When you think of the city of Seattle, Washington you usually think of rain, but Seattle Spartan Beast and Sprint weekend had different plans. What Seattle actually got was incredible weather with some of the most breathtaking views you can find.
First off let me talk about something that can be an absolute pain for obstacle course racers: Parking! Parking for both days went extremely fast and smooth. Plenty of volunteers were out there guiding you both in and out of the area, and the payment lines split into four, so there was no traffic getting backed up. All of the volunteers for this event were very helpful with questions and the ones on the course were very enthusiastic and encouraging to all the racers. This is always a positive, especially when you feel the struggles after a bucket carry and need to keep pressing forward, it’s nice to get that sound of encouragement.
As I get to registration it was also pain-free. For the Beast, I arrived just about noon and there was a 2-minute wait to get in, and on Sunday I ran the age group race and there was no wait for registration. Again all the people working the registration area were very helpful in answering all my questions.
As always, Spartan knows how to put on a race. From the minute you walked into the festival to the minute you walked out, there was something for you to do. The Army was there with a mini obstacle course which included a heavy sled push, pull-ups, an army crawl, and a that sled you just pushed you now need to pull it back. Food, clothing, and more were on hand during the entire weekend and did not disappoint.
The courses for the weekend were fast with not a lot of major climbs. The Beast course ended up being just over 13 miles while the Sprint was just over 4.5 miles. The course was a perfect mixture of water, mud, sand, and dirt and was both challenging and fun. Steve Hammond does an incredible job and designing these courses, but more importantly, he and his team do an incredible job at marking the courses. There is nothing worse than being on a course and getting lost, but with Spartan races that won’t ever be a problem as the entire course was marked for both days, and this is something I am very thankful for.
After I finished my race I was greeted by volunteers handing out the finisher medals and then by a photographer who snapped a couple pictures of me in front of the Spartan wall while I held my shield. As I walked down the finish shoot I was offered a variety of post-race food and drinks including of course the infamous race banana. Fit Aid was also offered, as well as water and Cliff chewy blocks. Finally, I came to another volunteer who cut off my timing chip and made small talk while doing so, which was a nice little touch.
After I left the finishing shoot I went over and sprayed myself off with the Spartan “showers” that were surprisingly refreshing and then into the changing tent to get the dirt out of places it shouldn’t be. Lastly, I went over to bag check to retrieve my bag, which was super convenient and no hassle at all.
Spartan is the leader of the OCR sport for a reason. It has changed the lives of a lot of people, and they know how to put on a race. I hear negativity now and then about it, but at the end of the day as I said above, Spartan knows how to put on a race and I can’t wait for the next one.