It’s time to Spartan up – Spartan South East weekend

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training,”  Archilochos

Pre-season is over. Race day has been and gone – well actually race weekend. I’ve trained hard for this weekend of Spartan races, and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Sure, I’m not as fast as I want to be, but I’m leaner, fitter and smashing obstacles like never before.

Six years ago i had back surgery and i can’t believe how far I’ve come – from barely being able to walk around the block (I actually got overtaken by a pensioner using a zimmer frame at one point) to running two races in two days.

Two years ago I ran my first Spartan Sprint obstacle course and fell in love with the challenge. I ran a Super that year before putting my back out and being unable to run the Beast and complete my Trifecta – so last year i tried to put that right.

Last year. I entered six races – enough for two Trifecta – just to be certain. I wasn’t fast, but i endured. I completed all six races – even the Edinburgh Beast that saw half the field fail to complete the 26 km race that included 30+ obstacles and some 2km of elevation gain! I may almost have got hypothermia, but the satisfaction of completing “the toughest race in the UK” makes it all worthwhile !

Whats more, I’m now the proud owner of lots of Spartan bling – including the coveted 2x Trifecta medal!

This season is a little different – I’ve decided to turn the volume up to 11 and have entered 8 races, 3 Super / Sprint double headers and two Beasts.

The South East Spartan weekend at St Clere was definitely a game of two halves. Saturday’s Super was a damp 13km run dominated by a painfully hilly mid-section through the woods. I faulted at three obstacles including the Spearman so incurred the time-honored punishment of 30 burpees per failure – 90 burpees in total. I was pleased though as I nailed the rope climb and a number of obstacles I struggled with last year.

Just taking my bucket full of rocks for a gentle stroll – it gets lonely you see 🙂

Perhaps my favourite touch was the easter egg the organisers left on the hillside for the GPS…


The Sprint was a different story – it was boggy and slow going. But I almost had a perfect run – only failing at the Spear throw when my spear bounced out of the hay bail – so 30 burpees were incurred. I used the race as an opportunity to experiment with technique and strategy, to practice my training and improve my performance in the next races…

The fire jump after the two ten foot walls


Until the next time –  AROO!

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