Tag - Saturday

Midwest Super Spartan 2013. Lilo hits Insane Terrain!
Spartan Sprint : Indiana 2013

Midwest Super Spartan 2013. Lilo hits Insane Terrain!

Starred Photos5

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!

Spartan Sprint : Indiana 2013



This was my first Spartan race/OCR event. All I have to say is that this was the most awesome and rewarding experience I have had in a very long time. I started training for this event back in November. After doing two cycles of a weight loss program, I finally dropped enough weight where I felt comfortable to start running. After reading so many stories about success and perseverance, I knew that joining the Corn Fed Spartans was a step in the right direction for my health and for my spirit.

Honestly, I couldn’t wait to get to the hotel on Friday. I remember getting up, rummaging around, and trying to get my family (wife and four kids) organized and out the door. It seemed to take absolutely forever for us to leave. As those of you with kids will know, it is not easy to travel any distance without covering the basics of food, potty breaks, and children fighting amongst each other. I thought the continental drift would move faster than this family. Nonetheless, we got to the hotel.

After unpacking, organizing, putting my gear together, I met some of the members of the team running the Hurricane Heat (HH-029) at the Long Branch Tavern in Laurel, Indiana. The funny thing was, I had never met many of these members before in person. However, it just seemed like it was a family get together. We laughed, shared stories, ate some food and drank a few brews before heading off to one of the toughest things I have ever done…. the Hurricane Heat.

The Hurricane Heat was interesting. We started off by hauling a bunch of stuff around. John Shue and I carried fences what seemed like a half mile distance and we set them up. We then hauled rocks in buckets, and stacked wood for fires. Then I went with a small team to get a gator out of the mud. When we arrived, it had already been pulled out, so we had the luxury of pushing the ATV back up a steep hill. Then the course creator had us go along a creek to help clear thorny bushes and branches for Saturday’s races. Afterwards we joined the other team members to run the course.

The course was filled with small walls, over unders, 8 foot walls, monkey bars, barbwire crawls, lots of hills, atlas carry, spear throw, water obstacles, rope climbs, and lots more. Needless to say, there was enough there to challenge everyone. It was just over 5 miles in length. While I can run that distance, running alone is not enough. Key thing for me was improve upper and core body strength. Early on I felt I pulled something in my calf or I was cramping. It worked itself out somewhat and I was able to continue.

After the Hurricane Heat, we cleaned off as best as we could and headed back to the tavern. Two bacon cheeseburgers, a pile of fries, and a brew, and I was back to normal. I congratulated the crew, said my goodbyes, and headed back home. Jennifer was there to greet me with ice bags, a protein shake, and a vitamin water (big props to super wife).

The next morning was funny. Breakfast was a-buzz with CFS eating chow and getting psyched up for the race. After breakfast, I packed the family up and headed to the course. It was an awesome experience. Arriving, signing in, and registering my minions (Jayelle (Dozer), Evelyn (Evil Lynn), and Jeff Jr. (Lil’ Grizz), we headed to the Corn Fed Spartans Tent. It was filled with tons of people. We hugged, fist bumped and greeted everyone. We got our official red headbands, a few wristbands, and got ourselves ready to race.

When they called our team name for the 10:00 Heat, it was an awesome site to see that many people lined up on one team. We filled the entire corral! They got us pumped, we started our race. I ran with the sweeper team to make sure that all or our team members would complete the course. Tim carried the Corn Fed Spartans Flag and we started our race. Unfortunately after going over the low walls, Tim fractured his tibia at the knee joint. We called in a Medic and got him off to receive care. Once he was taken care of, we proceded down the course. Not once did we allow our flag to fall! Corn Fed!

There are tons of other tales to tell and not enough time to write them. My most memorable moments are those helping the Biggest Loser team with their obstacles. These women were absolutely awesome. To see their grit, and commitment to finish the races was inspiring. It was a true blessing to run beside them and help them accomplish what would seem impossible. From supporting them across traverse walls, to coaching and encouraging them up, across, and over a rope climb, to getting them across monkey bars, you saw in them the fighting spirit. The will to not give up!

Other moments made me proud of my team. Watching them support not just their fellow team members, but continue to reach out hands and encourage everyone on the course. Hearing people say, ‘Don’t worry, there is a Corn Fed up ahead. They will help you.’ summarizes what makes the Corn Fed Spartans the best obstacle course racing team.

After jumping over fire, and behing slammed by gladiators, I received my medal. My family was there to greet me. The minions got their own medals and completed their own race. I rinsed off in the showers, got changed, and headed to the festival area. After visiting with folks, congratulating team members, I was exhausted, super hungry, and in much need of a hot tub.

Ater a course of mexican food, a pitcher of beer, a hot tub, I went to bed. Slept for a couple of hours and was up to help Jennifer put the minions to bed. We then went down to the lobby which was the hub of the after party. It was fun to see everyone again. Share war stories, compare wounds, and share in copious amounts of drunken gummies (yum). I even convinced my wonderful wife to do the Super Spartan in Chicago in July. Time to start training!

All this said, I had a wonderful time. I am still sore. I was pushed to my limits. I did what I thought at times I couldn’t do. I definitely couldn’t have done it without my Corn Fed family. Thanks again to everyone who encouraged and supported me. For helping me and pushing me to exceed!

I placed the mission first.

I never accepted defeat.

I did not quit.

I never left a fallen comrade behind.



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