Spartan Strong –
Conquering the Spartan Sprint

This past spring, one of my longtime clients asked if I had any interest joining her in a Spartan Race.   It was a no-brainer of a “yes” as I would never miss an opportunity to support a DTS client in such an event.   In addition, we were joined by three friends, which made for a great team!

spartan race

For those who are unfamiliar with the Spartan Race events, they are a series of obstacle mud races that take place all over the county. There are four different types of events: Spartan Sprint (3+ miles/15+ obstacles), Spartan Super (8+ miles/20+ obstacles), Spartan Beast (12+ miles/25+ obstacles), and the crazy Spartan Ultra (26+ miles/undisclosed amount of obstacles). We decided to start with the Spartan Sprint 🙂

Going in to the Spartan Race, we had three goals in mind: have fun, don’t get hurt, and most importantly, finish!  While many competitors were there to win and qualify for the Elite heat, having fun as a team was our main priority.

spartan race sign
A reminder that Spartans don’t quit!

We chose to sign up for the early morning 8:45am race at Wicomico Motor Sports Park in Charlotte Hall, MD. Our tactic was to avoid the afternoon heat and get through the course when the conditions were at their best. The more people on the course, the more muddy and beat up it tends to become. Our plan worked perfectly. We had an overcast morning with a comfortable temperature, and were able to get through the course before the bulk of competitors had their shot.

spartan race before picture
Fresh and clean and ready to get muddy!

Throughout the 4+ mile course, there were 18 obstacles that ranged in toughness. Some were easier and some were harder than others. The great thing is that each obstacle truly highlighted everyone’s strength in a different way.  Every obstacle required a different set of skills and strengths; some were more lower body dependent whereas others were more upper body dependent. Additionally, each obstacle challenged the body in both a physical and mental capacity.

spartan race woods
Making our way through the wooded trails.

Some of the more memorable events were: wall climbs, barbed wire crawls, a jumbo cargo net, a sandbag carry, a rope climb, and the impossible javelin toss.   The great thing about the obstacles is that you could truly go at your own pace. If you were unable to complete an obstacle, you could opt out and head to the burpee station for 30 reps. I think it’s safe to say that no one on the team wants to do another bupree again 🙂

spartan race cargo net
The larger than life cargo net!

There was a lot of wooded trail terrain. Most of the obstacles were out of the woods, but the majority of the course was traveling to each obstacle through wooded trails. The course had a mix of steep inclines, flat terrain, and a few downhill sections.  In and out of the woods, the course was MUDDY to say the very least! Almost every trail and obstacle involved some form of mud.

spartan race barbed wire
Navigating through the barbed wire AND mud!

We made our way through the course as a team. Everyone supported one another in each obstacle, whether it was with a cheer of encouragement, or a helping hand to push through an obstacle.  Even though there were some racers that were solely there to compete against the clock, you truly got the sense that every competitor was part of your team.  This was a common theme throughout the race as the Spartan Race is all about camaraderie.  That was pretty cool.

spartan race dehenzel training systems
4.2 miles and 18 obstacles later, we finished!

Competing in the Spartan Race with our team of five strong ladies ranging in ages 29 – late 50s, truly reinstated the fact that age does not have to slow you down.   In fact, with the proper goal setting, training, hard work, and determination, age should never be a factor. Races such as the Spartan Sprint are continuous proof.

spartan race dtsnova
DTS client, Anne and trainer Sophie.

A big congrats to DTS client, Anne for completing her first Spartan Race and crushing the course, especially the tire pull! Anne, all of your hard training and determination to finish whatever you start, really shined during the race. The Spartan Race was such a big milestone for you and I hope this is the start of more events to come 🙂

spartan race fire
Anne jumping the fire pit before crossing the finish line!

For those of you (you know who you are) who didn’t take part in the race this year, your attendance is expected next year! Team DTS – Spartan Sprint 2015!

Written by Sophie DeHenzel
Spartan Strong – Conquering the Spartan Sprint

About DeHenzel Training Systems: DeHenzel Training Systems offers In Home Personal Training services throughout Northern Virginia and Washington DC.  Aside from in home, personal training is also available at the office gym or outdoors at a local park.

Within Northern Virginia, we service Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties including: Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Ashburn, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, Herndon, Lansdowne, Leesburg, Lorton, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, Sterling, Tyson’s Corner, Vienna and Woodbridge.

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