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