Archive - 2012

1
Indiana Spartan Sprint by Stacie Preston
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Indiana Spartan Sprint Review and Race Recap by Jeff Cain
3
Spartan Woman On The Horizon

Indiana Spartan Sprint by Stacie Preston

Indiana Spartan Sprint

By Stacie Preston

MEMO: Stacie was one of my Indiana HH teammates and was a very strong person throughout.  Thank you for allowing us to post this on our blog site, Stacie.  As always everyone, remember to visit her blog for recaps and a little of everything at http://www.ummmwhynot.blogspot.com/

 

ImageWell now that I’ve got the Spartan bug, it was time for my second race. Knowing that I was already registered for the Death Race, I started to wonder if I should treat the race as a training day and carry a pack or run the race twice. I knew that I would participate in the Hurricane Heat (HH) because that was my favorite part of the previous race. I was thrilled to find out that it would be the night before especial

ly since I was camping at the site. No hot shower in waiting for me this time. Also knew that I was traveling alone to the race…..maybe making it harder for myself wasn’t the smartest idea. I do have to drive home the same day as racing. 

I drove up the afternoon of the HH and left plenty of time to get there and set up my tent, etc. Upon arrival, I quickly realized unloading my stuff, setting up the tent, and getting ready at a leisurely rate wouldn’t go as planned. They say to drop your camping gear in one spot, drive a quarter mile to park, walk back to where the gear is, and then walk another 5-10 minutes down a dirt road to the camping. Doesn’t sound horrible except I didn’t pack for that type of camping. I was all set to unload my huge cooler, tent, sleeping bag, backpack, couple bags of food and drinks, and pad, and…and…and…..! Well now I had to decide on what I actually needed at the tent. Everything else I would be trekking back to the Jeep multiple times. I quickly realized I need to work on my packing skills.

 

ImageFinally I get everything set and change for the HH. Standing there I see Hobie Call. Sad I know, but I was in awe. He is such an inspiration and amazing watching him perform and now I’m standing next to him. Tommy and Todd come walking down the path and tell us all to split into equal teams of 16. I’m standing next to this really tall guy with a bright red Corn Fed t-shirt on. I jump on his team. Much easier knowing I can quickly pick out one of my teammates. Teams are formed quickly and I realize hey, Hobie’s on my team! Nice! Let’s get to it. I went into the weekend wanting to focus on me and enjoy every minute of it. Trying to remember that I have a much bigger race ahead and to learn from all of it. The HH was a blast. Did a bit of running, a whole lot of jumping jacks, burpees of course, carrying logs, climbing ropes, “powdered donuts”and an all-around awesome time. I can tell you I enjoyed every second with a smile on my face! Really! Even the camera guy started questioning my sanity why I was still smiling after siting in water that smelled like poo and it being 40 degrees outside. What can I say? Lost my sanity I guess.

 

ImageAt one point each person was told to grab a water jug and form a line with their teams. We were told that each team had to get all their jugs to a point about 100 yards away. The kicker is that you couldn’t move if you were holding a jug. They wanted us form a line and pass the jugs. Our team decided to roll the water jugs. You should have seen the leader’s faces. Not how they had planned. The other teams followed us. Luck was on our side because the other teams all busted a jug. We didn’t! They all had to do burpees or another task that they were told to do. We quickly decided that punishment wasn’t worth it. We passed the jugs one the way back. Why add to our burpee count? I’m sure more were to come.

 

 ImageAt another point we were told to take our shoes off and throw them in the ATV. I said ummm….why not? Quickly we realized we were going to have to chase them down. Off the ATV went with us running behind. Didn’t feel too good, but hey I learned a lesson. Tie my shoes together if I’m ever put in the same situation again. Much easier to find both shoes when searching a pile of shoes. Mental Note! The rest of the night was a huge mix of holding planks on rocks, sitting in more water, being quite cold, and ended with a Hobie sandwich! Loved every second!

I opted out of the cold water hose being offered to me at 10pm knowing I was volunteering at 7am. Headed back to my tent and wiped down with my jug of water and baby wipes. Looking back I should have taken that jug I carried around instead of carrying my jug from my car. Mental note #2 added! Use Spartan’s tasks and equipment for my benefit, not theirs. Ha!

The next day was perfect! Woke up after about 2 hours of sleep (mental note #3 don’t put a slippery sleeping bag on a slippery pad on a slippery tent=no sleep). Helped park a few thousand cars which was entertainment alone. Charge admission for that next time. Watching these little sedans go off roading was great! Couldn’t help laughing. Ab workout….check! Around noon I went to get changed and get ready for the race. I didn’t know anyone in my heat, but ended up pairing with a great guy about 1/3 way through the course. We paced each other, pushed each other when needed, and pulled each other through barbed wire. 

