Tuesday, July 16, 2013

PA Spartan Sprint

Spartan Sprint obstacle racing

This past weekend, Ron and I traveled to the Palmerton, PA to compete in our fifth Spartan race. Last year, the PA Spartan Sprint was our introduction to the Spartan race series. The race takes place at Blue Mountain ski resort. The course traverses the mountain’s ski slopes and woods with obstacles dispersed along the course. The brutal climbs up double black diamonds, sometimes carrying a 20lb or 40lb sand bag, are considered an obstacle alone. There are other physically challenges such as jumping over, under and through 4ft walls, climbing ropes or cargo nets, flipping tires, throwing spears, crossing monkey bars, crawling through mud under barbed wire, jumping over fire and wading/swimming through water. Last year, we had no idea what we were in for. This year, we trained hard and were prepared for what Spartan race had in store for us. This year’s course was shorter than last year but it definitely wasn’t easy. The weather was in our favor with lower temperatures and slightly overcast weather.

UPDATE: This was taken from the official PA Spartan race report.  It is a description of the course and accurately showcases how tough this course is.

"the Pennsylvania Sprint has long been regarded and argued as being the hardest Sprint on the circuit, something all too evident as many racers new to the Reebok Spartan Race series were to discover. The Blue Mountain course features an incline so long and so steep that it requires a ski-lift in order for most people to scale it’s face. And competitors from around the country – and a small contingent from Slovakia – spent months training for a race that would prove an incredible test of endurance. The fact that the course was “only” 4 miles set a beguiling false sense of security."

We felt confident going into this race. The race course was very muddy due to the persistent rain over the last few weeks. It also got congested in spots due to the large number of unprepared racers. Ron and I were happy with our finish times (1:46:39 for me & 1:25:10 for Ron). This was about a 30 to 45 min improvement over last year.

As with all of our Spartan races, we wore our purple Team in Training singlets to show our support and dedication to finding a cure for blood cancers.

Are you Spartan Tough?

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