I have a different kind of post for you today. A little deviation from the standard “here’s my training progress” post.
I have been approached by the folks at the Reebok Spartan Race asking if I would put up a post about their races, and specifically talk about the February 8-9 Arizona and April 5 Vegas races coming up soon. (see links below for discount codes and to register)
I’m getting much more selective about what products and services that I write about. I want to make sure that it stays consistent with my personal goals/ progress/ experiences and is also relevant to the blogs core group of readers. And while it’s true that I don’t have any mud runs/ obstacle races on the schedule this year, there is no denying their mass appeal and prevalence in the racing world. I did one last year and would not trade the experience for anything. As a matter of fact, I have talked to several runners now who have gotten their start into a more active lifestyle by training for and completing one of these races. Hell, my original “big goal” was a race like this. (That did change once I got started and I fell in love with road racing, but that does not change the fact that the initial push came from an obstacle challenge)
With all that being said, I wanted to share some info on the Spartan Race.
Kind of an “Obstacle Race 101 class” if you will. So here is the deal with these races: they take place in an off-road setting, and while you are still covering the distance of the race, the path is filled with various military boot-camp style obstacles in most cases. This can include monkey bars, walls to jump over, big ass tires to flip, rock walls to climb, bales of hay (on fire, of course) to jump over, and then the infamous Mud Pit to crawl through.
I’ll be honest, while the mud and the obligatory “before and after” pics are a draw for a lot of people, it didn’t really so it for me. It was cool and something that I’m glad I got to experience (plus it have me this great photo op with my badass sister who ran it with me)
…but it was less the “dripping with mud” aspect and more of the “everyone working together as a team” aspect that really held the appeal for me.
The real driving force behind this type of race is that it’s a group effort. Whether you bring a crew of 20 people along with you like I did, or fly solo you are probably going to need, and guaranteed you will receive help along the way at some point while you are out there. That’s what I took out of the experience. (That and also it’s surprising how difficult it is to run and climb a rock wall while dripping a head to toe coating of mud) of course it’s a huge physical challenge, but the comroderie is what really attracted me and will eventually make me want to do another one. I got help from my peeps, and then from total strangers. I in turn help them all as well, my team or not: everyone had each other’s backs and that was awesome.
This is what the Spartan Race is all about: pushing yourself and helping others do the same. If you have not tried one, I highly recommend it.
It’s a great goal and race to try, even if you are newer to the active lifestyle scene, because if you want to finish it and you train for it, you will finish it, and crossing that finish line will make you feel like a complete and total badass. I can guarantee that.
Now here’s the cool part: as part of the deal for my posting up this Obstacle Run/ Spartan Race post, the insanely generous people at the Spartan Race have agreed to give me a discount code for everybody who reads this to use for a discount when registering, and one lucky winner will get a free entry into any 2014 Spartan Race in the US.
All you need to do to enter is:
- Comment on this blog post
- Like, share or comment on this post on the Big Andy’s Running Facebook page
- Favorite or Retweet this post on the @bigandya twitter feed.
Each comment, like, share, favorite, or retweet gets you an entry. I’ll pull the free race winner at noon EST on Tuesday, Jan 28th, 2014.
*For the discount code, click HERE and it will take you to a page and generate a 15% off discount code for race entry
Good luck, and until next time: Take it easy