I’m going to be honest here, I was about ready to write Spartan off and out of my race calendar permanently. I had completed the three distances last year, I had got my trifecta, I had had some fun and enjoyed the races, but really I thought they were a bit more hype than substance and although there was nothing wrong with any of the Spartans I did last year, there are plenty of other races out there to spend my hard earned cash on. Then they brought out new T-shirts and medals, and I got seduced by the new bling, so I decided to give them one more go and signed up to one sprint, one super and the beast for 2015.
Then came all the controversy sounding Spartan this year, changing dates, changing peoples wave times and making out that it was all brilliant with no apologies, and this managed to annoy me for no real reason as none of the changes had affected me, my races remained as I had booked them, all this along with lacklustre reviews, (other than Spartan Scotland, which sounded awesome!), and I found myself yet again thinking that this would be my last year doing Spartan, I would collect my Trifecta and call it a day.
Be all this as it may, I was still up at some ungodly hour on a Saturday morning to make the trip to the Cambridgeshire sprint (actually set in Peterborough). The long journey was filled with laughter as usual and we arrived in high spirits and got registered easily, leaving us a little time for a few photos before starting the race.
We clambered into the starting pen, the coloured wrist band we were given at registration checked as we climbed over the wall in front of the start line to make sure we were running in the right wave.
I was running this race with my friend Dom Wright, and we set off somewhere towards the middle of the pack and we hit the first obstacle in very short order. A series of low walls to vault over, coming so soon this did cause some hold ups but we were soon on our way across what turned out to be a very obstacle heavy course. They came thick,fast, and varied with very little running between them. This was fantastic, the course was amazing and you were never quite sure what they might make you do next. Spartan had done it, they had really got it right this time.
It was great running with Dom, who was always there to give me a push over a wall and encourage me, he also had the patience to wait around while I completed several sets of burpees for failing to complete the traverse wall (I got a bit tangled up), the monkey bars (too slippery for me to grip), the rope climb (because I just can’t do it) and the spear throw (only about an inch short – damn it! 😉 ) He also waited to help me and make sure I got up over the final wooden slope, which after sliding back down it several times at Cambridge last year, I’ve had something of a mental block over. We finished together, along with Gareth Ernest, as we leapt over the fire to pick up our medals.
After the race everyone was buzzing, so many obstacles for such a short distance, so much fun, such a good race. The general consensus was that this had been one of the best Spartan Races most of us had been to. I am now really looking forward to seeing what they throw our way at the Super and the Beast in a few weeks time, and I can’t wait to get out there and do another one, and if they are as good as this Sprint was, then I may have to put Spartan back on my race calendar after all!