Blog Entries
Spartan Sprint - Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Well, it hadn't even been a month since we were last in LA, but Priscilla and I found ourselves down there again for my Spartan Sprint.

I signed up for the Spartan Trifecta for this year, and this past weekend the Super and Sprint were held at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino this past Saturday and Sunday, respectively. I ran with Daniel, my buddy from church with whom I'll be doing two more races this year.

This was my third Spartan Race, so I was pretty familiar with the obstacles by now. Last year's Super in Monterey was my first race, and I took it slow since I didn't know what to expect. But this time around, I wanted to get a good time, and since the Sprint is the easiest event in the Trifecta, I wanted to see if I could do some of the obstacles in a more challenging way.

Because this was a park, there were some limitations on course design. The route was essentially flat. Lots of obstacles were clustered in the same area, meaning minimal time in between some obstacles for the arms to get a rest.

So, as usual, here are the obstacles that were on the course and my personal notes.

Over Walls (4' Walls): Easy warmup.

Hurdles: These were set noticeably higher than at my Monterey Super. I got over these but lacked finesse.

6' Wall: Wanted to see if I could do a muscle up over the wall and was able to, but again without finesse. Heel hook is the proven better technique for me to conserve strength.

Inverted Wall: Pretty easy; this one had the extra grabbing room between the rungs and the wall that Monterey had. I managed to not bang my ankle on the way down this time.

Vertical Cargo: The SoCal Super had the platform in front of the cargo net that you have to hoist yourself onto. The Sprint had the platform removed.

Spear Throw: Despite watching many YouTube videos, I failed this as I didn't throw hard enough or straight enough. I really need to find a way to start practicing.

Helix, Z-Wall, and A-Frame Cargo: Pretty straightforward. On the former two, it helped that I'm light.

Atlas Carry: A little difficult since my arms were tired by this point.

Monkey Bars: Pretty much right after Atlas Carry. I'd wanted to try the hand over hand technique but my arms were feeling it, so I stuck with hand to hand and that made the obstacle pretty doable.

Plate Drag: No plank to brace my feet onto. Seemed like I took longer with this than most people.

Bucket Carry: Tried to balance the bucket on my shoulders but that tired out my arms, so I alternated between that and carrying it in front of me.

Dunk Wall: Should probably pinch my nose before I go under the water next time. I was blowing a lot of dirt out of my nose after the race and that was likely because of this obstacle.

Slip Wall: Thought I would have trouble with this since it was right after we got drenched in Dunk Wall, but I was able to get up the incline and over the top with no issues.

Barbed Wire Crawl: Straightforward, though I could've saved some time if I had rolled like Daniel did.

Sandbag Carry: The bags weren't that heavy. They were long and not filled in the middle.

Multi-Rig: The SoCal Super had a horizontal bar in the middle, but the Sprint had just rings. I was able to use a hand to hand (sideways traverse) technique without too much effort, but hand over hand is better for conserving strength (though it takes longer).

Hercules Hoist: Had to use my whole body weight as usual.

Rope Climb: The rope was a little wet and my shoes were probably still wet, so I couldn't get a good grip with my feet despite using the S-hook. My feet were definitely sliding near the top, so I powered my way up using more arm strength. This taxed my hands, and afterwards I found both middle fingers bleeding where the skin next to the nail had broken. Maybe I grip hardest with the middle finger on each hand?

Anyway, we ran together and pushed ourselves hard (well, Daniel was better at the obstacles and I was holding him back a little). When I took my time with last year's Super, the obstacles felt more manageable (though still not easy). But since we didn't rest all that much during this race, and because of multiple back-to-back obstacles, the obstacles felt noticeably harder. My final time was 52:27 which put me in the 17th percentile, placing 548/3230 overall, 475/2019 for males, and 77/326 for my age group. Not a terrific time, but not a terrible time. With our SLO Beast just 5 weeks away, I'm going to have to train better so that the obstacles don't get the better of me!

Outside of the event, we had a good time in LA seeing my parents and Priscilla's parents. That time was pretty low-key and mostly involved eating together. Aaron and Lauren's family visited the first night, and our niece was really quiet this time, though she finally started opening up to me when we played Candy Land with her. It's a game of pure chance, but Aaron won a couple times in a row and she was getting frustrated, so during the next couple games, Aaron kept peeking at the deck in his hand and rearranged cards when she wasn't looking so that she'd get the good cards. It was pretty funny.

And unlike last month, traffic from NorCal to SoCal and back wasn't bad. Visiting LA seems more bearable when the drive is "only" 5 hours!
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