Monday, 20 July 2015

Spartan Super Edinburgh 2015

Spartan Super


You know those crazy ideas that start off sounding great, then one day it hits you that you're totally unprepared and possibly going to die? Yup, that was me with the Spartan Super. 

I wouldn't say I'm particularly out of shape - I exercise regularly, take a pole class once a week and go for a run most nights. So when one of Scotts friends suggested we get a group together and take on the Spartan Super - note, we decided to skip the first race, the Sprint - I jumped at the chance to challenge myself. But, the closer we came to the race and the more I looked up possible obstacles, the more worried I became about my imminent failure.

Spartan Super Edinburgh 2015
Before - Smiling and excited to take on the Spartan Super!

For those of you who don't know, the Spartan Super is an 8+ mile (apparently ours was actually 10 miles) obstacle course with 25+ obstacles, where you do 30 burpees if you fail or pass on an obstacle. (More info here) The Scottish Spartan was at Spittal farm, meaning we were running around the Pentland Hills. 

The whole time I was training I was shitting myself about the obstacles, but when it came down to it, it was the hills that majorly hindered me. My little legs just weren't prepared to spend 5 hours clambering up and sliding down steep hills and I hurt my left leg, making things even worse! Most of the obstacles weren't that hard at all, but by the last mile my legs were giving up on me and I just wanted the race to be over.

There were a massive range of obstacles, from crawling under barbed wire (which was really easy), rope climbing, monkey bars to carrying weights, climbing over walls and swimming across water. The terrain was just as you'd expect, muddy and pretty damn tough! One of the obstacles was a set of posts half a metre apart that you had to step across, each post being wide enough for only one foot. I slipped as I was going across and came very close to smashing my ribs of the top of one of the posts, but managed to twist so that my thigh and hip took the brunt of the impact. I felt a bit winded and got a bit of a fright, but I just wanted to move on and get the course done so I pushed on, spending the rest of the race feeling a bit miserable and in a lot of pain!

Spartan Super Edinburgh 2015
After - The smile doesn't seem to genuine anymore!

I did enjoy the race and would do it again with more training, but I can't help but feel like it wasn't well organised! I understand that the venue was changed last minute, but there were a lot of things that could have been better. There were no signs leading up to the venue, just a flag on the edge of the turn leading up to the farm. The car park was in a field on a hill so, when we had to stop and wait for boards to be put down in the mud, we were worried that the car would slide down the hill. A lot of the obstacles didn't take you further on the course, but took you in on a circular detour before you moved on, and it seemed like a lot of the course was just there to make up the distance. As well as the obstacles - usually involving carrying bricks, logs etc - taking you in a circle, there were some points where we were clearly just trekking through mud, water and trees to add distance.

All in all it was a fun day out, but the group agreed that it felt like we had gone on a massive hill walk rather than an obstacle course/race. Most of the terrain was so steep that it was pretty much impossible to run and the obstacles seemed few and far between.

Have you taken part in any of the Spartan Races? What are your thoughts?

Banana Beauty

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