Race Review: Calgary Spartan Sprint 2016

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Now for this race I ran the course twice, once for my own competitive desires and once as team later in the afternoon. For the burpees and my performance critique I’m only counting the first lap as the second time was all about helping the team finish. We all helped each other with the burpees so I have no idea anymore what ones I earned and my teammates helped me out finishing or vice versa.

Location:  Wildrose MX Park, Calgary, Alberta

 

Weather: Really nice day, slightly overcast at times but mostly sunny and 24°C

 

Festival Area: Same as last year spread out with lots of vendors, not the best spot to watch the course but lots of bleachers near the start and finish for that. Lots of new vendors this year which seeing companies backing the sport is awesome

 

Course Conditions: Dry and quick a complete 180 from last year

 

Course Layout: The course was completely different from last year, much more demanding. Lots of running at the start using the few hills on the site to make you work off the hop. Lots of strength based obstacles at this point as right after the 5 foot walls, and O.U.T. they hit us with Atlas Carry, Sandbag Carry, Monkey Bars and then the crazy Bucket Carry. Then into some muddy or steep single track sections. The second half setup to have a quick run section than a couple of obstacles, quick run with a few more obstacles and so on. The course designers partnered up lots of the latter obstacles to make them even harder, for example you had to walk right through a pond then attempt the Slip Wall. Or even more nefariously the really wet and muddy Barbed Wire Crawl just before the Rope Climb made it even more difficult.

 

Favorite Standard Obstacle: The Bucket Carry in Calgary was no joke. Anyone who did the Montana races know that was tough but Calgary was right on par. It started out differently as you went downhill first but it was a steep loose segment that chopped away to be even steeper as more racers came through. Then up a similarly loose steep section to finish it off, while it was a short-ish loop it proved to a tough challenge.

 

Favorite Unique Obstacle: There wasn’t really a unique obstacle this year, there was a new addition in the Multi-Rig being  but as I failed that I wouldn’t call it my favorite. To me it was more the combinations of obstacles I liked probably leaning towards strength section I mentioned earlier as my favorite as I was able to get them done pretty quickly and get going.

 

Favorite Aspect (not obstacle): Running it twice, made it easily my favorite race day experience to date. It was fun to go out and test myself in the morning but then I really enjoyed the social side of running with a team in the afternoon.

 

Race Synopsis: The course was such a different challenge it made for a really enjoyable experience. My only criticism of the course would be Barbed Wire Crawl while they made it challenging they didn’t make it anywhere near wide enough with only two lanes going through if you got stuck behind a group on in my second laps case some guys who thought it the perfect time to stop and have conversation despite the bottleneck behind them. The heavy carries were stepped up from last year with the Sandbag carry going from a short flat little 30 second loop to a longer, more challenging terrain version. Even the Tractor Pull was on a flooded part of the course to make it much harder than the 2015 version. As for my performance I felt really fast for the first 2k but after that I slowed significantly as I went out a little too hard, still trying to find my race pace.

 

Total Burpees: 120

First fail was a dumb moment of failed concentration where I just slipped off the Zig Zag Balance Beam just by listening to someone talk to their friend and stopped paying attention to what I was doing. Missed the Spear Throw which was the next obstacle hit the hay but didn’t get it to stick (made it on lap two for my first successful spear toss). After that the Multi-Rig and Rope Climb were the more typical fails for me as I struggled on both for a while making about halfway on both before the combination for wet, muddy hands and failing grip strength crushed me.

 

 

Scorecard

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

 

Lessons Learnt: Biggest lesson I learnt was how much a venue can change from one year to the next which as a relative newcomer to the sport still is very exciting. I’ve made improvements in my weaker areas but still to keep working on that damn grip strength. I also need to be doing run training on tougher terrain as I go out as hard as I do on flatter terrain but with the addition of hills it’s kicking my butt a bit and I can’t establish a flow. I surprised myself at how good I felt running it twice within hours of each other, my body stood up to the test another sign that all the workouts and training are paying off in a very big way. I also learnt to sign up early as the course and obstacles take a beating throughout the day got much harder to complete the second time through in afternoon. Another big take away was just how much fun it was to run with a team and I can’t say enough nice things about them, their performance, their company and overall spirit it made the day that much better. So thank you again to them. I can’t wait to sign up early and get a team going for next year.

mud pit calgary spartan sprint 2016

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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