 

ImageHad a great time. Learned that I can push myself farther than I ever realized. I learned that I find enjoyment in places others consider torture. I learned that I am much stronger than I give myself credit and that running these races alone is never an option. There are always people that will help you along the way. Find someone, team up, and blow the competition out of the water. Aroooo

Posted 13th May by Stacie Preston

Indiana Spartan Sprint Review and Race Recap by Jeff Cain

By Jeff Cain

Memo: This is a blog post by Jeff Cain, a guy I had the privilege of meeting at the Midwest 2011 Spartan Race.  Below is account of what it was like for him at the first ever Spartan Race “Founder’s Race!”  Make sure you follow him on his blog site, http://onmywaytosparta.com for all of his tips, training, and race advice as well as his recaps of how the race went through his eyes.  Thank you, Jeff, for allowing us to post this on our site.

If anyone needed an indication of what the 2012 Indiana Spartan Sprint was going to be like, the drive on to the race site should have been the first clue.  It was 7:30 a.m. when we drove out to rural Indiana, up a decent-sized hill (for Indiana), and on to the Haspin Acres property.  The sky was a cold grey, almost as cold as the chilly 40 degrees in which we would soon be racing.  The parking lot was a big bulldozed field of packed mud. Nothing fancy here.  Just like the promotions for this race, everything about the race site said “RAW”.  I looked back  on some of my emails regarding the race and this excerpt summed it up very well.

“When the founders got together this year and discussed the “corn fed” Spartans of Indiana demanding a race, they said ok lets give them what they want…a pure, no holds barred, brutal founders race. We decided that once a year we will pick a location that our athletes demand and bring the old school style racing back like we used to hold in 431 BC. Don’t expect glamour, fancy tents, cheerleaders, or anything that is found in today’s society. This race is focused on breaking you in under 2 hours. You will scream “mercy” on this 3 plus mile course.”

The fact that this race even came into existence is a testament to sheer effort of  two of my best Spartan Racing friends, Jonathan Nolan and Nathan Deavers (and of course their significant others Laura Anglin and Mary Deavers who permitted it)!  Jon and Nathan, along with a few others they recruited, not only generated the interest in this race, but also helped design and build an extremely challenging course.

I ran in the first heat of the day at 9:00 a.m.  I’m not sure it should have even been called a “heat” because there was none in existence.  The customary jumping/dancing around pre-race served more than just getting rid of the jitters, it was necessary to keep from freezing.  A cannon, yes a real cannon, that shook the earth with a really loud cannon boom signalled the start of the race.  The elites had an extra special beginning as we were directed away from the regular course route to a neck high “dip” in the pond.  I had lined up near the front of the pack, so as I was making my way back out of the pond I was met with a thundering herd of racers coming toward me.  It was like I was running against a herd of migrating wildebeests!  I’ve said before that I go inside my own head when I race and thankfully this held true again.  I knew I was cold, but I honestly did not feel the cold during the race.  As usual, I can’t recall the specific route of the race, so I’m just going to recount the obstacles to the best of my ability.  If I forget something or go out of sequence, then….it really doesn’t matter.

One of the first challenges was packing small logs up and over several series of undulating hills.  This made me think back to some of my training with my log and I wished I had done more.  There was a rope climb up the deck of a building followed by a run through the darkened crawl space of said building.  I remember vividly the first ascent up a fairly long, fairly steep rocky slope.  I remember it because it was the first point in the race where some racers had slowed from a run to a trudge.  At this point, I was doing really well.  I had passed several people and was probably within 10 to 15 people of the leader.  That was until we ran up a small hill to a pond.  I heard the race volunteers shouting to swim across and use the ropes if you got in trouble.   The next thing I heard was “if you can’t swim, then don’t even attempt it.  Do 30 burpees.”  Fabulous!! (that was sarcasm).  Swimming obstacles kill my performance times.  I suppose if I could overcome a fear of drowning and actually become a decent swimmer that this wouldn’t be the case.  However, that wasn’t happening at the time, so I went to the side and started my burpees.  It seemed like for each burpee, another racer got in front of me.  That included all those individuals I had just passed to get to the front of the pack.  I’m guessing that I lost 25 positions because of the burpee penalty.

If the burpees that taxed my energy were not enough to wreck my performance, then the next “incident” really did.  There were a series of short muddy berms and mudholes to traverse.  As I was making my way through them, I made a bad decision on foot placement.  What I thought was packed mud was most definitely not!  My left foot went shin deep.  When I pulled it out I left something very important behind — my shoe!  When my socked foot hit the next mud pit, I quickly turned around to find my shoe.  I caught a glimpse of a rapidly closing hole in the mud.  I thrust my hand down it and fortunately grabbed my shoe.  At this point, my socked foot was covered in mud and I wasn’t even sure I still had a sock on.  I made my way to the next mud hole and begain feverishly trying to clear the thick goo from the shoe so that I could get my foot back in.  After about 30 seconds of this and another 20 or so people passing me I was finally able to get it back on and struggle through the process of tying it.  This made me angry because it was my own doing.  I must have not done my usual pre-race tightening of the shoe and I attribute some of that to the cold.  Finally, I was back on the path and thinking to myself that I had just ruined any chance of a great finish in this race.  I did my best to shake it off and run the rest of the race as fast as I could.

