I have no idea what possessed me to sign up to do a Spartan Race.
I was trying a new fitness facility and they mentioned some of the members would be doing a mud run. In that moment it sounded like a great idea. It’s kind of like when you’re at Trader Joes, try a free sample and decide you love it, get home later and wonder WHY you bought 6 gourmet banana mayo sandwhiches. Yeah, THAT.
As the big day drew closer I saw footage of the 5K muddy obstacle course and thought “signing up for this is the dumbest thing I’ve done since I shaved my eyebrows with Nair.” I was starting to doubt my ability to jump over fire and climb under barbed wife. If I hadn’t paid the entrance fee, I probably would have bailed. The boys saw the footage and started to get excited. Mo was in awe of all the events and wanted to join in. That inspired me to stick it out.
Well folks…I DID IT!
It was a lot of fun. Our group was a lively bunch. We loaded up on a limo party bus and made the trek to Malibu. Parking is terrible there and after the race the LAST thing you will wanna do is drive home. It was a brisk 45 degree day in the Bu but it helped the sun was shining.
Even though I only knew 1 person in our 60 deep group, it really helped along the race to have the encouragement along the way from the gang. We had a no man left behind pact and they honored it (most often waiting for ME. lol). Our team leader was amazing. He motivated us and genuinely cared that everyone crossed the finish line. That definitely kept me going.
Spartan Race/mud run tips:
1. NO COTTON!– Wear lightweight breathable fabrics. When you’re wet, cotton will stick to you and you will FREEZE. It slows you down and feels gross. Ditch the tees & sweats. You wanna cover your knees. You’ll be crawling on rocks and mud. Go with spandex, nylon, or similar fabrics. They don’t absorb water or mud as much. Less is more, no layering needed your body will warm up. Gloves help for many obstacles including climbing, crawling, and ropes.
2. WEAR UNDERWEAR LADIES– I know runners don’t like undies, but trust me you don’t want mud and other crud in your hoo-ha. Keep it covered.
3. SAVE YOUR NEW KICKS– Obviously your shoes will get hammered. Don’t wear your fave pair of shoes. Mud is a pain to clean. Some people also duct taped their tennies for extra support. I didn’t go all MacGyver, I just grapped an old pair that still had good traction. There’s lots of hills and varying terrain, having a good grip will save you from butt slides.
4. SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE– If you’re a mud run virgin pace yourself. You’re released in heats and even if you’re at the end you will eventually catch up to team members at the obstacles. Everyone is standing around watching, encouraging, waiting their turn. If you suck at cardio like me don’t kill all your energy, you will reunite with your group at some point. It’s kind of like how a BMW smokes you doing 60 on a side street only to end up next to you at a red light.
5. DON’T CARRY WATER- We had rest stops along the way that distributed water, coconut water, protein drinks, and energy candy. Leave your hands free. You can quench your thirst along the run.
6. DON’T FRET– I was worried I wouldn’t be able to complete the tasks and get a public flogging or something. It’s ok. You can substitute 30 burpees for an unfinished obstacle. Give it a go first. Sometimes you will surprise yourself at what you can accomplish. I felt great when I realized I was pretty good at scaling walls.
7. BRING PLASTIC BAGS– For $5 you can check your bag at the race. After the race there is a communal shower area to rinse off and dressing area. I haven’t changed with such a large group of females since summer camp but I was freezing and the heated tent felt like Bacara after the mud run. You’ll wanna just peel off the muddy remnants and toss it all in a trash bag/grocery bag. I used wipes and threw on warm comfy sweats. Bring a towel too. Even if you don’t shower you’ll still use it to keep warm, dress yourself, or stand on in the tent. It took 3 times at home to wash out all the mud and funk from my hair. Don’t waste time trying to do it at the race.
8. DON’T RACE AND DRIVE– You will be beat after a mud run. A charter bus is a great idea for large groups or have a friend drive you. There’s a spectator area where they can snap pics of you along the race along with food, drinks and entertainment so they won’t be bored. They even have free booze and bananas afterwards for participants.
9. ENCOURAGE OTHERS– The other Spartan Race participants were amazing. The atmosphere is more sportsmanship, fun, and camaraderie and less kill, crush, destroy. I wanted to give up at least 5 times but an encouraging comment or pat on my back from a stranger truly lifted my spirits like a new Chloe. Help a fellow runner out along the way. You never know how much it can mean to someone.
10. HAVE FUN– Our group had a party bus complete with stripper poles and libations. We hit a BBQ joint after the race and it was great to reflect, eat, and watch football. I met a lot of amazing people who inspired me in different ways. I loved hearing everyone’s reason for doing the Spartan Race. Going with a great group made it more of a fun day and not just a mud run. A massage afterwards would have been puuurfect.
I feel great that I completed the Spartan Race. Never in a million years did I think an ole mom could jump over fire, crawl under barbed wire, climb walls, carry sandbags, javelin, endure gladiator blows, swim through mud, and OHHHH the running and hiking….PHEW.
My biggest mud run tip is sign up with friends, a group, or BF/GF. It is such an amazing bonding experience you will never forget. Oh, and BTW, the guys out number the ladies probably 7-1 if any of you ladies need an extra incentive.
Thank you so much to Spartan Race for making my very 1st run such an amazing experience. Also, Michael and his supportive crew from Steel Barbells, Tina and the gang from The Beat Fitness, and the cool chics from Sunset Tan who never left me hanging on the hike!!!
Anyhoo…I made it and you can too with a little preparation, a buddy, positive attitude, and a lot of determination.