Written by Daniel Adams
CrossFit AllStar athlete Danny Adams tells us what it was like to do the famous 'Spartan Race' on Oahu! Read his exiting story and see the link to enter to win a Spartan Crusie at the end of the blog! Mahalo Danny!!!!
I’d recommend challenging yourself and taking that 5K + obstacle race plunge, you’ll enjoy the experience and have one more story to tell!
Tackling a Spartan Race, or any obstacle course run for that matter! -Written by Danny Adams
Kualoa Ranch is a beautiful piece of land on Oahu’s Northwest coast. This year it was also host to the highly popular Spartan Race, an obstacle course run of varying distances and difficulties. There are the Spartan Sprint (3+ miles and 15 obstacles), Spartan Super (8+ miles and 20 obstacles) and the Spartan Beast (12+ miles and 25 obstacles). This was the first time that Spartan Race would hold all 3 races (otherwise known as the Trifecta) at one event in one weekend.
What better way to run all 3 races at once? I have done Spartan Races, and other obstacle runs, before, but never further than 5 miles. I was going to tackle all 3 in one weekend, starting with the Beast on Saturday. I figured that I would get the longest race out of the way first, and then tackle the other 2 distances on Sunday. More on that later………
We arrived at Kualoa Ranch around 6:40 am on Saturday morning and followed the cars, and traffic directors, into the parking lot. We then found out that the $10 parking fee was being waived because they ran out of parking passes. Lucky for us! Next was the 2.5 mile walk to the registration and start area. After a good 30 minute walk, we arrived at the registration booth and I picked up my packet. I was #113, and my packet included a headband with my #, 2 tattoo decals with my #, 3 bracelets for the different races, and 3 timing chips for each distance race. There were several booths set up, and you could see the start and the finish lines as well. We made our way to the porta potties, then back up to the booth set up with buckets and sponges for putting on your race # tattoos. They try not to use race bibs anymore, for fear of someone stabbing themselves with a safety pin, and to reduce their carbon footprint I suppose. I then ensured that my attire and backpack camelback were all set while mobilizing a bit in the process.
I then determined that they were starting waves about every 10 minutes for the Beast race, starting at 8 am, so I decided to make my way to the starting area where several hundred other people were located. They then started splitting people up into waves, and although I was scheduled for the 8:10 am wave, I actually started with the 8:20 am wave. 3, 2, 1, ahhhhhh rooooooooo was the start of our wave! We took off slowly as we were all grouped together, and made our way down the course. The first thing (obstacle) we came to was a stream crossing, then a mud pit we had to crawl through under barbed wire. We were now wet and muddy and still had 12+ miles to go with the extra weight! As we made our way through a few obstacles, some running, some jogging, and some steep hiking up and down, we started to spread out among the course.
The obstacles included climbing over and under different sized walls (6-8 ft), filling a bucket with rocks and carrying it up and down a hill, carrying sand bags, carrying cement boulders, remembering a word and 7 digit # and reciting it later in the course, mud pits, barbed wire, monkey bars, balance beams, rope climb, spear throw, jumping over fire, and a few others I may have forgotten about! And those were only the man-made obstacles! There were several stream crossings, a 2-mile upstream hike, several hill climbs, and trying to decipher the proper signs for the 3 different race courses, as a few people became lost throughout the day. Then you throw in a 30 burpee penalty for any failed obstacle, and you’re in for a great workout!
Overall, the course was pretty good. It was challenging, but the obstacles were few and far between, at least on the Beast course. The scenery at times was gorgeous, especially when running around the corner on some single track and having a view of the entire valley and out to the water. The event was poorly organized and run. They didn’t seem to have enough volunteers out on the course to direct people and even had to shut down the spear throw obstacle at one point because they didn’t have enough volunteers available to assist. This was the first time they have attempted to run a Trifecta at one event during one weekend, and they definitely have some kinks to work out.
Besides the fact that I had severe cramping in both legs about half way through the run, I still enjoyed myself overall. Other complaints I overheard on the course were that they needed more water stations (there were only 5 on the Beast course), they needed more obstacles and spread out better throughout the course (there was about a 5 mile span with no obstacles on the far end of the course), and better organization.
How does this relate to Crossfit you might ask? Well, Crossfit trains and prepares you to be ready for any challenge at any time. Is the Spartan Race just such a challenge? Indeed it is! Crossfit will definitely prepare you for a 5K obstacle course race, as I have seen my 5K times go down without much additional running, but you will need to throw in some extra running, and preferably trail running, to do well in any obstacle course race in excess of 5 miles. Being Crossfit ready, I had no problems with any of the obstacles, but I wasn’t prepared for that much running (15+ miles)! Would I do it again? Most likely, I guess I’m a little masochistic in that way, plus I must have a short memory. For everyone else, I’d recommend challenging yourself and taking that 5K + obstacle race plunge, you’ll enjoy the experience and have one more story to tell!
From Coach KC:
WAY TO GO DANNY AND ALL THE COMPETITORS IN THE SPARTAN RACE!!! The organizer of the Spartan Race, Dan Krueger, contacted me to give our readers a link to enter for a Spartan Cruise! Read below and follow the link to enter!
Thanks again for helping to spread the word about Reebok Spartan Race to your readers, fans and followers. As I’m sure you are aware, NBC Sports has partnered with Spartan Race to film 6 episodes of Spartan Races culminating with the World Championship race at Killington VT this Sept 20th.
Spartan Race has also recently announced a Spartan Cruise and an exclusive blogger giveaway. I have a link to register for the readers of CrossFit All Star to win a trip for 2 including airfare and a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas with a Spartan Sprint on a private island. The winners will be picked on Sept. 22.
I’d love for you to help out and share this exciting news. All of the details have been added to the landing page here: