Race Review: Montana Spartan Beast 2016

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Location: Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, Bigfork, MT


Weather: Started with a little chill but was 25°C by the middle of the race


Festival Area: Large space, lots of food vendors, with excellent viewing for the final 4 obstacles and finish line, the start was tucked up at one end. The American races have a bunch of recruitment tents which was new to see


Course Conditions: Dry, mountainous, lots of forested areas


Course Layout: Rugged, we had to run through bush and shrubs. Lots of steep climbs and descents.


Favorite Standard Obstacle: Plate Drag, first time trying it. What made it my favorite was the guy beside me saying I couldn’t finish the one I started because of a lump in the path, so I just ripped the sled right through the lump taking a chunk of earth out to get it done.


Favorite Unique Obstacle: Most of the course was standard Spartan obstacles, nothing really too unique to the terrain or the course. The closest would be the log crawl where you rolled under the first log then popped up to make your way across a mess of logs balance beam style until you made it to the end.


Favorite Aspect (not obstacle): The view. The location of this course was amazing, I plan on running it again and the view is an extra incentive to do so.


Race Synopsis: This race felt pretty good. I was able to get out to good start, my running felt like my training had paid off. The long steep climb of the Sandbag Carry was my first tough moment. The distance of the course was tough but the hardest part was the inclines, something I will take away into my further training. The memorization challenge was different. At about the 4-mile mark you had to match up your bib numbers to a chart and then remember a code word and numbers while you continued on the course until reciting to a volunteer around the 9-mile mark (Lima 809 2934). It was something different and kept challenging your mind while you challenged your body. The barbed wire was insane. They called it “a hundred yards of hell” and it lived up to its name. It was low, like barely able to roll under low, people had clumps of hair removed by the wire. I don’t know if that’s standard for all American races or that this was special being a U.S. Championship Series course but I even caught my arm once on it (still hoping it turns into a scar). I surprised myself at how well I beat the “heavy” obstacles like the farmer’s carry, tire flip, log carry, atlas stone and the stump carry with my only set back in that type of obstacle being the bucket brigade. I think I could have done better if I had my nutrition more on point through the race as it was one of the last obstacles and I had no energy left really to carry that weight uphill. My time was close to my goal of 6 hours, which if I had pushed myself harder to run instead of walk when I was alone I think I could have easily taken 30-45 minutes off of my time so I know I want to push harder when solo in the future.


Total Burpees: 150

Tyrolean Traverse Ladder, Rope Climb, Spear Throw, Z Wall and Multi Rig were my failed obstacles, no surprises there just more frustration. The Rope Climb especially as that was a breakdown in technique and not strength. I just didn’t grab high enough on the rope, my feet came right down on the hay bales and I got called out by the volunteer for failing. The others were all kind of the same thing, finish two-thirds of it then just slipping out or falling off. The Spear Throw I missed high and over the left shoulder just like Red Deer so at least I now have a pattern I can work off for fixing it.




Access A+
Course Layout A+
Incorporation of Site A+
Course Marking A+
Location A+
Overall A+


Lessons Learnt: This was an amazing experience on a perfect course, it became my new Mecca. I want to race this course again, probably not next year due to cost and wanting to keep family first but probably in 2018. Hopefully I can recruit a training/racing partner for that so I can push myself and my time down from this year. Oh and guess what my grip strength/endurance still sucks, I really want to work on that so as to run a burpee free course. While my training work really well for the carries, climbs, and hurdles it’s still a deficiency for me.

I also learnt so many other lessons from this race that I’m going to break it down into its own blog so as to not go on forever on this one. So look for that hopefully later this week.

scottyvoodoo montana spartan beast 2016 log carry

Scotty Voodoo
Is a proud father & husband. A former semi-pro skier, turned rugby 7’s player, I’ve now worked to become an OCR racer.
A level 2 NCCP certified coach, I also hold coaching certifications in 3 sports.


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