THE 2018 SPARTAN SPRINT-LONG ISLAND
By George Demetriou
What in the world is a “Spartan Sprint”?
Spartan Races are Obstacle Course races. This means that besides locomoting the participant has to negotiate various obstacles. The Spartan Races come in various lengths and degree of difficulty. The Spartan Race Long Island, the first one on Long Island, was a Sprint. It was 4 miles long and included over 20 obstacles. The obstacles were walls of various heights that had to be climbed over, The Barbed Wire Crawl that forced participants to crawl through thick, cold mud, the Underwater Wall where you had to submerge then go under a barrier to come out of the other side (great, now we’re thoroughly soaked and we still have miles to go!), monkey bars, rings that had to be traversed, some evil device called “the Twister” that also had to be traversed but it turned as you gripped it, a rope climb, a spear throw, a bucket filled with rocks carry on uphill muddy terrain, The Dunk Wall, Atlas Stone Carry, the Inverted Wall, the Hercules Hoist, the Weighted Sled Pull, the Olympus, the A-Frame Cargo Net, and the Sandbag Carry. I’m probably forgetting one or two but these were the main ones and you get the gist. (Click on the highlighted words so you can see a video of the obstacles named.)
When the legendary Spartan King, Leonidas, fought the invading Persians and died at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC he was said to be between 54 and 60 years old. The Spartan King could have stayed back at Sparta but he didn’t. He fought with the other Spartan warriors on the front lines. We believe being 50 years of age or more is hardly a reason to quit being in the “battle”. I’m proud of Team CrossFit Suffolk for so many things from the Spartan Sprint on November 17th, 2018, but none more than the fact that of our team of over 20 people the largest age group was the 50 years old or older group. There was 8 of us. Pretty awesome if you ask me!
Ben came in 6th overall out of 3,260 racers. Amazing! He came in 2nd in his age group, 35-39 and his mile pace for the 4-mile course was 11:46. His time was a blistering 47:02.
Melissa D. came in 204th overall, 12th for women and 6th in her age group, 25-29. Awesome! Melissa’s mile pace for the course was 15:11. Her time was a blazing 1:02;10.
Tyler was most likely the youngest person to run the race because he ran in the 15-19 group and he’s a bit shy of 15. Tyler came in 1221 overall, 898 for men, and 50th out of 86 in his age group, his time was a smoking 1:24:38.
Jason was right there with his son finishing at 1:24:41, 1226 overall, 900th for men, 79th in the males 45-49 division. Keeping up with a 14-year old…YEAH JASON!
The rest of us pretty much stayed together and finished at around the 1:50 mark. We supported each other and helped each other along the course which made it “fun”.
Other proud moments:
There were people with serious anxiety about doing the race, but they all stepped up and performed courageously and with a positive attitude. It was awesome to watch. For the participants who are extremely nervous finishing a Spartan Sprint, or anything that you complete that has taken you out of your comfort zone, does wonder for your confidence. It also validates your training and points out what you need to work on.
Katy, who is one of the top performers in the gym and could have been one of the top finishers, hung back to support the team and make sure she could be in a position to help the others. Katy took on the leadership role.
The story of the day is Trish. Trish was one of the aforementioned nervous-about-the-race-people. One of the most difficult parts of the course was the monkey bars. These aren’t your father’s monkey bars. They were high. They were thick. They were slippery. I tried it and slipped off right away. Then Trish stepped up and, seemingly, out of her body. She traversed the entire set without a hitch like it was her job. Watching Trish I realized she was “in the moment”. There was no distraction. There was no doubt. There was just doing without conscious thought. Our group stood by and cheered her on but was also watching in amazement. Was that the same person who was scared just a little while ago? Trish’s mental stillness had a very calming effect. Having witnessed this, I went down a different set of monkey bars and made it across. It wasn’t easy. I honestly don’t know if I would have done it if I just didn’t watch Trish. Trish inspired Katy to get across as well.
If that wasn’t enough, at the end of the course we had to negotiate an A-Frame cargo net of sorts, made out of nylon webbing. It went about 20 feet high. The hardest part was psychological, at the top, you have to swing your legs over so you can climb down. Sounds easy but when you’re tired from all the other obstacles and the running you begin to doubt your ability to hang on. We all got up and over no problem, but there was a woman, unknown to any of us, who was stuck at the top, paralyzed with fear. The woman, as it was told to me, looked like she was petrified and crying. Trish looked up at her, climbed back up the A-Frame and talked the woman down. So many others had just passed the woman by without a word. Trish couldn’t let that be. Like a true Spartan, Trish wouldn’t leave this stranger stuck on an obstacle. It was such a selfless act of kindness. Perhaps not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it was to me, those who watched her, and I’m sure it was to the woman who needed help. It’s moments like this that make the discomfort of the day worth doing the Spartan Sprint.
All in all, it was a good time. It was good to engage in a physical/mental, for some emotional, challenge that was outdoors and had an element of the unknown. While there were times we all struggled I enjoyed watching our group, regardless of age, having fun like we were children on a giant playground for adults.
The A-Frame Cargo Net
HOLIDAY SCHEDULE MODIFICATIONS:
November 22nd, Thursday, Thanksgiving Day: 2 sessions only, 9-10 AM & 10-11 AM.
November 23rd, Friday: 2 sessions only: 10-11 AM & 11 AM-12 PM.
Workout Of The Day
Power Clean: 5 X 1
Russian Kettlebell swing