The Spartan Race – Sprint (5k) – Our Style!
I heard of the Spartan Race last year and it’s not for everybody! The worldwide event, the Spartan Race – Sprint (5k) is a known gut wrenching obstacle race that was recently (2015) launched in Dubai.
The Spartan Race is an increasingly popular, invigorating and challenging obstacle course that is designed with everyone in mind. Plus they have some daring courses that are tailored made to help you build inner and physical strength.
You have a choice of a Spartan Sprint (5 kilometers / 20+ obstacle), Spartan Super (13 kilometers / 25+ obstacles), Junior Spartan (800M to 1.5km for 4 to 15 years old) and Special Spartans (for racers with disabilities). It’s been stuck in my brain since the moment I laid eyes on the ads. I loved the idea! I searched the website, spartanarabia.com and immediately registered my husband, my sister and I.
Who Will Join Us?
All along, I’ve been telling our friends about the Spartan Race and ask them to join our team ‘The Narts.’ Some of our friends called us nuts and some just completely ignored the message. Participating were my husband, my sister, her fiance and me.
A few weeks after registration, it was the beginning of the Workout Tours. These are weekly workout sessions that are free of charge. The company and its national sponsors do this to encourage people to workout. Preparation for the race is crucial and they give you that opportunity when you register.
I was so excited that I created a WhatsApp group. I titled it, counting down to the day of the race. The app reminded each of us of our workout tour times and I sent inspirational pictures.
My sister and I went to these tours. Oh gosh… our legs were throbbing with pain afterward. It was like the intensity of the Insanity work-out with Shaun T. The routine was mad crazy and I didn’t do much of it. Nonetheless, the workout tour ended up leaving us with a beautiful feeling! We trained well today. I am very proud of myself and my sister.
Go Big or Go Burpee
We are getting closer to the race date. So we went to the workout tour where it’s usually held – Skydive Dubai. The training event called for rope climbing. They had a specific area where the ropes hung from the ceiling for us to use. I have never shimmied up a rope before and thought it would be terrific if I could.
Not quite a surprise, my sister and I couldn’t do it! It is much harder than it looks. We just laughed and said ‘Oh well, we’ll just do burpees!’ If you fail to complete an obstacle, you must do at least 10 burpees as a penalty.
A burpee is a full body count exercise that has four steps to it involving squats and a push-ups. What was also not so surprising was that Yazan, my sister’s fiance who’s a slim, flexible young man, was able to do it. We were relieved and happy!
Yazan reached the top and touched the end of the rope. We were so thrilled that we were still clapping as he slid down the rope. After showing us his hands full of deep scratches, we ran to the car and headed to Marina Mall.
We found the nearest pharmacy and got some alcohol pads to sanitize the wounds with and a skin repairing cream. Yazan can’t join the race now with fresh wounds. We all felt pretty bad at this point. We’d just have to go on without him.
The day of the Spartan Race – Sprint 5k, we woke up full of energy and mentally prepared. We stuffed our bags with a change of outfits, towels and the basic essentials and headed to the gas station. There, we grabbed some breakfast and we were off to the race location: Jebel Ali Racecourse.
We arrived an hour before our race, which was 12:45 pm and parked outside. Anything that’s not in a clear bag wasn’t allowed into the race area so the officials gave us some to place our stuff in. Next, we registered in, got our race kit and headed to drop our bags off at security. We were all ready to kick-start the race.
Let’s Get Ready to Race!
So much excitement brewing, but reality was starting to set in. I was getting anxious. They let us do some warm ups with a coach.
Dubai is essentially a desert. I hope anyone attending doesn’t mind getting dirty ’cause the first obstacle involved crossing a mud pond. (Is this the same thing as a mud bath? LOL) You’d think the sand would absorb the water, but nooooo!
I was standing there thinking, ‘Why do we have to go through the large mud puddle?’ Then the answer hit me – to get to the other side! (Hahaha)
They cover this whole with the heaviest plastic around and fill it with water. This made the bottom extremely slippery. I remember a lady putting her hand on me for support and in my mind, I thought ‘for Gods sake, I’m barely keeping myself from falling!’ In that moment of thought, I fell.
Walking through the water made our outfits super heavy. In addition, we had to run through the sand. The resistance of the sand didn’t make running any easier. My sister and I were exhausted! I asked my husband to carry on without us as we were having to go at it using our own pace. What do you know… he did!
Determined to Finish
We kept on going from one obstacle to another; from crawling to jumping off walls to climbing ropes and walls; carrying a 20kg sand bag up and down a hill and so on… it was a difficult challenge.
There were 3 obstacles that I failed to do and had to do burpees instead:
Pulling a rope that had a bag attached at it’s end. The bag probably doubles my weight because that thing WOULD NOT move!
Rope climbing, of course!
Throwing an arrow into a pile of farm straws? (LOL) I’m not really sure what they’re called though I almost got it – just not exactly. 🙂
At the end of the race, there was a line burning logs that we had to jump over. My sister and I joined hands and over the fire we jumped. Yay!! We were so full of pride and joy of finally finishing a SPARTAN RACE!
It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever done in all my life. It was a dream that came true. Writing about it alone makes me happy 🙂