A few weeks ago I posted a blog-post about how I started training for the Spartan Race in Vienna on May 12th. And yes, I did it, I actually made it through.
But let me tell you the whole story. First of all, I didn’t race alone, but with a friend of my boyfriends who had done some races before.
Our start time was 13:45 and after warming up properly and watching the race for a bit we lined up for starting. The atmosphere and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect and we were even lucky enough to get a few raindrops during the race.
Anyway, let’s talk about the real stuff. Before signing up for the race I had watched numerous youtube videos about Spartan Races around the world, just to get a little insight of which obstacles were to expect. And honestly, I was pretty confident that I would at least be able to tackle a few of those. But, yes here comes the but, that made this whole experience REALLY challenging. So, you need to know I’m not a huge fan of heights, never was so having to somehow get over an 8 feet wall certainly is not as easy-cheesy for me as for some other people. Besides from that, my arms are definitely my weakest point. Long story short I had some huge respect for those walls.
Well, that being said let’s get back to race. As some of you may know before you even get into the “venue” if you can call it that, you have to get over a wall. It’s not a super high wall, but it’s a wall nevertheless, soooo there we or more I had the first problem. I couldn’t get over that wall. I just couldn’t. Whether that was because I was afraid, or simply don’t have the strength necessary, I don’t know but fact is, that I couldn’t even have started the race if my boyfriend’s friend hadn’t been kind enough to give me a lift. We are not going to talk about what that did to my pride and honour, but I guess you can imagine anyway.
Well, after that incident the race commenced and off we went. During the first couple of kilometres we didn’t come across many obstacles and if we did they were definitely on the easier side. But then the famous Barbed Wire came and since we were in the Military Academy we did not only have to crawl under the barbed wire, but also under an enormous tank. I don’t know why, but I found that actually pretty exciting. Then we went on to the rope-climb where we had to make the first of many, many burpees. 🙂
With the next obstacles, neither of has had that much of a problem, except of course for those goddamn walls. Somehow we tackled them though and came to the area where the obstacles were placed more frequently. There have been the Tyrolean Traverse, Inserted Wall (Burpees for me) and a container filled with ice-water, which was surprisingly very refreshing. Naturally, we had to conquer more than that but they went by rather unspectacularly.
The venue in Vienna was so set up that if you went to the start you had to pass the finish, therefore I had already seen the last obstacle even before we started. And what could that have been? You guessed it. A f*ing 8 feet wall. I seriously had no idea how I should ever get over that thing and I still hadn’t figured out a way when we approached it, tired and dirty as we were. Honestly, there hadn’t been any other obstacle I was afraid of, but that wall drove me nuts for like the entire race. Nevertheless, we got closer to the wall and then I realised just how high 8 feet are from close up. Admittedly, the thought of quitting didn’t occur me once, but if I had waited just a moment longer I’m sure I would have given up at some point. But, I’m not that kind of person who runs 9k just to throw the towel, because things might get a bit challenging.
My racing buddy helped me up and things were going rather well until I could see over the wall and with that suddenly found out, how much I disliked being up in the air. I tell you, the ground was just so far, far away and that was the exact moment I panicked. I remember saying I can’t do this. I just can’t. And I think I would have had a serious problem, if not another racer simply put my leg over the wall so that I could at least sit up there. And then I had to make a simple decision because I had to get down there somehow, so I chose that side that would get me farther and with whatever power, I all of a sudden had in me, leaned forward, pulled my other leg over and let myself as awkwardly as humanly possible down. And that’s how I got over that thing. My boyfriend and his brother were watching the whole scenario and cheered us on as we tackled the last few metres including the fire-jump. Truth to be told, I was very glad seeing those two standing there, so close to the finishing line because it’s just a good feeling knowing that someone is supporting you, so that kind of restored my scared mind a bit and in the end, things weren’t even that bad.
In the finish-area, all racers get some drinks and protein-bars to restore their energy and you also get to pick up a medal and a Finisher-T-Shirt. And then it’s on to showering and picking up your stuff before you grab a beer and talk about your experience on the run.
That concludes my very first Spartan Race. It’s been an awesome experience and I’m already looking forward to the next one in September. Also, I want to point out the great community on the trail. Everybody is so incredibly helpful and supportive and just stands up for each other and that alone has made the experience unforgettable. Apart from that, there’s hardly a better way to gain self-confidence and trust in yourself than participating in a race like that. Sure, it’s challenging and exhausting but once you’ve made it, it’s highly rewarding and I have to admit to actually sometimes tell myself that I’m Spartan now, and therefore I can achieve anything. It’s pretty helpful and makes me push myself further out of my comfort zone.
As you can tell, I’ve enjoyed racing very much and would recommend doing the same to you. It’s so worth all the dirt and bruises.