Most people know the Spartans from the movie 300 or other period Greek shows. Not many know that the Spartans were a cruel people by today's standards. From birth, soldiers came to the house to determine the baby's strength. It was bathed in wine instead of water, and if found wanting, the baby was left on the hillside or taken away to be made a slave. It is no surprise that Reebok chose to name this race after the Spartans. I don't know what possessed me, but I decided I needed to achieve something challenging this year. Hence I signed up for the race.
I didn't really put much thought into preparing for it. It was the usual weights training once a week and night-time runs. It wasn't much but I'd be the worse for wear without it. The Spartan Race not only tests one's fitness, it also gives you an idea of how mentally resilient you are. One of the first obstacles is to carry a super heavy concrete ball across a certain distance. I believe it was meant to sap us of our strength. I could barely lift it, eventhough I train with weights regularly. I was almost winded. The other obstacle that I found more irritating than difficult, was going under a series of ropes - I believe it was designed to snag up tall people like me. More challenging were the series of walls. I managed to clear all but the highest, having sprained my neck a little on the middle one. Other than that, it was just a matter of grinding your teeth and soldiering on. It reminded me of my "hike" in Cinque Terre (you can check out the pics in my earliest post), just a few notches harder.
I wonder who told us that the Spartan Sprint (contrary to how it sounds) was a 5km race. In the end we found out that it was 7km. The last 2km were the longest I've ever had. In the end, thank God, I managed to complete it with only a few bruises, scratches and a slightly stiff neck. Don't believe the TV ads where participants tell you that "anyone can do it". Yes, anyone can do it, if you don't mind falling out halfway (which was what happened to one of our team-mates). This event is something that I had to achieve at least once in my life (probably the only time). The feeling of fulfillment on completing the Spartan Race is something that you have to experience for yourself.