The Mr. Happy Team Triumphs at the Spartan Race
The Spartan race this past weekend was a tremendous (painful) experience.
It was a potpourri of emotions: grueling, dizzying, disheartening, camaraderie and exhilarating.
The Mr. Happy team: Austin, Gary, Geo and Brandon. Having a good time before going to Mountain Creek, NJ.
We arrive to the race. No pain yet,, just fun and laughter. Brandon (next to me) is 17 years younger – and it showed. Very HOT and HUMID.
Good luck hugs all around as the Mr. Happy team gears up.
And here we go!
By now we have already gone through the barbed wire crawl: a low crawl through mud under barbed wire for about 50 yards in length where my head got nicked and scratched. After a walk through about 20 yards of water shown below, we continue.
Austin and Brandon, clearly in great shape as they pause and laugh after mile 2 while they wait for me and Gary.
Spoke too soon…. Brandon cramps up. MAN DOWN!
Dr. Geo to the rescue!! Dijon mustard, water and salt to help Brandon with his cramps. Yellow mustard is thought to relieve cramps do to turmeric, which is used to give yellow mustard its color. Turmeric has many anti-inflammatory properties which are believed to enable the immediate relief. Cramps can be caused by a deficiency in acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that stimulates muscles to work. Mustard contains acetic acid, which helps the body produce more acetylcholine. This approach has not been verified by scientific research but it seems to work.
The Horizontal Wall Traverse is uses upper body, lower body, and core strength with a good dose of coordination to cross and tap the bell at the end. Gary shows great team effort by staying by me in case I fall. If I fall, I’d have to do 30 burpees. I don’t want to do burpees.
Rope climbing? Oh no. Austin is up. My arms are dead after the Horizontal Wall Traverse. Rope Climb: A rope is hung over a body of water/mud with a bell placed at the very top. Participants must “ring the bell” before climbing down.
Let’s do it! And up we go.
Team effort is what its all about. Let’s go Gary, get up!
The penalty for missing the spear throw was 30 burpees. I was pooped by this point. Spear throw: from a distance of 20 yards we threw a wooden spear into a target. If the spear does not stick (and my didn’t) we had to do a penalty of 30 burpees.
Object carry: Throughout the course we carried a tire, rock-filled bucket, boulder and sandbag. Now I am dizzy and my legs are numbed – I can barely feel them. God help me.
I lost my grip. My arms give out. I don’t know if I could make it further. Crazy!
Whew! I made it. Barely. Gary now has a swollen ankle. Is it broken? Or just a sprain? I don’t know.
Where’s Gary? Looking for Gary who decided to go through the rock/bucket challenge with a (I think) sprained leg. C’mon Brandon, let’s go get him.
Found him. Let’s Go Gary!!! You can do it brother!
YES!!! What grit! You did it brother!
Just when I question my decision on doing this, I read this guys shirt. And that’s exactly the message I need to read. Let’s GO!
After a few more wall climbs, one herculean hoist and a log jump, the Mr. Happy team made it to the finish line.
Wall climb: as the name suggests, runners must climb over a wooden wall. Walls range from 4–8 feet and are often in sequence. This obstacle may be repeated throughout the course.
Herculean Hoist: pulled a cement off the ground using a pulley system.
Log Jump: Logs are arranged in a zig-zag pattern at varying heights and participants have to hop on them without touching the ground. A true test of balance. Yup, I failed this one too but made it through Gary’s help.
8.5 miles and 28 obstacles later… We jumped over fire and made it to the end. In pain. No energy to smile. The Mr. Happy Team Triumphs!
Will I do it again? I’m too sore to answer that right now. There were times where I felt like I was going to vomit. Some delirium also set in around mile 6. It was too hot and those obstacles were grueling.
We definitely pushed ourselves to the limit.
4 things I learned by doing the biggest physical challenge of my life:
1. The human spirit is able to do anything to survive
2. People are genuinely good and want to help each under extreme circumstances
3. I need to lose 15 pounds.
4. I’m not in optimal spartan shape.
OK, so,,, who’s in for the next one?
If curious, see this 1 minute plus video on the spartan race.