What else did the race consist of?  Lots and lots and lots of muddy undulations.  It seemed as if the entire race was running up a muddy embankment and back down another.  The X-talons were great again.  There were several hill climbs that had ropes from the top so that people could actually get up them.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that I didn’t need them and started making my way back toward the front.  There were no “fancy” obstacles in this race, just elements of the earth used to the course’s advantage.  In addition to all the hills, there were dozens of water/mud holes about 4 feet deep dug throughout the course.  These were accompanied with a muddy hill either before or after the holes and they taxed the energy levels trying to get out and over.  I heard of several people that needed assistance getting out of them.  At times I struggled to climb out.  On one of them, I made the leap over the hole and heard the volunteer exclaim “Wow! You made it!”  For reasons unbenknownst to me, I then immediately fell BACKWARDS into the mud hole with a big splash and took a mouthful of that nasty muddy water.  I came out of it with one of those sounds you make when you’re unexpectedly doused with cold water!

I was going along pretty good and blitzed across the log crossing over the muddy chasm.  Then another problem.  I lost the path.  Not just me, but about 10 other guys.  The volunteer wasn’t any help and we spent a minute or so going back and forth trying to find out which way to go.  Another minute lost and 7 or 8 more people that caught up with me.  More muddy hills.  More log carries up and down muddy hills.  The cargo net, which is usually pretty easy was even more challenging as usual because it was not taut.  There was a second rope climb.  I’m still mad about failing this obstacle in AZ and I made sure it didn’t happen this time.  The 2 guys in front of me failed, but I went up with a couple of slips.  Just when I thought I was in danger of failing again, I resolved not to quit and made it.  Thank goodness!  There was the customary barbed wire crawl.  I should say crawlSSSSS.  After each crawl there were more mud holes and berm crossings followed by another crawl.  Just when I thought I was through the barbed wire crawl obstacle, there was another!  I’m not even sure how many there were, but I’m sure that my knees and elbows are scratched and bruised today because of them.

Jeff struggling at the finishAs far as running goes, there couldn’t have been more than a quarter mile of the 4.3 miles that was on even and stable ground.  The entire race was very technical, including some rather long and very rocky ascents/descents.  I was thankful to make it through those quickly without a race-impacting injury.  I’m sure I left some things out, but the final stretch of the race was up a hill, around a pond and then a 20 yard crossing through a shallow part of it.  Coming out of the pond, we had to grab a log and carry it down the path and back.  I picked up the first log I saw and then heard the volunteer say for guys to get the big logs and girls to get the smaller ones.  I had picked up a smaller one.  I turned around, dropped it and picked up the first big log I saw.  That log was unfortunately the biggest of the bunch and had to weigh in excess of 80 pounds.  I made the loop and was ready for the sprint to the end except now my legs and upper body was spent.  The last two obstacles were new ones and consisted of a jump up and over a log suspended about 6 feet high crossing the course.  It took me 2 attempts to get over that one.  One more to go.  The last one was higher and thicker.  I made it up on the first try, but then struggled like a sick monkey for what seemed like ages to get over it.  April videoed it and trust me, it wasn’t pretty.  If I ever think of myself as an athlete, then that video will dispel the myth!!  The landing on the other side was the end of the race.  Done!  Wow!  What a fabulous race!

That's not a cape!I received my medal, gave up my timing chip, and then came out of my head to the realization that I was freezing!  I grabbed a metallic thermal sheet and went looking for my girls.  April was getting ready to run in the next heat.  She did great by the way and I’m thinking she needs to start racing in the elite heats!  I spent the next 30 minutes trying to clean off and get some warm dry clothes on.  This post has gone on and on, so I’m going to wrap it up now.  My little girl raced in the Kids Race and this edition was fabulous as it consisted of a 1 mile run over a part of the course where the adults carried logs.  The kids just ran the course and had a couple of smaller obstacles thrown in.  My little one ran really well.  She started at the back of the pack, but passed SEVERAL other kids along the way.  The family had completed another Spartan Day and it was joyous!  I got to renew acquaintances with “old” friends and make introductions to new ones.  My Spartan community continues to grow and I cherish dearly the friendships made at these races.

