed name
Hello everyone, I felt it was time to tell you a little bit about myself and my story of how I came to be a Corn Fed Spartan and a Spartan race finisher. When my family and I lived in Iowa, my boyfriend came to me with suggestion of going to a Spartan race, of course I had never even heard of it before. He and our daughter signed up and as time passed and we got closer to race day the excitement in the family was reaching high levels. When we arrived in Indiana I was asked to drive by the location of the race site, little did I know that this preview drive by would become a ritual for us. The following day Rick began to introduce us to some of the members of Corn Fed. During this race everyone began the race as a group, my daughter & I ran after the group taking as many pictures of everyone as possible, My daughter ran her very first JR Spartan race and received a beautiful medal. Rick finished just in time to watch her run the second lap and finish the race. Watching my family finish these races and I just felt such a pride, one that I had never felt before.
Once we got home and the excitement began to fade I later joined the facebook page of Corn Fed. This way I was be able to upload the many pictures I took at the event. I honestly can say that I did not understand the passion everyone had and the dedication they had to one another. In addition, I thought that the mobile pictures of logs and huge tires was insane. Who keeps a huge log in the car to run around with? This event and those mobile uploads were my initial introduction to both Spartan Race & Corn Fed Spartan – and I absolutely did not get it. As months and events have passed I found myself feeling that I made a mistake and misjudged what I once thought was insanity. I have been to Spartan races in Indiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts… and that is just the beginning. With time, the names on Facebook have turned into faces, which turned into long conversations.I have found myself coming more to the family I have meet through Corn Fed than my life long friends. Our friendships have grown and I feel very lucky that my crazy boyfriend dragged me into this family. Now, I couldn’t imagine my life without them.
I decided along with my boyfriend that we would conquer my first race and his 7th race. Joining us were 4 of our very own Corn Fed Spartans, little did I know they would play such a huge role on this day. On November 17th, 2012 six of us were standing side by side at the starting line at a 100 year old iconic stadium: Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The race started off with 10 burpees followed by a Corn Fed special of 50 jumping jacks. Seconds into the race I realized I was already tired and because of that I did not want to stop. We continued to duck and dodge and jump throughout the stadium. Some of the obstacles I felt were easy , jumping over walls was one of the funnest parts of the race. I am sure I wasn’t graceful but it was one of the few obstacles I was able to do confidently. Some of the other parts of the race were far more difficult then I thought they would be. I was carrying a huge jug of water and very slowly and I made it down the stairs, I placed the water jug down for a moment to take a break. The next thing I knew my teammates were coming back for me cheering me on and a goddess came and grabbed the water jug and walked with me. At that moment, for the very first time I realized what it truly meant to be Corn Fed.
We continued on, as a group and after a stadium of stairs and many obstacles we made it to the sand bag carry. A fellow Spartan helped me put the sand bag on my shoulders and I began the climb up the never ending stairs as I reached the top I felt that I could not go on, I dropped the sand bag and after Rick picked up my sand bag and began walking towards to the bottom I continued to walk, empty handed. Somewhere in the middle my goddess once again appeared, I could barely lift a sand bag onto her shoulders. Somehow we managed and she helped me complete yet another obstacle. We once again continued on, as a group and approached the finish line. My beautiful JR Spartans were waving posters at the finish line reading Corn Fed Cuties! One by one we crossed the finish line & what amazing feeling. The race was pure inspiration, I was supported and cheered on the entire time. Filled with hugs and high fives and my three Jr Spartans cheering us on in the distance with their beautiful posters. This race was pure and honest and it told me everything that I needed to know. First of all, if I want to continue doing spartan races I am going to need to work and work hard. Secondly, with my team – everything is possible.
We gathered to take pictures, first just the ladies, then the six of us. The very next thing I knew my boyfriend was down and one knee holding with a beautiful engagement ring. I was numb and shaking uncontrollably, I saw nothing beyond us both, heard nothing but his voice saying will you marry me? I could not get a sound out yet some how managed to say yes. Never in my life did I ever think I would be proposed to behind home plate in Fenway Park. Never once did I think I would do these insane challenges for fun and it would consume my life. Never did I think I would enjoy the mud, bruises and extreme challenges and crave another after another. This has become a part of our life – we have become Corn Fed and everything it represents and I could never ask for a better, inspirational, insane, honest, dedicated family. Thank you for welcoming us with open arms….
We are home!!!
Soooo… it’s been awhile since I’ve written. What better way to bring me back than one of the most amazing days I’ve had the joy of living so far this life. After a long, long drive… 16ish hours and very little sleep… 4ish hours, so many memories were made.
