Please watch your step, buckle up, and keep your hands inside the ride at all times as we take a cool, dry, dusty journey up and down the shaded trails of Carolina. The much-anticipated weekend of the Spartan Race Carolina Beast (Saturday) and Super (Sunday) was one where many would receive their first, second, all the way to ninth Trifecta! The weekend Spartan event brought many elites and aspiring athletes to the Carolina Adventure World venue. However, many did not make the journey to this event due to the OCRWC taking place in Ohio.
For those of you who did venture out to the land of ATV’s and motocross, you will understand when I say…this event was up for debate. Did you love it, or hate it?
This was my second time at the Carolina Adventure World venue and as before, I absolutely loved the layout of the festival and pre/post race extravaganza! The energy was hyped as soon as you neared the registration lines. Except for the times when the DJ’s music randomly turns off for minutes at a time (it is very annoying when you are feeling the groove and jumping up and down, then……………). I normally wouldn’t point out something as trivial as a moment of silence, but this was my third Spartan event this year and I am beginning to see a trend in their music breaks (unnecessary and happens to often for too long). Imagine racing through a quiet trail with only the sound of steps stampeding around you and panting breaths, as you approach the finish line (where normally you hear and feel the beating music welcoming you in, pushing you harder to the end) you hear…nothing. BOO! Boring! Get the beat up, and keep it going! WE FEED OFF THE JAMS!
Okay, enough ranting on the music and on to the part we care about most—the race itself. (Insert debate of event here). I say this only because what I have noticed through Social Media feeds, some absolutely enjoyed the run (I say run lightly) and some thought it was overrated. We all have our opinions. But for now, you get to read mine:
This was a trail runner’s DREAM! The terrain was jagged and rough. When you went up, you came down shortly after. You twisted and turned and you repeated all of these steps for miles at a time. I repeat…for mileS at a time! I am a runner at heart so I honestly enjoyed the running aspect of this event. However, on day two I would have loved to see the terrain broken up with more obstacles just to keep me focused. Although the terrain was mostly dry, Spartan made sure you had a taste of your fair share of mud (so thick you needed the extra miles of dry terrain to shake it off—thanks Taylor Swift).
The obstacles were mostly the same, but different. By different I mean, I had a fighting chance and needed little to no assistance! If you have ever had the pleasure of racing with me, you quickly realize that I am a team player that will never hesitate to ask for help when needed (usually the Atlas ball, the Hercules Hoist, the Slippery Wall, any wall for that matter). So unless I got Captain America style stronger (which doesn’t usually happen by lifting a remote control) the obstacles got weaker. Not only did I feel like the Incredible Hulk as I carried my very own Atlas and cranked my Hercules Hoist to the tippy top, I also had the chance to play matrix spy (seriously…you can’t spend an extra hour building an actual obstacle? Instead someone decided it was a good idea to string a “web” in the middle of the woods for us to walk through?). Another new “ferocious” play on a familiar obstacle was presented to us around mile four. The terrifying, mind blowing, insane…10-foot balance beam! Again, we couldn’t have spent just a little more time on this one guys? Maybe add some water underneath…piranhas…anything, but a boring block of wood stretched out between 10 feet of ditch? Just an idea.
ORMers always make the simple things fun!
Speaking of piranhas, that cold-water lake swim…on point! Most people would hate me for saying this, but I love me some cold-water swimming right after eight miles and a Bucket Carry!
Another noticeable change to the OCR world is the amount of adaptive athletes that are taking on the mud-drenched journey to STFU! To all of you…you are my heroes and you inspire me! I was lucky enough to spot the guys and gals of MORE HEART than Scars along with the Dirtbags. They spent over 11 hours assisting several adaptive athletes on the course. The strength, courage, and selflessness I witnessed were incredible!
Overall, Spartan Carolina Beast and Super is definitely an event I will repeat again and again. Next year I will just make sure I am a little more prepared to run both days in a row (doing both days, still beats seven hours on a mountain in Virginia…you feel me?) Even if you plan on this being your first Spartan event ever, I would for sure recommend this Super. You get a good mix of what Spartan is about, without the overwhelming sensation that you just signed your life over to the devil. Although there are a few tweaks I would recommend to fix like the music and blatantly lazy obstacles, I for sure see myself getting another Trifecta next year (if not more).
*Photos By: Spartan Race