My 2 Spartan Race GirlsHow did I do?  Considering the swimming penalty, the lost shoe, and the lost path, I guess I would say pretty good.  Remove two of those issues and I would have improved my standing greatly.  As it stands, I finished 40th out of 188 in the elite heat and 3rd in my age range with a time of 1:09:24.  I’m not sure if the overall results are official, but as of now, it looks like I finished 79th out of 2259, still 3rd in my age range.

Epilogue:  It’s the day after the race and I’m scratched, nicked, torn, bruised, sore, and unfortunately sick.  However, I wouldn’t trade that experience.

Spartan Woman On The Horizon

Image         My name is Laura Mattingly Anglin.  I am a 31 year old woman.  I am a mother of two young sons, Lucas who is 5, and Ethan who is 1, and I have never put them in daycare.  I want to raise them, and be their sole care taker. I also work 2 part time jobs.   One as a hair colorist/cutter, and the other as a child care worker for the YMCA.  I am divorced from my oldest son’s father, and engaged to my youngest son’s father.  I am very over weight, and tired a lot.  Everything I have just informed you about is what I have let define me for the past 10 years.   Although these things are facts, I have found that they in no way, shape or form truly tell you who I am as a person.    

        I have found that it is easy to hide under baby weight.  It is easy to keep yourself busy with the children and everything they want and need.  But, what about what I want and need?  I did not recognize myself when I looked in the mirror.  Not only, that but I had lost my sense of fashion.

  I constantly wore elastic, and hid under big baggy clothes.  Most importantly, I had lost my inner athlete.  I grew up very active, playing sports, and loved being on the lake.  I had let myself become a lazy, always lethargically tired woman, and I was miserable, therefore making everyone else around me miserable.  Something had to change. Queue Spartan Race! 

        On April 21st, 2012, I attempted to do my first race of any kind, the Indiana Spartan Founder’s Race.  My fiancé, who is the Spartan Race Indiana Manager, had signed me up behind my back.  I was furious, but had laughed it off thinking that he was crazy, and that he knew that there was no way that I would really actually have to do this.  I was in no shape to attempt to walk 5 miles, let alone run an insane obstacle course race!  Honestly, running with my overly large breasts, is an obstacle in itself!  Bottom line, I did not take the sign up seriously.  April 21st came, and I found myself at the Starting line, dancing to Katie Perry’s, Part of me, being blasted by DJ/Emcee Billy Gotti!  I really Identified with the song, and felt empowered by the music, yet naive to what lay ahead, then the cannon boomed!   Fear set in, then heavy breathing, then the thoughts OMG over and over.  I was cussing my fiancé Jonathan left and right, and bitched and moaned, and was on the verge of crying until I fell down a rocky steep area called The 

Devils Backbone.  Paramedics were called, and they wouldn’t let me go on.  Tears streamed down my face, and then it happened.  EPIPHANY.  In that moment, I realized that all along, I had really wanted to do this, and to ultimately finish.  I later went to the ER, and it turned out that I had a hairline fracture.  I did not finish the Indiana Race.  An array of feelings flowed through me as I recovered over the next six weeks.  At the end of my six weeks, my fiancé had signed me up for two other obstacle races that paled in comparison to a Spartan.  I was mad, but then I knew that I had been craving a finisher’s medal, and the feeling of accomplishment that would come along with it!  

       I can now say that I have completed two Obstacle Course Races.  The Mudstash, and The Hero Rush.  I feel good, and like I have found myself again!  I now use my YMCA membership, and do group exercise classes daily.  I am also inspired to eat healthier, and I journal my food, and exercise daily on myfitnesspal.com.  Such amazing accountability.  I have lost 11 pounds in the past 6 weeks which is an added bonus.  My goal is to lose 75 more.   I realize now that my sons deserve a mother with a happy, humble, positive, and actively spirited nature.  Besides, they love going to childwatch at the YMCA to play while Mommy gets her time, so it’s a win win situation!

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      Biggest lesson I have learned is that as a woman, and as a mother, I owe it to myself and to my children, to role model a happy and healthy well rounded lifestyle.  I want them to look back, and remember mommy chasing and nailing them with a super soaker, while playing tag!  Life truly is short, and it feels shorter when you have growing babies that turn into ornery little boys, that then turn into mischievous “too cool for school” teenager dudes who will never want to hang out with Mom! 

      Thank you for reading about me and my journey on the road to living an active, happy and healthy lifestyle!  At the end of this road, I see a Spartan Woman on the horizon, and she is me.  

                                                  I dedicate this to Spartan Race, and my fiancé Jonathan Nolan.  He had faith in me, and it didn’t matter that I was a size 20, weighing 225 pounds.  He saw a strong woman and a Spartan Race finisher…………………….well now, when I look into the mirror, I see her to, and I WILL KNOW WHAT I’M MADE OF AT THE FINISH. 

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