A group of Cornfed Spartans decided it would be an awesome idea to drive to Boston and run the 1st ever Spartan Race Timed Trial INSIDE Fenway Park. Cool right? You have no idea! At about 6:30am we were able to hear music from the park, which was right across the street from our hotel. As we crowded in the window we could see Spartans running along the walkways and stopping just long enough to pick up huge water jugs to then carry down and back up stairs. I was so excited I could barely contain myself! We met up with the rest of our team and made our way over to Fenway Park. Registration was awesome, gear was killer, the air was alive with excitement. First of all to be able to run a Spartan Race inside a 100 year old Stadium was Epic enough, but to be able to it with some of the greatest people I have ever known brought it to an entirely new level.
Pictures, laughter, anxiety… is my bib on straight? I hate when my bibs not straight! Everyone ready? Wait! I have to pee! In line before we know it and ready to go! No one had any idea what to expect, we were just ready to kill it! At the start… first obstacle? 10 burpees! I love burpees! We got this! I almost lost my teeth at one point during the over / under stretchy cord obstacles that seemed to go on forever! Leave it to me to get my ankle twisted up in 2 of them! We may or may not have mooned each other at one point too. Yup, full moon! There was a water jug carry and of course in Cornfed Style those that finished early went to get their teammate’s jugs to help. We had 6, 7, and 8 foot walls. We ALL made it over. There was running up and down stairs, in between rows, ball slams, hand release pushups, 500 meter row, more burpees, rope climb, herculean hoist, ladders, cargo nets, spear throw, traverse wall, ball throw, 20 pound rope jump rope- yea, that sucked, 60 pound sandbag carry up and down the aisles…which of course no sandbag was left behind, lift and carry heavy shit, more burpees, box jumps… I live for this stuff!!! We had a pretty major injury on a 6 foot wall, but the determination was so fierce to finish and get that Trifecta that there was no stopping! The finish is right around the corner, but first… The Gladiator Pit! I was talking shit and then charged them! Of course, they ignored me and went after my friends. I was hoping they were going to take me out and let my teammates go… wrong!
As we hugged and smiled and posed for pictures we had no idea what was still waiting at the end. We lost a teammate and we were all yelling at him to “Get over here for pictures!” He finally came over and before anyone even realized what happened, he was on one knee, holding up the most beautiful ring to the most beautiful woman, while our Junior Cornfed Spartans stood behind us with the signs that read, “Maribel, Will You Marry Me?” TEARS! I looked up and caught my teammate mirroring my happy tears and it was like time stopped! Of course, she said yes as the announcer yelled out, ” We have a Cornfed proposal!” Words truly cannot capture how perfect everything was at this exact moment!!!!
I have had many pretty cool life experiences, I have made many friends, I have traveled all over the place, I have experienced good and bad… Nothing compares to the love I have for my Cornfed Spartan Family and the experiences we have shared and the memories we have made. The best part? This is just the beginning! Missy, Laura, Sarah, Maribel and Rick… thank you so much for making this race the best one so far! I only hope I have encouraged and motivated you even half as much that you all have me! The rest of my Cornfed Family…. please know, not a day goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am and how truly grateful I am to have each and every one of you in my life! Thank you for welcoming me into your family and running with me, pulling me, pushing me, guiding me and loving me! I can’t wait to see what 2013 holds for us!
By: Kathy Bacon “Muddy Spartan Princess”
What was your first OCR?
What is your next OCR?
Indiana Spartan Sprint 2013
Kathy, please tell us more about yourself.
I have spent most of my life overweight and out of shape. I have dealt with ridicule and name calling, low self-esteem and depression. I battled fear regularly. Fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of injury and anything else that would offer me an excuse to avoid activity and doing new things.
Watching my mom slowly die over the last 10+ years of her life, caused me to open my eyes to my own health. On November 19, 2010, I quit smoking. That was step 1 but I had also developed Hypothyroidism, Type II diabetes, high cholesterol and was headed down a very dangerous road. With encouragement and support from my husband, I joined Anytime Fitness and signed on with a trainer. Thus my journey to health began.
I must admit that in the beginning my training was only half-hearted. I wanted to succeed but I was still dealing with fears. Many times tears would roll and I worried about people watching me. I wanted to quit more times than I can count but thankfully letting me quit was not an option for my trainer or my husband.
