4-0-300 Blog 048
Weather: Hot, but considering the smoke in most of Alberta from the BC forest fires it was clear in Red Deer, 26°C
Festival Area: Amazing difference from the last two years, previously it was all smashed together in one small space. This year it was moved in behind the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame so they had way more room, which they used for more vendors and were able to put more obstacles alongside the festival area for people to see. Another really smart biproduct of this was that it was right alongside Highway 2 so anyone driving by saw this massive Spartan gathering which can only be good for the sport and brand.
Course Conditions: No rain for a long time prior made for a dry, quick course. The course went in and out of the forest a lot, with some bushwhacking it resembled Montana Junior only with much smaller hills.
Course Layout: So, massive changes to the course from the last few years. Spartan HQ took over Canada operations this year from the company that they had outsourced to in the past. Usually the course was laid out where you would run for a bit do an obstacle or two then run for a small chunk again. This year it was different in that the running sections were longer then you hit little obstacle gauntlets of 3-4 obstacles most of which were within view of the festival area so you could hear people cheering for you which was cool. As with past Red Deer race they used the ranch well as parts of the running were along the horse trails, and single track flowing through the park however this year they cut through the bush and the forest more, plus they also used the hill more. The last two years it was up and down once maybe twice this year, I lost count making for a much more challenging run. I really liked all the changes, you could get in to a running rhythm with the longer sections and the obstacles felt harder when you have them back to back to back.
Favorite Unique Obstacle: The Water Crossing/Swim, perhaps it was the volunteer whose speech was awesome: “If you don’t know how to swim, today is not the day to learn. Use the path around.” Or maybe it was the struggle of last year’s swim trying not to fry my Fitbit this year I had a waterproof one so I was able to pass some people and get ahead.
Favorite Aspect (not obstacle): Was the feeling of it being a very different challenge from the past, it makes you want to keep going year after year rather than thinking “I raced this venue once, I’m good now”.
Race Synopsis: For me this race felt really good especially given I had slacked off on my running training the last two weeks before the race expecting the easier Red Deer course of the past. I was running around the pace I wanted, the longer distance for a sprint at 7.5K and the increased climbing resulted in a slower time then I was hoping for but that is only logical given the increased challenge. I also lost time on some obstacles which I’ll get into in a moment.
Total Burpees: 60 burpees
Failed two the usual suspects, the Rig and Rope Climb. The rig I wasn’t close but I made it up about two-thirds of the way up before I just couldn’t make it any further. Was happy to make the monkey bars, and Herc Hoist after having problems with those last year. Was happy to beat Olympus trying it for the first time, and just made the Spear Throw as it stuck in the Saran Wrap holding the hay together.
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Biggest Critique: Line-ups. Line-ups everywhere, first the shuttle line was so long I wouldn’t have made my start time despite being in the parking lot 70 minutes prior to starting, I had to get a warm up jog/walk in to get the 2.5k over to the venue to make sure I had time. Then during the Sandbag Carry we got stuck due to volume and the one flaw in the layout. You went down through the bush, into the river and then back up the bank on some now slippery round, river stones with only a small path. This led to a huge bottleneck as racers struggled to get up but you couldn’t get up to help them as the path was narrow and no one wanted to give up their place in line. I lost 10 minutes on this obstacle. The final line-up was to retrieve bags from Bag Drop which took a really long time out in the open and heat after being exhausted from the race.
Lessons Learnt: That Spartan Canada will be a step up from the last few years and that I really need to take training more seriously for their races this year. To be even more early than I usually thought I need to be.
I am a proud father & husband. A former semi-pro skier, turned rugby 7’s player, I’ve now worked to become a OCR racer.
A level 2 NCCP certified coach, I also hold coaching certifications in 3 sports.