The Indiana Spartan race will always be my #1 race of the year. It is where I started, and where I make it a point to come back to. This year I signed up to do the Hurricane Heat the night before the race. The packing list included a raw egg, so I assumed that we would be punished for breaking it. This is why you will note an egg carrier as part of my gear.
The HH (largest to date with 130 participants) started as many of them do, with many, many burpees. We were lined up in two rows facing each other. One side was facing down the slope of a hill, which made burpees much more difficult. The biggest problem was getting all 130 of us, of all different fitness levels, working on the same cadence.
We then moved down to the edge of a pond and enjoyed the cold water while memorizing the Warrior Ethos. I was very thankful for my Under Armors, stayed at least a little warm through this.
We continued on, bear crawls, planks, pushups. When one team member had a cramp and couldn’t continue, it was taken as an opportunity to practice wounded warrior carries.
When our eggs were checked, four were found to be broken, resulting in 40 burpees needing done, with all of us moving as one.
One guy was having considerable trouble keeping up. We all cheered him along, and those next to him helped him to his feet.
The next point of note was the sandbag carry, where we went through once with the sandbags and once more with the crates they were packed in.
Just as the sun was setting, we were sent through the nastiest, slimiest mud pit that you can imagine. Maybe a foot of water over three feet of slop, nearly impossible to walk through without losing your balance.
As I was approaching the far end, I heard the HH leader’s order, “As soon as the last one is through, I want you to charge back through to this side. Impress me! I want Braveheart, I want the charge of the Light Brigade!” And of course I would be near the front of the charge.
I dove in, struggled to walk two steps, then dropped to all fours and crawled through as fast as I could.
The next challenge was at the barbed wire. One member of each team must pass through without touching the ground. We arranged ourselves in two ranks so that the lightest member of the team could crawl on top of us.
Through the now dark trails to the spear throw. Eggs set up that needed to be hit to avoid burpees. I don’t think any of us managed to break one.
At the rope climb, we were able to use outside-the box thinking. They gave us no instructions beyond 10 people of each team need to ring the bell. Some did the traditional rope climb, some climbed the ladder to the structure above and reached down to get the bell, some flicked the rope to hit the bell and ring it.
While waiting for the rest of the teams to finish, we were told to keep moving to stay warm, so many of us started dancing. After being reprimanded for twerking, I tried and failed to get a Rockettes kick line going.
The last obstacle before the finish was the slick wall, which we had to get everyone over with four people playing wounded and a few people who were actually injured. I found that if someone ahead of me slipped, I am just barely tall enough to push their foot to where someone from the top can reach them.
We assembled for the “after” picture, and Todd Sedlak gave a short congratulatory speech. What stuck with me from it was “I am always asked why I do these things. It is because suffering is the sovereign domain of the victorious.” Every moment of suffering has value, has something that can be learned from it. Even if it is just how incredibly easy your normal life is.