I walked my first 5k in September 2011. The very next month, my husband decided to run his first OCR, the Mudstash at Perfect North Slopes. Neither of us had ever heard of them before. It sounded like it would be very physically demanding. I assumed it was a “military type” thing so I decided to not try. I was no where near in shape enough to do anything like that. I wasn’t even running 5ks yet, only walking. However, secretly I longed to be able to do it. This longing left me a bit grouchy that morning but I went as the picture taker and support for my husband. He ran first wave and as he approached the finish line, something inside me said that I needed to be on that course with him.
He kicked back on a grassy hill while I went to get his shower gear. I dropped the bag at his feet, pointed my finger at him and said, “You will never do that alone again! I was afraid but I am not gonna let fear stop me anymore.” OOOPS! Boy did I open a can of worms! His reply, “They are running races all day. I will even run it a second time to run it with you.” Then after running out of excuses, I ran my first OCR that afternoon. Actually, I walked the majority of it but I finished and I had a blast doing it! I was hooked!
Since then I have completed the Georgia Spartan Sprint (with a sprained ankle), the Indiana Founders Spartan Sprint, the Colorado Military Sprint, Warrior Dash, 2 additional Mudstashes and several 5ks. I am currently on an OCR break while hubby is deployed and I am pursuing surgery. I am registered and hope to be cleared by doctor to run the Indiana Spartan Sprint 2013 with Corn Fed AND my Maneating Mamajamas!
I began by telling you how I have spent most of my life being overweight and out of shape. I will end by telling you how that picture is changing. My highest weight was 330 lbs and I am now down to 261 lbs. I am stronger and have more endurance now than I have ever had. I have changed what I eat, how much I eat, when I eat, my workouts and much about my life style. If you want to know more about my journey to health you can check out my blog at muddyspartanprincess.com.
I am very proud of the woman I have become by learning to “Never Let Fear Stop Me.” I am the Muddy Spartan Princess!
Next time you see Kathy on the obstacle course be sure to say hi! We would like to thank Kathy for her time and for sharing a little piece of her story with the rest of us. Keep up the amazing work, Kathy! We’ll see you in Laurel at the next Indiana Spartan Sprint!
I was the first to enter the chapel, half expecting something to jump out and scare us. Fortunately, that did not happen. What was there in its place was John Shue taking a cat nap with our rucks. Hopefully he was not able to sleep comfortably!! He was there to ask six questions, each having to do with a date that was on the sign at the bottom of the hill. At the time, we did not know the consequences for getting one wrong. I got 5 of the 6 wrong…..350 burpees were my penalty. As each one of us entered and exited the chapel, the most anyone got right were 2 by Stefanie. This would have been a great time to give up our tokens, which were earned weeks before by doing challenges. T.J. and Rodrigo did and I might have IF I would not have lost them! 350 burpees later, which may have been an hour or so, I sat down to eat my first Meal Ready to Eat (MRE). I believe all the Burpees caused my stomach to be upset which really made the MRE taste nasty!
T.J. got his burpees done pretty quickly and was off to a huge lead over the rest of us, maybe 30-45 minutes. The rest of us got done and headed down a “bush-whacking” path I can only assume was thought up from Spartan Race’s Ultra Beast. With the leaves littered all over the “path”, it became apparent this was not to be messed with as each step we took always led to us slipping and rocks getting loose under our weight. Finally, a fence to grab a hold of……SHIT, barb wire fence! Not only that, but if you did not have a tetanus shot in the past 10 years, now was a great time to do it! I get a little foggy on where we came out but when we did, we started following trails, at one time passing by T.J., most likely on the next task that we were coming upon. It seemed like the rolling hills got a little higher with a couple steep ones as we came up on the cabin. We had lost Stefanie and Ryan again but were sure they were right behind us.
Richard was there waiting for us with the next task. This time, we were to go back out following a different path up and around till we come back out on the same path we came in on and follow the markers. Our goal was to bring back 15 pounds of orange spray painted rocks and have them weighed. If we did not have the proper weight, we would have to back and do it again. The loop was at least a few miles. With that knowledge in hand, Rodrigo and I headed out to gain some ground on T.J. We were making great time along the trail when all of a sudden it veered off into the woods. They must have thought we loved making our own trails!! As we hit the first raven, we both looked up to see a cluster of fallen trees in OUR raven! So, after a bunch of overs and unders, with all our gear minus the axe, we are at the top of the raven looking around for the markers. This probably frustrated the two of us the most because had we looked around at all, we would have seen the markers shoot off to the left halfway up. Back down, to the right and continue on to the second raven. This time, our eyes were only looking for those damn evasive markers! After doing a few figure eights around some evergreen trees, we arrived at the stones….finally! Since we had our 20 pound sand pill, we used that to judge how many pounds of rocks we needed.
