This past weekend was great! Mr. SFF and I drove down to my dad’s house on Friday after work to stay for the weekend. We stopped for dinner on the way but there is a great restaurant just off the highway where we got dinner for both of us plus two beers for Mr. SFF for only $42 (including tip), all which Mr. SFF paid for. If only we could get that kind of deal in my home town!
The main purpose of this trip was to run Boston Super on Saturday down in Barre, MA. This is the first of my Spartan Races this year and as my dad’s house was only an hour 15 away it was a great place to stay (free lodging!). In case you missed my previous post, a Spartan Race is an obstacle course race where there is plenty of climbing, crawling, running and tackling unique obstacles. When you cannot complete an obstacle you have to do 30 penalty burpees so it is certainly incentive to complete everything. On Friday night we arrived at my dads around 8:30 PM. Thankfully it was light enough out to spend a little time practicing my spear throw which felt good (and paid off).
Early Saturday morning we had breakfast at the house before hitting the road at 7:30.
The day was warm and sunny and what I would normally call perfect summer weekend weather. But temps in the mid 70’s and sunny when you are racing can be pretty hot and as we started at 11:30 we were racing during the hottest part of the day. But alas, my racing buddy and I were pumped! Racers from the earlier heats were already finished so we knew the course was only 8 miles, pretty flat, and fast. We also heard that it was an ankle biting course with rocks, logs and stumps all along the course so careful footing would be important.
The first couple of miles were in the sun and we felt like we were just baking in the sun which made us go a little slower than what we would have wanted. Any shade we encountered later on the course was such a nice reprieve from the sun. We both now realize that we have to do some more training in the hot sun to prepare for our next race in case it is hot again.
After a almost 7 miles we encountered a trio of harder obstacles. Of course they leave some of the harder obstacles for when you are tired but as I had just nailed the spear throw (YAY!!) I was confident that we would both be able to complete the rope climb. We have been practicing a lot and we both knew that we could complete it successfully. I have also been able to complete this obstacle at both of my races last year. Unfortunately on Saturday the rope climb was in a really deep pit of water. The water was up to my chest making it hard to get started but I was able to get going. Since the water pit was so deep the rope was soaked making it extremely slippery. I was only a foot from the top, the glorious bell within my sight when I slipped. I tried to readjust but ended up slipping more and eventually falling all the way down, more than 20 feet to the water below. The fall was disorienting a little even though I was not hurt and also extremely frustrating. It took me a little while to calm down before starting my 30 penalty burpees. Those were the most disappointing burpees I have ever had to complete. But I did them and moved along.
Next up was the Tyrolean traverse. I have done this twice before successfully while training at Shale Hill and this one was much shorter and not over water so I knew we could both successfully complete it. I got on the rope, closed my eyes, and just kept my arms and legs moving until I was able to ring the bell. Success! Next up was the multi bar rig. In addition to the spear throw, this newer obstacle is known as a “burpee maker” as many people cannot complete it. We both gave it our best effort but ended up doing our penalty burpees. Although these three right in a row were tough, the rope climb and multi-bar rig were the only obstacles I missed out of all 25 total so I would call that a success.
The thing I love the most about these races is the feeling when you cross that finish line. After hours of grueling terrain and obstacles, you jump across the fire and to the finish line. It is seriously the greatest feeling of accomplishment I have ever experienced.
Our next race is in Ottawa in 7 weeks and will the our hardest race yet, with more obstacles and on Mont St Marie so there will be lots of hill climbs. I have a lot of training to do!
Saturday night we had a great meal at my dads and then a relaxing morning on Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day before heading home. Overall, a fantastic weekend!
Now as this is a personal finance blog, lets get down to the costs of this adventure. One unexpected added expense that resulted from this trip was leaving my toiletries behind. I asked my dad to mail them to me but he said it was not worth it. It was worth it to me as we have an out of town wedding next weekend and I have to replace them but I didn’t have time to argue. I bought half of the things I needed and will make due with the others. Sort of a bummer but that is the way it goes sometimes.
Friday night dinner (Mr. SFF paid)
Race Fees: $97.35 (paid for back in January)
Mr. SFF’s entry fee: $20
Beer: Free! (and tasted so good after the race)
Trifecta holder: $15 (had a $5 off coupon)
Gas (Mr. SFF paid)
Father’s Day Card: $3.95
Replacement toiletries: $9.49
This hobby may be a little expensive at times but I absolutely love it! To me, it is worth every penny.
For anyone interested in the Spartan race and all of the obstacles we encountered, here is a complete list: hay wall, 6′ wall, OUT (over, under, and through), monkey bars, barbed wire crawl, lattice bridge, wall series 7 & 8, sandbag carry, vertical cargo, inverted wall, plate drag, z walls, atlas carry, bucket brigade, stairway to Sparta, spear throw, moats, slip wall, rolling mud/dunk wall, rope climb, Tyrolean traverse, multi bars, Hercules hoist, A frame cargo, and fire jump.