This years fathers day started off a little differently than the years past. A few of us from No Bull decided to do a last minute spartan race up in Tuxedo, New York. We got up at 4am to make sure we had plenty of time to eat breakfast and make the two hour journey up north. The drive was smooth and we chatted about anything and everything. After arriving at the mountain we were all pretty excited to see what the mountain had in store for us.
After checking in and putting on our timer chips, head bands and war paint (eye black), we went to bag check and began to hydrate and stretch out. By the time we got to the starting line, it was time to go. After a quick "Aroooooo" motivational speech by the MC, off we went. Everyone has a different strategy when leaving the starting line, I always start out with a very slow, casual jog/walk. Many people pass you early on, but the tables turn quickly after they burn out on the initial hill and you still have a full tank of gas. The key to these mountains is keeping a moderate pace that allows you to just keep moving without stopping for breaks. The pace will be different for everyone, but safety should be your number one concern, and considering the ruggedness of these mountains, a moderate pace is ideal for most.
Within the first mile, we were fully submerged under muddy water and already jumped three or four walls. At mile two, there was the longest barbwire crawl I've ever seen, and it was really rocky. In between all of the obstacles were a lot of trips up and down the mountain, sometimes with just your bodyweight, and other times with sand bags and buckets full of stone. All the while, we're keeping it light and making jokes to keep our minds off of the nasty leg burning that was going on. At each obstacle, we always gave a helping hand to each other or a struggling stranger. How people can run past a person in need of help and not help them, baffles me.
Around mile four and five was a nasty combination of hills, rope climbs, monkey bars and rings. This is where you will quickly find out how strong or how weak you are. It's one thing to climb the rope when you're fresh, dry and indoors, but it's a whole other game when you have to climb a rope when you're wet, tired and hungry. I must admit though, you get a shot of adrenalin when dozens, and sometimes even hundreds of spectators and are looking at you while you're trying to complete an obstacle.
The best part of todays race was spending time with my daughter and some bad ass No Bullers. This was her first mountain spartan race and she absolutely dominated it with us. Never once did she complain (even when I know she wanted to) or did she want to skip an obstacle. She tried everything and succeeded with flying colors; even getting a bullseye on the spear throw. Now I don't actually care if she becomes a "Spartan" or not, in fact, i don't care if anyone does spartan races or not; what I really want is people to stop being scared of challenging themselves. You learn so much when you leave the comforts of your couch, about yourself and others.
After completing these types of races, you really are different; you're more confident, you're more humble, you're more experienced, and you're a better human!