FF Spartan Race (Red Deer Re-Cap): Stories of Proud Moments, Challenges, Why Not You?

July 22-23, roughly 30-50 Manitobans packed into cars or planes and headed out west to take part in Red Deer’s Spartan Sprint (usually about 5-7k) and/or Spartan Super (usually around 10-14k). Many of these people were FF members and their kids and ranged from first time Spartan racers to veterans.

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We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to report on 1 thing they were proud of, 1 challenge they faced/overcame (be it physical, emotional, mental) and 1 word of encouragement to anyone considering trying this in the future (especially right now as we’re trying to crowdfund for a Winnipeg Spartan Sprint event for Oct. 7 at Bird’s Hill Park! We need 2500 pre-registrations by August 31 and we’ve a long way to go!).

These are real FF members & staff on their own journeys so hopefully the personal nature of responses helps paint a picture that not everyone is a super athlete jumping over leaping trees of fire! (as sometimes the photos/videos may make it seem like everyone is like that…simply not true!)


David 

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Proud: I’m proud I faced my fear and completed the Sprint. Last year I had a mental block that was based on my fear of heights and water which prevented me from participating. I couldn’t get over my fear and so instead, I went to the event to just “be in the environment”. After seeing just how awesome and supportive everyone was I made this my year to compete in the Red Deer Sprint and completed it. I also hit the Spear throw 😉
Challenge: Since my surgery and weight loss I’ve lost the ability to swim. So in Red Deer I had a bit of a panicked moment when I feared the water. I got assistance by way of life jacket and crossed. I’m proud that although it wasn’t a perfect moment, I owned it and made it through to the other side of the ravine. Knowing the safety of the event and how open everyone is help one another face obstacles and challenges has made me view Spartan in a different light. It’s challenging but fun and all skill levels, ages, and abilities can participate in the Sprint!

Travis 

Proud: As you know, for the Super (2nd day) I got all the obstacles, I was so pumped I made the rig I actually yelled out loud “yes” when I hit the ground after ringing the bell! For both the sprint and the super I was able to run the whole time without stopping (other than the obstacles and like a brief 10sec pause at the water stations…this is the first time I have been able to do that.)

Challenge: Running 2 races back to back, I was pretty concerned what I would feel like Sunday morning after Saturdays race, but I felt great.


Shawna

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Proud: getting through the course! 7.5 km is longer than I’m used to running and the terrain was challenging! 60 burpees and top 5 in my age category for the open heats….couldn’t really ask for more!
Challenge: this was at the end of a 3 week road trip for my family so probably wasn’t in peak form! My son was also  sick leading up to the race so little sleep and lots of distractions!! Had a hard time pushing myself to run at times and felt like I should have been able to move faster. The obstacles gave me confidence back.

Why You?  I found it very intimidating to sign up for my first Spartan race but the atmosphere is incredible and extremely inspiring!


Larissa 

Proud: My running. I didn’t spend much time training for the race, so I was surprised at how far my legs carried me.
Challenge: Overcoming feelings of discouragement (from all the burpees I did in the sprint) and fatigue. I woke up on Sunday NOT wanting to race again. But, with the encouragement from FF peeps, both in Red Deer and back at home, I decided to get myself to the race site and just do my best. And to my surprise, I enjoyed the Super more than the Sprint! 
Why You? To try a unique challenge that pushes you mentally just as much as physically. Lots of people think that these races have no real world application, but they couldn’t be more wrong. The more often you do something that is scary and difficult, the more resilient you become. There is huge carry over to everyday life!

Andreina

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Proud: The Olympus Wall was not an obstacle that I ever had the opportunity to practice before the race.  I tackled it not knowing whether or not I could get across it.  In the end, all the grip strength and pull up work I’ve been focusing on since fall certainly paid off as I felt that those skills transferred to that obstacle very naturally.  I was surprised, happy and proud of myself when I completed it!
Challenge: 2 weeks before the big day and sprained my right ankle (I had been preparing for months). The injury slowed me down both physically and mentally, as there were three obstacles that I felt incapable of completing on my own.  I asked for assistance on the inverted and 7 foot wall and another person came out of nowhere to carry my sandbag as the terrain was a bit too much given my ankle situation. I made the smart decision to rest the second day vs risking making things worse; very hard to do but I cheered everyone on and it was the right choice. I have to remember that showing up in spite of not being fully recovered from my injury, and racing all the way to the end is an accomplishment in itself.

Why You? I have not heard one single person that has finished the race say that they didn’t enjoy the experience and that they wouldn’t do it again, even if they didn’t get the finish that they would have hoped for. The personal sense of accomplishment felt after finishing the race is hard to compare to anything else you might have experienced and it will make you forget all about the pre-race nerves to the point that you will want to do it all over again!


