Tag - Corn Fed

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Midwest Super Spartan 2013. Lilo hits Insane Terrain!
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Starved Rock feeds the soul…my hiking adventure.
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My Road to The Death Race Entry 3
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Why I am a Spartan! By Denise Haley-Hall
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Corn Fed Spartans

Midwest Super Spartan 2013. Lilo hits Insane Terrain!

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The adventures of 3 begin again. It’s Friday night and the car is overflowing with camping gear, race gear, and 3 very excited Corn Feds! Lilo, Stitch, and Puppy are on the road again and heading to Marsailles, IL for the Midwest Super Spartan. 8+ miles of….we don’t know yet but it’s bound to be wicked!

The evening sky was perfect as we headed down the highway. Music was cranked up and we were all singing along and feeling the excitement in the air. This would be the 2nd Spartan race for Stitch and I and the first for Puppy. As much fun as I’ve had at all the races we’ve been in there’s something about a Spartan that takes it to a new level! You know that it’s going to challenge you and you know the intensity will be unlike all other races.

Heading down the highway ready for adventure!

Heading down the highway ready for adventure!

We arrive at the Four Star Campground under a full moon and in our own brand of “full moon fever”. Unable to find a spot in the midst of where our brothers and sisters have set up we find the perfect little hideaway area across the road and begin to set up camp. I admit to being clueless when it comes to setting up tents and the like so I leave that to the guys while playing greeter to the Corn Feds who stop over to visit (and share a sip of some “Apple Pie Potion”). We visited a while and headed into town for a few supplies. Many of the Corn Feds had participated in the Hurricane Heat that evening (a night exploration of the course) and the campground was quiet as everyone rested for the next day.

Bright and early Saturday morning arrives. It’s a perfect day. The weather is just what we want…not too hot not too chilly…and we head over to hang out with our fellow racers at the CFS campsite for a bit before the race.  Corn Fed tattoos are being placed on one another to represent, jerseys are all over with nicknames that fit the wearer, and we are all hyped and ready to go!

Tattoo application in progress!

Tattoo application in progress!Placement is always important!

Placement is always important!

 
Placement is always important!

And so it begins. After registration and visiting at our hospitality tent for a while the 3 of us wander and check things out. Stitch and I decide to be a little crazy and try out a mini ‘Wipeout’ style course that leaves us both winded (and wiped out!) a couple of times!

I think I can I think I can

I think I can I think I can

“Who am I?” “I am a Spartan!” Aroo Aroo Aroo! And we’re off. Within minutes we hit one of the first obstacles; a mud hill climb into mud pits up another hill and down into the mud again. THIS is what we’re here for. The mud, the teamwork as we all help one another, the challenge. This is why we’re all Obstacle Course Racers. This is why we’re Corn Fed Spartans! No matter if there are 10 of us at a race or over 100 as in this one, we are there as a team to help, support, and cheer one another on.

Puppy awaiting the AROOOOOO at the start!

Puppy awaiting the AROOOOOO at the start!

Lilo and Stitch representin'

Lilo and Stitch representin’

The course itself had some great challenges, not only with the built obstacles but also with some of the most wicked terrain I’ve encountered so far. There was muck that some of us sank in up to our hips. It was like quicksand and sucked you back down as you were trying to get out. Having a team with us saved getting stuck for long periods of time! The hills were steep and in come cases the only way to get up them was to dig in with your fingers and toes and just pull. I’m not going to lie, there were times when I was not sure how much I had left in me (after spraining my wrist that was even worse for a short bit) but just when I thought I’d reached that point I would hear someone yell out “Corn Fed” and then we’d all answer back “Corn Fed”. No matter where you were on the course you’d hear that now and then and it would just boost you right back up. Team, family.

Tackling the cargo net...as a TEAM, Corn Fed style!

Tackling the cargo net…as a TEAM, Corn Fed style!

The group we were with was part of the Corn Fed “sweepers” meaning we were there for an extra boost, our group had the cheerleaders and the helpers and carried the CFS flag (which our fabulous team member Dre aka Sweet Junk carried the entire course without the flag ever getting dirty or touching the ground. Kudos to her!). We had a few moments that were a bit nerve wracking including a couple of our team going under water in weighted vests, a few faceplants, and some serious quicksand like mud.  We also had the silly moments of stopping the creeks to lay down and play in the water, finding a random “bus stop” sign that we had to get a photo with, and having a mini picnic on a hill before tackling more of the course. We take the races seriously but we take ourselves with smiles and that’s more important.

