First, let me apologize for taking so much time off. I have no excuse other than the fact life got busy with a few shifts over on Nantucket and, more importantly, our travesty of an election. I will go further into that very soon, it deserves its own post. As a preface, the next four years are going to be a great opportunity to practice kindness, patience and extreme levels of compassion; our nation will need it!
It’s been three years since I last ran the Spartan Race at Fenway Park and almost two years since I last ran an obstacle race, to say I was feeling a bit out of shape is an understatement. Running around the park was not something I was worried about; running I can do. I maybe haven’t run as much as I’d have wanted to leading up to this race, but my legs are/were solid enough for a few short miles.
After making the hike from Cape Cod via the highway, parking in Braintree and taking the T into Boston, I arrived. I grabbed my registration info, and at this point, Spartan Race has been doing this enough that the process was flawless. I had my bag searched, and nothing questioned luckily as I had all my vegan snack and fueling goodies with me. Although Spartan is not a big stickler on people bringing foods in, it’s mainly the Red Sox front office. I got my personal bag checked, another fluid process, pounded the last bit of my Vega Clean Energy and it was off to the start line.
After what seemed like forever, probably because of the cold, we lines up and were off. There was quite a bit of running before the first obstacle which was hands up push-ups in the visiting teams locker room. When I did this race three years ago they were just straight push-ups, in the same locker room, but last time you came out of the dugout and onto the field. We were then sent into the bowels of Fenway and ran quite a bit more until we hit some walls and the rest is kind of a blur to be honest. There was the Spartan staples such as 6′, and 7′ walls. There was the wall crawl which is not just a straight wall anymore, now you have to climb around corners and stuff, so that was fun.
There was the Hercules hoist, which usually gets the better of me seeing as I’m 145-150lbs soaking wet, and I end up doing burpees for failing; not today! There were the jagged monkey bars that I usually nail and did again. We came to the are out back of the park where the spear throw was set up. Can I tell you how much I hate how they do it now with the attached rope?! I understand it makes it easier to pull back for the next racer but it sucks and I’ve missed this twice now because of the ropes. When they didn’t use the ropes I nailed that f*cking obstacle every time; not today and that meant 30 burpees.
We ran some more and then hit that 50lb pancake bag carry, that was a killer on the old legs. Not that climbing up and down stairs for what seemed like hours helped any but what the heck right? There was a jerry can carry, men got the pleasure of carrying two down the concourse and then, of course, up some more stairs for good measure. After this we came down a bit of the concourse and I bombed down it trying to make up time from bottlenecks and stuff. Again, this is not an exact course breakdown as I don’t remember the exact one that came after this one and etc. We had some 25lb medicine ball slams to do. Had to jump-rope with a band around our ankles using battle rope to jump.
When we got down to the field again, finally, the are only 3-4 obstacles left. It started with the huge A-frame climb, some box jumps and then the rope climb. Normally I train my ass off for this. I have a rope hanging in my back yard that I actually purchased from a Spartan employee out of their trunk at the VT Beast a couple years ago, so I train on it specifically when a Spartan is coming up. I have not been training on it and it’s been at least 8 months since the last time I tried. Needless to say, my muscles remember and off to the bell at that top I went and I hit it.
After that it was off to the Gladiator Gauntlet and the finish line. I finished in 53:03 and am proud of that. Could I have done better, sure I could have. This race was a fun one for me and I was enjoying the views of the historic park as we weaved in and out of it. I love running this race and will happily do it again next year.
I had the opportunity to see some old teammates from the New England Spahtens. I saw Jess, Sandy, Jeff, Vince, Michael, Daniel, Marc and Jason. Plus a bunch more. It was a quick visit but a fun on never the less. Thank you to Muddy Mommy for the entry, I won a contest on her blog. I’m very grateful, thank you!