Last weekend, I ran the Spartan Sprint in Amesbury, MA. It was my third Spartan and the first time I *truly* ran with a team. For the first two races I ran with a team but we weren’t a team besides the matching shirts and carpooling to the race. Everyone had their own goals and once we passed the start line, racers scattered and we met up afterwards for a post-race beer and to laugh about our experience and compare bruises.
Each time was a blast, I’m not knocking my earlier teams at all, but running as a team last weekend was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the fastest time in the world. Last weekend’s Amesbury Sprint was the most challenging and rewarding race yet.
I’m not going to pretend that a tiny part of me wondered if I could have beaten last year’s time. I was much better prepared this year, physically and mentally, but Spartan outdid themselves with making the race more than a mile and a half longer this year and throwing some new obstacles at us. I wouldn’t have been able to beat last year’s time unless I had a jetpack attached to my back anyways so it always works out the way it was meant to be.
Lucky for me, I was with five other people who were dedicated to experiencing the race with more than themselves in mind. Our team of six was going to leave no one behind and beat this course together.
The fitness levels in our group varied from a special forces guy, yoga instructor, CrossFit box owner all the way to the moms like my friend Vicky and myself. Each of us had our strengths and areas where we needed a boost from our teammates. One team member could have easily flown past us at the starting gate and placed in the top 10%, but he stuck with all of us and was invaluable to the team.
One of us was carried down the rock bucket hill while most of us needed help to get over the 10′ walls. Tips and pointers were shared to get over certain obstacles, hands were held and encouraging words were generously offered throughout the two and a half hours it took all six of us to cross the finish line, together. As a team.
I’ve always been a fan of Spartan Races since finishing my first race a year ago, but I’m truly a fan now after running as part of a team where no one is left behind.
Running a Spartan is a lot like life: you can do it by yourself if you have to but it’s SO much better with others.
So surround yourself with good people to run as a team and you’ll find Spartan Races even more rewarding. I can’t wait to do it all over again in September at the BEAST, good luck and AROO!