Pausing for a group shot...that flag stayed clean!

Pausing for a group shot…that flag stayed clean!

And 7 hours later we linked arms, jumped the fire,  and faced the group of gladiators together as a team, as family and we crossed the finish together all smiling and high fiving as we felt the blue medals around our necks.  Corn Fed!

Gladiators beware we are Corn Fed!

Gladiators beware we are Corn Fed!

I could go on and on but in the usual Lilo sort of style but I’ll leave you with this thought for now…..find something you love to do and do it with people you love to do it with! I’ve been with Corn Fed Spartans for close to a year now and I’ve learned SO much about teamwork and being a family as a team. Kudos to everyone of you out there that is part of this group.  I can’t even begin to thank the individuals who do so much for this team, you know who you are, but I will thank Jonathan Nolan for finding me and adding me and for changing my life in so many ways because of it!

And an added kudos to Four Star Campgrounds for having the BEST campground showers I’ve seen lol! And to the Dirt Runner crew for some crazy terrain that I’ll never forget! (There are hills out there that have my blood, sweat, and tears all seeped in).

Lilo's celebration!

Lilo’s celebration!

Until then….get Muddy and much fun love. Ohana!

Starved Rock feeds the soul…my hiking adventure.

Those who know me have learned I’m always up for an adventure so when my friend, Sara, asked me if I would be interested in joining her for a couple of days hiking in Starved Rock State Park in Illinois I jumped at the chance. I had heard from a few people that it was a beautiful place and since it was just a couple of hours away I didn’t want to miss this.

After working a 12 hour shift I came home, grabbed a bag filled with what amounted to too much clothing as always (hey I may hike and run in the mud but I’m a girly girl and I pack like one!), said goodbye to the furkids and headed out. Sleep be damned, I wanted to hike!

2 hours later after a beautiful drive with perfect skies and surprisingly little traffic I arrived at the campsite. I don’t even think I had everything out of the car before we were heading out to explore. We started off trekking to the namesake of the park, Starved Rock, which gave an amazing view of the area surrounding.

View from Starved Rock

After that I can’t even begin to remember all the places we visited by name but I had the wonderful experience of standing under two waterfalls and just feeling all my stress and cares being washed away.

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We hiked for most of the day and then went in search of firewood at one of the local “camp stores”, Jack’s. Now Jack…yeah, he was a character. You pull up to his home which has a garage full of odds and ends to purchase as well as clothes baskets with firewood. You have to honk your horn if you don’t see anyone. For $5 you get approximately five or six pieces of wood AND the treat of having to fill up a new clothes basket as well. Yep, you pay to work. I didn’t quite catch this at first and I’m sitting in the car as I see Sara head over and load two baskets!

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After the camp store we headed out to dinner at a tiny little place called the Cajun Connection. When you walk in it’s just like any little hole in the wall restaurant (well, other then quite a few alligator heads and such) and we sat down to what has to be one of the best meals I’ve had in ages! Alligator and crawfish both deep fried but light and tender, hushpuppies like none I’ve ever had that melted in your mouth, and shrimp etouffee that was amazing!
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Full from our wonderful dinner we head back to camp for a little bit of fire and relaxing before the storm came in. I was exhausted and slept through everything including the attack of aluminum foil by a raccoon into shiny things in the midst of the storm.

Morning light breaks through the trees and we were up and ready to explore more after a trip to town. We stopped and hiked in another nearby park for a bit and be still my heart it was a trek through mud! Lilo came out full force as I happily slipped and slid though the muck (and crossed a bridge that was beyond sideways; learning after I had completed my crossing that it was on one leg and the bolts were coming out of that one!).

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After what felt like a training for the next mudrun was completed we ended up at what might have been THE most beautiful area we found in those two days. The waterfall we found could have been enough all on its own but the reflections dancing on the walls from the water looked like liquid fire. I was in awe. Stunned and silent awe. The photos do not do this justice at all!
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I could go on for hours about the beauty that I was able to explore and the amazing journey we had but I think that the best thing I can do is to tell you….go! If not to Starved Rock just go, find a place to hike and explore and let everything just disappear for a while.

Live and Love Life!
Thank you Sara for allowing me to be a part of your journey as well!

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Ohana my friends!

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Muddy and loving it!

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.

Copyright © 2015 Corn Fed Spartans. If your want to know....run with us.