This weekend saw the start of the Spartan season for 2018 at the St Clere estate in Kent. On Saturday the Super was taking place and on Sunday the Sprint. Naturally I signed up for both and this would mean I would be well on my way to getting my trifecta this year with only the beast left to complete.
- The Sprint is minimum of 5k with 20 plus obstacles.
- The Super is minimum of 13km with 25 plus obstacles.
- The Beast is minimum of 20km with 30 plus obstacles.
Complete all three within the same year and earn your trifecta – simple! I have done this before and so this helps my mental game as I can remind myself when needed to pull up my big girl panties and get it done.
I will be completing my trifecta with one of my best friends and training buddy, Emma. Emma is a Spartan trifecta virgin and so this weekend was a first for these events for her also.
I cycle and I run and when there is an event in Kent I immediately think hills. Spartan are known for hills and having their races have parts of hilly trail running involved. What I had not bargained for was how relentless the hills at St Clere on the course would be. I have seen one word mentioned in OCR groups online – brutal. And they were. To be more precise the elevation for both was as follows:
- Sprint – 4.7 miles with 1,027ft elevation
- Super – 9 miles with 2,106ft elevation
In addition to this at the Super the switchbacks up and down the hills in the woods went on for roughly what felt like 5 hours. The tyre carry went on for what felt like another 5 hours. I mean it didn’t actually take me that long but it felt like it – coming out of the woods and seeing sky was like what I imagine seeing water in a desert feels like even if we then completed some more obstacles and had to go back in and yes you guessed it back uphill again.
The Sprint being only part of the course we ran on Saturday meant there was no tyre carry but I would be lying if when we entered the woods and started climbing up and up and up and up and then up some more my heart didn’t sink a bit and I was thinking please dear god don’t let it be as long as yesterday. If it was there was a good chance I may have hurled my own body down the hill and just hoped for the best. Thankfully it wasn’t as long and there was no body hurling involved.
But one thing is for sure it was savage. But this is Spartan and you have to earn that medal!
When you fail an obstacle at Spartan you receive a penalty of 30 burpees. I have made a note of the obstacles I got burpee penalties on and will be working on those for when i take on the Beast.
It was great to run with Emma, as always, and on Sunday we were joined by more Mudd Queens, which was great as it was their fourth birthday and we had a blast. We also saw Coach Scotty from The PT Barn on course as well, which was amazing as a lot of us train with him.
It’s brilliant seeing everyone post their pics and videos – always love seeing them from Karen who also trains at the Barn and is just girl power beasting everything like an absolute boss! And her daughter, Isla, follows in her footsteps and absolutely smashed the kids race. One of the great things about Spartan putting on kids races at all their events so everyone can get involved. Isla will definitely be one to watch on the OCR scene when she’s older!
I particularly liked the fact that part of the course drew out the Spartan mask when you loaded your run to Strava – very nice touch!
And of course it is never a chore to see Spartan Phil!
Also great to see some friends take podium places – well done to Robin French who came third in his age category at the Sprint and to Andy Durrance who came third in his age category at the Super and first at the Sprint – awesome efforts!
The highlight for me, aside from a well earned beer at the finish, was getting back to the bridge before the event village and Emma exclaiming with pure joy ‘it’s the bridge!’, which meant no more hills!
Great organisation, brilliant marshals and brilliant idea putting down the sheets in the car park as the ground was so boggy from recent weather and meant there were minimal issues with cars getting in and out.
I am bruised, I am battered, I cut myself on the barbed wire crawl, I feel like I have the knees of a 90 year old and I had to shower twice on each day to get mud out of places I have never got mud before and I loved every minute of it.
Spartan Beast we are coming for you!