imageSaturday morning, 6:00 am, 6 eager PAX met up for the ride to Charlotte.  3 hours later, thanks to a couple of bathroom breaks, the now well hydrated PAX descended upon the Spartan grounds.  Mosey to check in and gear up, then we found Maize by the bag check and were ready to go.  Tecumseh lead a ball of man prayer and we headed to the start.

After enduring the Spartan starter man break-dancing to Michael Jackson and screaming “aroo” for a few minutes, we hit the course.  Maize and Utah sprint to the front, Tecumseh chases.  Fazio, Au Pair, TARP and Fungo work our way thru the crowd during the opening run, which I’d guess was 3/4 mile of trail to the first obstacle.  Two steps into said obstacle we were chest deep in really cold muddy water with barbed wire 3 feet over the water surface.  20 or so meters of trudging thru freezing water of various depths, we got out and started running. Fazio was no where to be seen.  Best I can remember, we ran another 1/2 mile and came to a series of smaller, relatively easy over/under and small wall obstacles.  We ran some more, then went thru waist deep water along the rivers edge for another 20 meters.  Unfortunately, there were some biggest loser contestants ahead of us (not making fun, they were trying), meaning we were in the water longer than needed.

Feet and legs now a bit numb, we ran more until we hit the larger 7 and 8 foot walls.  Up and over, then grab a chain to pull a concrete block up and down a muddy hill. More running until we get to an opening with a series of mud pits.  Three or four mud mounds to climb up and slide down (mud pit in between each) and keep running. Longer run around a lake and return to that same opening, this time facing the incredibly long barbed wire mud crawl.  After conquering that beast, we were basically unrecognizable thanks to around 20 pounds of mud coating our entire body.  Keep on moving to the monkey bars for burpees.  Other than the man-beast that is Jonathan Utah, monkey bars could not be done, largely because mud on mud made it incredibly slippery.

Run to water pipes, and bear crawl down same. Next, climbing the rope net up and down a cargo container and keep running. Pull a concrete block up and down a pulley and then jog over to the ending series of burpee inducing obstacles.  Large sand bag carry and monster tire flip were manageable, spear throw was unpredictable, and the rope climb and wall traverse were impossible. They were so slick, and we were so muddy, that even the fittest and strongest had little hope.   On the positive side, TARP, Fungo and I caught up with Fazio for burpees.  Following burpees, we went up and over the slick wall, over the fire jump, through the gladiators and across the finish line. Fazio can fill the PAX in on the not-warm hose off and the ball(s) of man changing area post-race.

-I’m sure I left a bunch of stuff out.  Total race was 4-5 miles and 20 (?) obstacles.  Temp was 41 when we took off, but it didn’t rain once we started.

-Maize and Utah finished in just over an hour.  Folks, that’s strong.  The rest of us finished in under 90 minutes, and could have easily pushed harder to shave another 10 or so.

-this was an incredibly fun event. If you can do an F3 workout, you can and should do this event.   None of us will be the fastest (maybe Utah?) but there will be lots of folks that are slower than you are.

-for me anyway, getting to run and compete with my F3 brothers is what made this so much fun. I’d still be looking at that 8 foot wall if TARP hadn’t been there to help push me up.

-the barbed wire mud crawl was the hardest obstacle, in my humble opinion.  Maybe that’s because I knew the monkey bars and rope climb were long shots for me, but that crawl was long and nasty.  Lots of small cuts on the knees from exposed roots, rocks, etc.  #gladIpackedneosporin

-what we do on a day to day basis at F3 is great training for the Spartan.  There were numerous times that I thought how glad I was that we had done squats, push-ups, dips, bear crawls or those few extra sprints.

-did I mention that y’all need to sign up next year?  You won’t regret it.

-pre race photo above.  Couldn’t get the post race shot to load correctly.

-the Sunday PAX (White Shoe, King David, Dieter, Money Hose)  competed today.  Similar temps, but driving rain and a more torn up course. I understand all did well.  Can’t wait to compare stories.