The small town of Laurel became the stage for this year’s Indiana Spartan Sprint. An 18 hour drive from my home in Boston. I will pretty much travel anywhere to compete in a race, so I jumped at the chance to drive to Laurel, Indiana with Team Reload Fitness. The drive was like any other 18 hour drive; good conversation, jokes, sleeping etc. We were excited about this race and conversation almost always returned to the race we were about to experience. You see this Spartan Race debuted the one and only Todd Sedlak as Race Director. “I will be extremely surprised if anyone finishes this course in less than an hour” he declared while stood at the start line briefing racers. The challenge had been set.
This race really was in the middle of nowhere, but that isn’t unusual for obstacle course races. I arrived at 7:30am and had no trouble parking. Registration went smoothly as always. As I opened my registration pack to attach the timing chip and bib to myself I noticed a new addition to the race, headbands with our bib numbers on them. Personally I really liked this. I wear headbands while racing and this one even stayed in place the whole time. Plus it kept my ears warm in the chilly morning weather.
The national anthem was played right before the men’s elite heat. Watching them take off just made me more excited. As the elite women gathered at the start line I ran up to join the front row, itching to race. We were told this course was different. It wasn’t a “runners” course; the average distance between obstacles was 380 yards, shorter than your typical race. The length of the course was 5.2 miles, quite a distance for a Sprint. After the brief instructions we were off.
It wasn’t a lie, there was obstacle after obstacle with not much running in between. The obstacles were the ones usually found at Spartan Races; over-under-through, 7 and 8 feet walls, rope climb, spear throw, traverse wall, Hercules hoist, atlas carry etc. The course had clearly been very well thought out. The environment had been utilized to be as challenging as possible. A lot of steep inclines, single tracks through creeks, weaving in and out of trees, and technical trails. The barbed wire crawl was up a long incline that got steeper towards the end, making it difficult to roll. The mud made it a million times harder. I could barely get a grip while crawling up under the wire, I was digging my fingers into the earth because even my x-talons could barely get a grip. After emerging from the barbed wire I felt about 10lbs heavier from all the mud caked to my body.
The finish line was a classic Spartan Race. The slippery wall, followed by the fire jump and finally the infamous gladiators. The water obstacle and mini barbed wire crawl right at the end ensured the slippery wall was extremely slippery. Spectators were able to view the finish line and walk to the majority of the obstacles, there were even bleachers assembled. I also want to acknowledge the volunteers and their efforts. They were strict in enforcing the burpee penalties, a welcome addition to the race. In total 8 people achieved the hour limit. Evidence that this course was as difficult as promised.
1st Brakken Kraker 48:01
2nd Elliott Megquire 48:10
3rd Alexander Nicholas 54:18
1st Amelia Boone 1:01
2nd Jillian Kenney 1:11
3rd Tonya Graham Stogsdill 1:12
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