Spartan Race Arizona Sprint 2016

Arizona Spartan Sprint start line
The Spartan Race Arizona Sprint was at the same location as the last few years, Fort McDowell, an older rodeo centrally located on an Indian reservation. It was a warm and sunny 65 degrees as I made my way to the starting corral. As is tradition with a Spartan start line, we yelled, “Aroo” and sprinted ahead. Being this was my first west coast race, I noted how thin the air seemed and the difficulty of the terrain. Right from the start, we were heading towards a steep incline. The first half mile was spent maneuvering in and around and up and down the terrain while avoiding slipping on the rocks and touching the cacti.

Arizona Terrain After two 6-foot walls, we were met by our first cargo climb. From the top of the climb, you could see nearly the entire course stretching and winding around mountains. Just shy of the mile one marker were the inverted walls. The volunteers here were very helpful with direction and cheering us on.

Arizona Sprint Crawl

Next up was the 8-foot walls; we were instructed by the volunteers that they were unable to assist here and that we had to make it over the wall or complete the 30 burpee penalty. Coming up to the rope climb, I completed my penalty of 30 burpees and moved on (the rope climb gets me every time). The rope climb was followed by another half mile of winding terrain until we reached the sandbag carry and 150-yard barbed wire crawl. The volunteer at this obstacle was great, yelling for us to move forward and stop slowing down his obstacle. Right around the corner was monkey bars, not the traditional type but a fun set of uneven bars sporadically placed. The goal was to cross and touch the bell with either your hand or foot at the finish. There was a large number of racers completing the burpee penalty here.

Spartan Arizona Rope climb

Arizona Spartan Monkey bars

Next came the dreaded bucket carry (the only words for this obstacle are, “Holy crap”) – at 3 miles in, grabbing a bucket of rocks and hitting some more terrain will make your legs burn. Many slowed and rested during this obstacle. After we proceed through some more mountain-like terrain, moving much slower after that bucket carry, we finally came down to the last few obstacles near the finish line. Walking past the mile 4 marker, we approached the ladder wall and spear throw. I missed the spear, busted out the penalty, and moved on to a newer obstacle that looked like a tight-rope. It was fun attempting to get across without falling; thankfully they were allowing assistance. Last was the 10-foot wall, slip wall and dunk wall. My pace picked back up in excitement, over the slip wall and under the dunk wall hopping out of the muddy water and smiling as I jumped the fire.

Spartan Arizona Spear throw

Arizona Spartan Slip wall

The 2016 medal was beautiful and hard earned. This was the hardest Spartan sprint I have ever completed. The terrain and dry thin air really played a part in making this a bad-ass race.  Arizona Spartan Sprint will certainly be on the calendar for next year; it has created a love for west coast racing, and I can’t wait to get back home and train even harder. AROO

Arizona Spartan Fire jump

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Rachel Hunt

Volunteer Coordinator at Savage Race
Rachel is a mom of 3, who stays active by running and training for OCR. To share her passion for obstacle course racing she blogs hoping to spread the love of the sport and all around fitness.
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