Sunday, March 31, 2013

2013 spartan sprint carolinas :::: recap & review

spartan sprint carolinas
march 23, 2013
time: 1:34:13

my brother and i ran this race last year, if you want you can read about it here. this year we dragged brad along too :)

our heat was scheduled for 10a so we drove to charlotte that morning. we got to the race site [us national whitewater center] and went up the hill to get checked in. i had ezekiel toast with PB before we left asheville and that seemed to do a lot better than last year's clif bar.

of note::: it was COLD this year. i was not looking forward to the water obstacles!

we made ourselves get out of the car and get our bibs on, then we headed up to get marked up. volunteers write your bib number on your face, arm, and leg [from what i can tell this is mostly for pictures because bibs tend to be covered in mud].

then we headed to the start line. i believe they release heats of 200 every 30 minutes. i don't normally start near the front of any race, but we lined up pretty far up for this. last year we got behind a lot of people on a single track trail at the beginning so we wanted to avoid that.

.: obstacles that i remember :.

  • up and down a set of stairs
  • pretty technical trail running
  • set of 4 foot [i think] walls, one you go over, one under, then one through the middle
  • the trenches [barbed wire mud pit] i'm talking mud up to your chest. 
  • the mud pit led into the river, which we waded in for a bit
  • one seven foot wall followed by an 8 foot wall
    • obviously matthew and brad helped me here. matthew gave me a knee then they made sure i was steady at the top. i slipped coming off the back side and hurt my palm pretty badly. i should have just let go when i slipped but my reaction was instead to grip harder.  it immediately started turning blue so i skipped the second wall and went to do burpees. 
  • tractor pull [i managed this one all by myself this year!]
  • back to the river for some more wading
  • three mud pits that were shaped like this VVV you walked down into them then had to climb up the other side. it looked super easy but was actually pretty hard. it was slippery but that's where the teamwork comes in. [TMI alert - i ripped my bootie to shreds sliding into the pits, OUCH!]
  • barbed wire crawl
  • monkey bars = my second set of burpees
  • bucket pulley - they actually had girl and boy buckets this year and i was so happy to be able to complete this obstacle. 
  • climb through a concrete tunnel
  • cargo net climbs
  • sandbag carry [they also had added a girl version of this, last year we all carried the same sandbags]
  • traverse wall [burpees for me]
  • tire flip
  • spear throw [30 more burpees]
  • rope climb [umm... burpees]
  • a ladder type wall that you climbed up, over and down
  • an incline wall that you used a rope to climb over
  • fire jump
  • gladiator pit
.:my race:.
  • i felt like it was easier this year [matthew said the same]. 
  • i feel like i could do another one and let the boys go on ahead of me. while it was nice to have them as my safety net and cheering me on, i know they would like to see how fast they could actually do a course. 
  • i was disappointed in myself for skipping that second wall. i let my fear get the best of me and i regret it. 
  • i made a point to stop and help people when and where i could. i love the camaraderie that comes with spartan race. it's all about getting everyone across the finish line. 
  • i did two obstacles that i wasn't able to do last year.
  • once again, my brother stepped up big for me. he and brad went ahead and finished because the they thought i could do the final obstacles myself.
    •  matthew ran back to encourage me, telling me i was almost there and giving me tips on the final wall. 
    • last year i burpeed out of this wall because people were killing themselves on it. they had put dish liquid on it to make it super slick and i have this unrational fear of busting my teeth out!
    •  matthew told me that i could do it so i said i'd try even though i wanted to burpee out of it.
    • i started up it and started to have a mini freak out because my feet started slipping out from under me. i was about to let myself slide down when i heard my brother at the top of it telling me to lean into my heels and that i could do it. 
    • i climbed up to him and he helped me over the top. he had come back onto the course to help me. love him. 

this was after we hosed off. still freezing our tails off. and here are some pics from the race photographers:

i think brad win's for best picture! side note::: they allow you to download hi res copies of these pics FOR FREE. huge kudos to spartan race for providing that. 

they also send you a video of yourself completing some of the obstacles. here's mine, if you're so inclined you can see me crawling through the barbed wire pit, finishing the last incline wall, and running through the gladiator pit:::: click for video.

improvements from last year:

  • ladies versions of some obstacles
  • mile markers
  • more water stations
  • the shirts said 'finisher' on them. however they still give them to you at the end of the race when you're covered in mud. they're still black cotton. yuck. 
  • bibs were nicer


  1. Congrats on your second Spartan race victory! I just did the Georgia sprint and it looks like yall had alot of the same obstacles we did (except we didn't get fire!) I too busted up my butt on the mud hills! They had roots and stuff sticking out of them. It seems we both did burpees at the same obstacles too . I excel at all the carrying/pulling/lifting stuff, and think that next year I will take the men's versions of those obstacles for a bit more of a challenge. I had a blast, and discovered that I LOVE mud!

    I too wish the shirts were better! The logo on mine has become all bumpy and uncomfortable against my skin. The Georgia shirt I got at the tent was much softer and nicer.

  2. Great job! This makes me really want to do a Spartan race. All the pictures are great and double bonus that they are free!

  3. Oh this looks so fun! Great job sweetheart! I am surprised the pictures are free, how awesome, seriously. I hate when photographers charge $38.95 for a single download... what a rip off. Great job girl, I loved reading that recap! :)

  4. I've never done one of these but it's on my list. They just look pretty fun in all. That's good to hear that it was easier for you this year than last. Mentally that made you pretty happy I bet!

  5. wow! your brother is all grown up! y'all look tough as hell in these pictures. congrats on finishing!

  6. Way to go Courtney!! Love reading these recaps:) You did awesome!

  7. Awesome Courtney! Love the photos! I would be tempted to pay the outrageous prices for them :)

  8. hey girl!
    the pics are amazing, thanks for sharing and congrats!
    Just reading the obstacles you went through on the race had me absolutely exhausted!! lol

  9. I did a mud run and that was fun, but I think I'm going to steer clear of these...did you read the article in RW about the woman who fell in the fire?? Well yeah that's me on like a normal tuesday :)

  10. Congratulations to you guys Courtney! I love the pictures. I never will understand why they don't let you finish the race, hose off, and then get your stuff.