I’ve been a fairly consistent runner since 2004. Every year I’d “compete” in the Ottawa Race Weekend’s 10k, eventually I roped some friends in, blah blah blah, it became a tradition. After about five or six years of that, I started to get bored by the event. Increasing my distance was a logical next step, but I luckily came across the Leadville 100 (not going to happen), the Canadian Death Race (not going to happen for a while), and the far-more doable: 5peaks series, and the Ultimate XC ( I placed 35 of this year!).
However, trail races don’t quite compare to obstacle races, as I recently learned by participating at a Spartan Race last weekend. It took place at Camp Fortune (a ski hill, roughly 30 minutes outside of Ottawa). I was gently coerced into entering it, along with a group of friends. We joined as a team and ended up running the horrific 5km race (the shortest of the series) in some abysmal time, I’m sure — it really doesn’t matter.
I don’t even know how to begin describing it. There were at least four massive hills, one required carrying a tire up and down. Crawling through a mud pit with barbed wire overhead, jumping a few walls (one covered in soapy plastic, and one that was at least 8ft tall). There was hopping over barbed wire, crawling under barbed wire in an ice-filled pit, swimming through a [clean] drainage pipe with just enough room to breathe, spear throw, fire jump, rope climbing. The torture went on and on and on. But, it was outrageously fun.
One day later, my body is a sore wreck. My knees were demolished trying to get over the walls, in particular the slippery wall: I fell hard on my left knee. Both legs sustained countless cuts and scrapes, only one of which was caused by the barbed wire, thankfully.
At the second barbed wire pit I actually managed to get completely stuck. My futile attempts to get out caused my to sink deeper, until two girls helped pull me out. I could’ve lost a shoe in there and been completely screwed. It was kind of scary.
But I’d do it all again! (Maybe with some extra upper body training… my lats are mangled right now).