AROO, fellow Spartans!!! The location for the Spartan Race Seattle Super (middle distance race) was held in Snohomish, Washington at the Meadow Wood Ranch (a picturesque farm in a wooded valley), which is about an hour from Seattle. This is the first year that this race was added to the line-up for Spartan Supers, and seemed very well put together. There were Elite and Open wave options, of which we opted for the Open. Heats were every 15 minutes starting at 7:30a.m. until the afternoon on a pleasant October Saturday. A total of 2078 racers joined in. This was one of my favorite races I’ve done so far. The setting in the Pacific North West (PNW) was absolutely beautiful. The weather was amazing (60s, partly overcast with crisp fresh air).
In typical Spartan fashion, the Super was 8.2 miles long with 27 total obstacles. There were barbed wire crawls, mud pits, ropes, monkey bars, net/wall climbs, log and bucket carries. It was, overall, a runners course with the first half of the 8.2 mile course being a flat run through grass fields and wooded trails.
Unique elements were mostly due to the location including the crisp weather, the possibility of rain, and a river bank run.
The race started with a run through the fields with a couple of short walls to traverse, followed by a cargo net climb, an inverted wall, and a wooded trail run down the river. The trip along the river was a little treacherous due to large gravel bank resulting in less than sure footing and just after the salmon spawning, there were rotting fish carcasses all along the river making for a memorable aroma.
There were a couple short obstacles to clamber over along the river and the Atlas carry (a big ‘ol rock carry). The spear throw was just after returning from the river. (Short rant: why don’t they have a spear throw to practice in the starting area like they do the rope climb and monkey bars? We suck at the spear throw and it just ends up being guaranteed burpees. Rant over.)
After another wall climb, there was an unremarkable tandem log carry. The trail then went up to a barn, from which was blasting sweet tunes and inside were the monkey bars. The Spartan spirit really shown through on the vertical cargo net climb with many racers helping each other to stabilize the net as racers were climbing up and over.
The worst part of the race was the 400m wire crawl broken up with a rope climb over a wooden ramp. It was over grass, so no mud or gravel to worry about, but the length of the obstacle made for more than a few dizzy, nauseous and exhausted Spartans after rolling under most of the obstacle.
The race to that point had been pretty easy, but afterwards, the challenge of the obstacles increased. There was an 8 foot wall, a distance log carry, a bucket carry up and down a muddy hill, the rope climb (thankfully, no water pit underneath), and the herculean hoist during which I’m always grateful for the different weights for men and women, as I really have to put my whole body weight into raising that heavy sandbag up.
Camaraderie was at a high throughout the race with Spartans consistently helping each other out. There were several characters dressed up for the event, with one man in the obligatory dress suit.
Parking was in an open field for $10 per car. There was a bag check for $5 per bag with staff to ensure security. Various sponsors had tents around. There was a wall for writing inspirational phrases and several spartan-themes displays for pre/post photo opportunities as well as a shop for Spartan-themed paraphernalia. There were areas for spectators, including a tent with picnic tables.
Following our race, we enjoyed the usual banana, Clif bar, Fit AID beverage that seem to be at the end of each of these Reebok races, had our team photo taken, then took a breather while watching runners going through the mud pits. There were hoses with freezing water available to rinse off and dedicated male/female dressing tents. Once complete, we drove 2 miles to the town of Monroe and ate at Las Tres Marias (a 5-star Yelp suggestion), which was great. Super friendly staff, yummy food.
Overall, we loved the day. We couldn’t ask for better weather or a more beautiful location with very little mud, a challenging and fun course, friendly staff and racers, with a cute little town with good eatery options. We will be back next year!