Heading back down, we picked up the pace a little bit so we could try and make up ground on T.J. once again. Arriving back to the cabin, we each took our turns weighing our rocks. Both of us not only got the 15 pounds, but more than doubled what we needed. This is where we learned that Stefanie and Ryan had dropped, with Stef having an IT band issue. I feel I know Stefanie pretty well and Ryan not so much, but they showed what they were made of. Out of 12 that signed up, they were 2 of the 5 that showed up.
Hitting the 15+ pounds of rocks earned us our axe back, which we started using right away. Mine was new until Michael Sandercock decided to pop its wood cherry! Thanks Michael!! We were told to chop 4 logs total, 3 of them however many pieces we wanted, but the 4th into 6 pieces. Those 6 pieces we needed to carry back to the farm along with all of our gear, including axe this time. I shot through the wood chopping pretty quickly and headed out while Rodrigo was still chopping. I walked with Stefanie and Ryan for a little while but knew that I needed to pick up the pace in order to make up for lost time and keep what little lead over Rodrigo that I had.
Making it back to the farm was a welcome relief, at least from walking! As I walked up, I saw T.J. chopping a log roughly 4 foot in length in half. We didn’t know this at the time, but this was Stage 2 which consisted of chopping 3 of those logs in half and splitting them to get at least 12 logs per log. This stage is where I really caught up to T.J. I’ve done some wood splitting in my day all starting when I was in middle school and helped my uncle split wood for his shop. Obviously, the lead didn’t really matter much except for how much rest time we were able to get out of it but I did complete the task only 5-10 minutes behind him. Rodrigo had a tough go, partly because the first log he picked was a nasty one! Rodrigo, I bet you can chop some firewood now! Second MRE eaten and refilled water, ready for anything!
Stage 3 consisted of a team effort, two slosh pipes duct taped together and the three of us had to touch it the entire time. Off we headed, unsure of where or how far we had to go. It was rough going for a while as we were getting used to each other and the height difference made it harder than it needed to be. All of a sudden, we were off the road and going through a field. Not too bad, oh shit, spoke to soon. Up a long hill which didn’t seem to end even though that may have been the slosh pipe talking. We make one last turn to a nice fire with Chad waiting for us. As we get there, put down the pipe, and take our packs off, turn around to Tony giving us a 103 question test…..really!?! And the questions, most of them must have come from a priest or Harvard professor, or maybe it was the brain just malfunctioning… Between nodding off and rubbing my eyes, the test could have accidentally flown into the fire and I would have not minded one bit. With the test done and the fire out, packs on and slosh pipe back in hand, this time with a rope contraption Rodrigo came up with that took a lot of pressure off of the rest of us and stabilized it quite a bit. We made great time back knowing how far we had to go and it was a very uplifting and rewarding stage for us as a team!
Stage 4 was by far my strongest just because of what was involved. At the beginning of the Camp, we were told to line up 9 rocks by size, then 3 sets of 2 tires by size, and 2 75 lb. railroad ties with handles in them not knowing what they would be used for. This, we found out, was the reason. For time, we had to lift the first 4 rocks above our head, the next 3 to our chest, and the last one just a squat. From there, 10 tire flips out and back for the first 2 tires, 5 tire flips out and back for the next 4 tires. Finally, with one railroad tie in each hand, walk down, around a chem light roughly 25 yards out and back to finish our times. T.J. was up first, and I noticed he started quick and was burning out halfway through but still finished with a time of 4:45 (somewhere around there). I was up second and kept a pretty good pace making sure at the tire flips to control how much it wanted to wobble after each flip, which is the reason I think I got 4:15. Rodrigo was flying pretty quickly through until the tire flips when he slowed because of the way the tire flips wobbled so much and ended with a time of 5:21.
In my training, I have included a lot of hill running, which was evident how I was better able to catch people and leave people behind for at least a short while all throughout this camp. So, when stage 5 was revealed to us that it was a 2 mile run, I felt very confident about my abilities. Out to the road we went, waiting for Tony to give us the word, and we were off. T.J. took off and Rodrigo and I pretty much kept up with each other pacing T.J. by about 25 yards or so. My thinking the whole time was at the turnaround, I would turn it up and take care of business. With us getting closer, I see T.J. got there and turned around. Here is the turn, if there was a time, now was the time to do what I need to do…..