A month ago I participated in the Spartan Race.  I had heard a lot about this event which is held across the United States, but it was finally coming to scenic Metamora, IN and I didn’t want to miss out.  So I signed up this past January and began training to play the role of Spartan for an afternoon.

For those not familiar to it, the Spartan Race is a 5, 8, or 13 mile off-road foot race with obstacles and tasks strung throughout the course.  I chose the 5 miler.  Its purpose is to test your physical fitness, and see if you are worthy to stand with the legendary Spartan soldiers of ancient times.

Can I get an “AROO!”?  (That’s what the Spartans yell…so they say.)

To prepare for this event, I did some research and learned several things about training programs, the obstacles we might face, average completion times, suggested clothing.  Now that I’ve passed the test, I would like to pass on a few things I learned along the path.

Mud can get behind your contacts

Did you know that when you submerge yourself in muddy water, when you come up and open your eyes the muddy water can get behind your contacts?  It’s true!  I was completely blind for an eternity (probably just 60 seconds).  There is no surface clean enough to help, so I just walked and blinked until my vision returned enough for me to begin running again.  AROO!

There ARE mountains in Indiana

Now I’ve lived in Indiana all my life, adventuring through much of it from Auburn, to Bloomington, to Madison.  Yes, much of it is flat.  Yes, there are serious hills.  But, there are mountains in Metamora!  We huffed and puffed, clamoring up these enormous peaks on all fours, with our hearts beating our of our chests…and they never seemed to end! I don’t know if they’ve always been there, the faults are shifting, or it they were shipped in just for this race, but they’re real!  AROO!

Pee where you are

I’ve participated in 5 mile events before.  Normally, they take me about 40 ish minutes to complete depending on terrain.  Being a Spartan required 2 hours and 19 minutes of constant motion while covered in mud.  Your best bathroom option is to just “go” in your pants and hope the clean spot doesn’t give you away.  Don’t do it in the muddy water…it’s bad enough as is.  AROO!

I can throw a spear

There it was.  Standing in the field.  Staring me down.  Not moving an inch.  A deadly…..Indiana hay bail…with a wooden Spartan helmet on.  One throw is all I get.  So I took a deep breath and hurled the spear (wooden shovel handle with a metal something on the end) hard and straight.  Not saying I could do it in battle, but that hay bail is DEAD!  AROO!

I learned a lot about a lot during my adventure through this event, and if you want to hear everything, I would love to grab a drink and tell you about it.  Many have asked “was it fun?”  My response is “It was terrible at the time, but everyday that goes by I’m more glad that I did it”.  I loved the challenge.  I’m honored to work through it with my friend, Cody.  I’m blessed to be healthy enough to try something this physically crazy, and I hope you get to enjoy a similar experience.

Can I get an “AROO!”?