As explained in a previous post I had set myself a goal for this year to earn myself the Spartan trifecta. The trifecta is earned when you complete the Sprint, Super and Beast races within the space of one year.
- The Sprint is a minimum of a 3 mile run (was actually 4.5 miles) with at least 20 obstacles.
- The Super is a minimum of an 8 mile run (was actually 8.5 miles) with at least 25 obstacles.
- The Beast is a minimum of a 12 mile run (was actually 16.7 miles) with at least 30 obstacles.
I’d completed the sprint and super and at the weekend the beast was waiting for me. Naturally I was nervous as this was the longest distance in the Spartan trifecta and would be the furthest distance I have ever run. I was lucky that yet again I was taking on this challenge with my two lovely friends Helen and Stacey.
The beast was set in Windsor Great Park a stunning setting that provided nicer ground underfoot than the super in Peterborough. This was a trail run through the forests on bouncy ground for the most part aside from the tree roots and rabbit holes to dodge. Gorgeous park I will make sure I go back to visit – only managed to glimpse the deer briefly as we ran past and to be honest they paid very little attention to us as if a bunch of crazies running through mud and taking on obstacles was something they saw every day.
Most participants of obstacle runs know vaguely what they have in store when signing up and by that I mean Tough Mudder sees large quite extravagant and fun obstacles, Nuclear sees mud and fun with lots of obstacles making use of all the land they have in the best way and Spartan sees obstacles that require upper body strength and the beast did just that with quite a number of carrying obstacles and lots of walls.
The biggest thing I love about OCRs is how everyone comes together to help – I am lucky to complete such events with friends and have no shame in admitting I would not complete half the obstacles without assistance but complete strangers help where they can as well – I stood on some poor bare chested mans shoulder to get over an 8 foot inverted wall (poor guy) and was helped down a 9 foot vertical wall by a kindly gentleman – neither of whom I know but both of whom I am grateful to.
I am very pleased to say two obstacles that beat me at the super didn’t manage to do the same at the beast. I’d like to say I made them my b*tch but that was not the case. The slack line cargo net across the trees I got up and over (even if the crowd waiting to tackle the obstacle was about 20 people by the time I got to the top after exclaiming that the top line was in my vagina – classy as always)! And the rope climb up the wooden wall I managed (just) – this was the one I got to the top of at the super and then less than gracefully slid down the whole thing but not at the weekend (although nearly) I did make it.
We met a lovely lady part way through, called Kelly, who joined our threesome for the second half and we completed the event with her.
We met Tristan Steed who is part man part machine and generally wins these races. He had won the sprint on Saturday (again) and the Super on Sunday and we caught him at the second sandbag carry on his second lap – you know just for fun, with a weighted back pack too. Sadly he was not adorning the pink unicorn/rainbow leggings, which I told him was disappointing and he joked he didn’t want to get them dirty. He even stopped at a tree climb to offer assistance to a man who was cramping and offered to carry him down off the tree. This is the essence of obstacle runs. Tristan can run and race and win time and time again but stopped to help as it was needed and that is why I love these events.
The run was longer than we had originally thought and it was such a feeling of satisfaction to jump over the fire pit at the finish line and get our well earned medals. Even more so to do it with amazing ladies by my side.
I would also like to take a moment to remember the toe nail that was lost on this journey – totally gross but totally worth it. It survived the sprint and super but the beast claimed it – RIP toenail we had good times together.