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My Road to The Death Race Entry 3
Why I am a Spartan! By Denise Haley-Hall
Corn Fed Spartans

My Road to The Death Race Entry 3

Day 23Sitting down and doing this after my run allows me to think about my day and what I have went through physically and mentally.  I had 6 miles to think about my day which took me 50:51 (still over my goal time of 45).  This was, by far, was the best Christmas I have ever have.  It started with us waking up and  having Lucas walk Ethan out to all the presents with him saying “wow” every 5 seconds!  It was a big joy to hear the boys so happy and eager to open their gifts.  Laura, who had to have makeup and be all prettied up for pictures (I have to admit, pretty beautiful), made us all open our gifts first with her waiting till the end.  We had a great morning and enjoyed the company of each other and had a lot of fun.

We knew that my mother was going to visit us for Christmas, which was quite a surprise because of the relationship I have with her.  A few weeks ago, she had a major heart attack (blew out her coronary artery) which had a 50% mortality rate.  Up until this point, she has really missed out on her grandson’s life ( he is almost 2) and maybe this has given her some perspective on what is important.  I was happy that she came over and actually got on the floor and visited with him, interacted with him, because he sat down right beside her and did so well with her.  Let’s hope for change….

Anyway, this was my day in my mind as I ran.  My life, much like the people reading this, has had a lot of downs, curves, disappointments, people telling me I can not do this or that, and the Death Race is my middle finger……go ahead and doubt me, call me crazy, ignore me, tell me I don’t matter…..but, just remember who you are because when I finish the Death Race, you can look in the mirror and STFU!!  I remember Joe DeSena, one of the founders of the Death Race say that this race was just like life in that is always threw you curve balls and you never know what to expect.  If that is the case, then the opposite should be true as well.  Life is just like the Death Race….and I have been preparing for this my whole life.

Why I am a Spartan! By Denise Haley-Hall

I hadn’t worked out for 20 years. And this spring, I decided I was tired of it all! So I begged a friend to let me lift weights and workout with him. Between our schedules, we were sporadically working out once a week or so. When I started, I couldn’t lift the bench press bar alone off the rack. I couldn’t run one town block.

This sporadic workout regime kept me going through the summer, and even though I didn’t do enough I did see some small results.

I planned to do a few Warrior Dashes, and those dates passed me by, obligations got in the way. Then along came Month of Denise (what I call the celebration of my birthday month). It’s the month where I focus on doing things FOR ME, and focus on what makes me happy each day. Kind of finding the good in each day… Anyway, I decided that this should be the month that I do my warrior dash! Then I looked again and realized it was 4 and a half hours away. A friend told me about the Midwest Spartan Sprint, and said “it’s just like the warrior dash, only it’s an hour away, same day!” We signed up about 10 days before the race, maybe 12 lol.

SO I signed up, and coaxed my friend into doing it with me by telling her it’s just like a warrior dash!! Oops was I wrong. I did a little more research, and wondered what in the world I’d gotten myself into! I still wasn’t working out more than once a week, I wasn’t hardly running, and I sure couldn’t climb a rope or do a burpee!

But we signed up, we showed up, and we did not give up! And the more I looked at Spartan Race, the more I realized I’d stumbled upon an awesome group. People who weren’t in this for the business, but were in it to improve people’s lives!

I still don’t run much, I do workout more, but I am a Spartan! I am strong. I will never quit. I will always continue to try to make myself a better person.

My knees no longer ache, I don’t get winded playing with my kid, and I can wave to someone without the back of my arm waving back ;). Small steps perhaps, but definitely steps in the right direction.

~Denise Hall

Corn Fed Spartans

My journey began prior to the weekend of October 14-16, 2011. It actually began in the middle of July when I started working out at the Parkview YMCA. After a workout one day, I came home and checked Facebook while I finished my protein shake. As always, the annoying little advertisements lined the right side of my page. Except this time, I noticed something that instantly motivated me, the Spartan Race logo. I clicked the link and my world opened up to a completely new meaning of living. I made my way to spartanrace.com and could not watch the movies enough. I signed up for the Midwest Spartan Sprint and impatiently awaited the time to come. I scoured all the Facebook pages associated with Spartan Race and talked about it with everyone I worked with and went to school with at Ivy Tech. I made several friends before I even met them and there was a family created out of the comradery we each showed each other. About a week and half before the race, Spartan Race unveiled the first Hurricane Heat at night, a chance to meet and run with the Spartan Race founders, Joe Desena and Andy Weinberg. That night, there was no timing or competition, but unity and teammates to rely on. It was all about team, sitting in cold, nasty water doing flutter kicks to doing “snow”angels in the sloppy, wet, and cold Midwest mud. As I am writing this even now, a euphoric feeling comes over me, the kind I have never felt before. Even though our Spartan clan was out there for over four hours that night, I am sure we would all still be out there if Spartan Race would let us. All I remember was that the eggs we had to take care of while we were out there the whole night were the best cared for eggs. I could go on and on about the Hurricane Heat and all its experiences I was able to receive from it.
The 9AM time is the competitive heat, which starts all runners, followed by up to 250 runners every half hour. With a force of 309 strong starting the day off in the first heat, we set out to conquer what we thought was a 3.2 mile, 10-12 obstacle, insane, and punishing course. Climbing ropes, dragging bricks, monster monkey bars, deep stinky water, spear throw, barbed wire crawl, and enough mud to make every pig happy in the USA. What Spartan Race did not think of, nature and its insane environment did. I made it through while helping people along in 46th place out of 3800+. The best part was after I was done and watching the Spartan warriors at the end giving the racers a hard time just to make the racers earn the finish line that much more. Joe Desena asked me if I wanted to give one of the warriors a break. Before he finished, I hopped the fence and was there, a spot I felt I was my destiny. My racer determination earlier turned into a fierce defender of OUR finish line. I can tell you one thing, I would not have wanted to go up against me with the way I felt doing that.
It is what I have just explained that gives me the drive to keep Spartan Race alive in everyone’s mind. I, along with several other people, am attempting to bring a Spartan Race to Indiana. Joe Desena has said himself that if our Facebook group CORN FED SPARTANS can get 1000+ people interested in a race in Indiana, the race will be on the 2012 schedule. This is Indiana and the Midwest’s chance to show our power and who we really are, the heartland. Please, join us at Corn Fed Spartans at http://www.facebook.com/groups/131852773585737/ and become a part of something that we can all call our own. With your help, we can get our first Indiana Spartan Race and become Spartans. I leave you with the code every Spartan knows:
• A Spartan pushes their mind and body to their limits.
• A Spartan masters their emotions.
• A Spartan learns continuously.
• A Spartan gives generously.
• A Spartan leads.
• A Spartan stands up for what they believe in, no matter the cost.
• A Spartan knows their flaws as well as they know their strengths.
• A Spartan proves themselves through actions, not words.
• A Spartan lives every day as if it were their last.

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