Jethro
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Proud: My sprint race had me doing back to back burpees at the rig and spear throw. This was pretty discouraging. I definitely still pushed myself but in the moment I was pretty negative. At the super, I made the rig but still bombed the spear. I was proud of myself for staying positive despite the 30 burpees. I remember actually smiling as I started my burpees because I was glad that I had at least made the rig this time. The rest of the race I just continued to stay positive and focus on what I could do better not of what others were doing. A positive mindset makes for a much more enjoyable race and I believe a much more successful one as well.

Challenge: I had to get through mentally was knowing that in this race I was not going to have the success, place wise, that I’ve had in local races. I’ve done fairly well in the past and after the sprint the reality of my ability in the field of competitors was clear. In the second race, much like I mentioned earlier, I ran my own race. I certainly was aware of others around me and used them to push me but I wasn’t going to be phased by being passed. In the end I had a great back and forth battle with two other guys who were better runners than me. In the end, my physical strength at the obstacles slowly gave me the upper hand which was pretty cool.

Why You? I am always more motivated to train with a tangible goal in mind. Prepping for a race gives me a clear goal. Along with this, the training for OCR is so diverse and just plain fun that it makes the process very enjoyable. We all need challenges to push us to become better versions of ourselves. OCR provides us with a variety of obstacles. Some we will train for and overcome and can be tangible representations of mental obstacles we struggle with. Some we don’t overcome, but remind us that we can always go back to the drawing board and work towards future success. Everyone can do it.


Aileen

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Proud: Simply getting out there and finishing the race. There were moments when I kept cramping up badly that I thought to myself, “I don’t know how I’m going to finish this”, but I knew that if I didn’t push myself mentally and physically, that I would regret it so much. The moment I got up the slip wall (worrying that I would cramp right as I ran up to grab the rope), I knew that I was capable of more than I had let myself believe I was.
Challenge: I’m sure that by now it’s known that water terrifies me. Before the start of the race, I was made aware of the dunk wall, and the stream crossing farther down the race. The minute I was told of these two things, I instantly felt my heart rate climb, my breathing become a little more shallow, and tears forming in my eyes (I really felt like I was going to have a little anxiety attack).
The moment I got to that dunk wall, it was a huge mental battle to get it done. I was lucky enough to have Kevin by my side to help pull me up as I got under, and hearing Johnny’s cheers on the sideline to motivate me. What turned out to be a scary thing for me, actually become a really proud moment for me. There are moments where I feel stupid or silly for this fear. At the race I worried that people would judge me for this, and realizing that this fear is real and visceral is something I’m trying to work on.
Why You for Spartan Winnipeg?
It is the perfect opportunity to learn about yourself through means of challenging every aspect of your being. There’s nothing like feeling so proud of yourself after having done a race, and proving to yourself that you are in fact capable!!! The community and camaraderie is amazing. Outside of Fukumoto, I have not come across a more supportive and helpful group of people.

Dana

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Proud: I’m proud of my consistency at FF the last two years- that investment and discipline paid out physically in strength, skills and ability to recover, and in confidence that I am capable of doing hard things.

Challenge: [However] Day one kicked my butt. I had to work hard to shut out the voice of doubt and feeling like an imposter in the elite heat. Day two I used what I had learned the day before to keep my self-talk positive, and that really helped me have a race I felt better about!

Why you? You should sign up for Spartan Winnipeg because you can do more than you think you can!


Andrew

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Proud: finishing back-to-back races, and only failing two obstacles.

Challenge: Battling through negative self-talk before and throughout the Super. Finishing was an emotional triumph.
Why You? It’s fun to take the hours of practice at FF and apply them to an event- and to use them as a barometer of your progress

Jen

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Proud: Catching all the 4 girls who passed me earlier in the race!

Challenge: I have only recently started learning to run (in the past 3-4 months after making a decision to commit to this more, post-babies, and not really enjoying running up until this point in my life) so I have to mentally accept that I cannot at this time physically do what some of the seasoned women can do. I am willing to put in the work over time and see what happens!

Why You? You WILL surprise yourself, learn great things, and get more confidence for your life!


Steph

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Proud: that I was consistent with my nutrition leading up to the event and it paid off in how I felt overall in terms of recovery, how my body felt on the course and significantly less fatigue than I normally encounter. I felt good on the course and focused on my goals for both days.

Challenge: Missing the rig on both days was a bummer and in the past, I would have started a negative dialogue with myself and been haunted by the burpees and allowed that to change the tone of my race but this year, I did my burpees and moved on without giving it a second thought. I even got to practice this mindset 45 seconds later on day 2 (the super) when I then proceeded to miss my spear as well! I’m proud of the place I’m moving beyond in my thought patterns and the potential it will allow me as I move forward, set new goals and train my weaknesses more directly and with less fear.

Why you? People should sign up so that I can have another shot at the rig! Just kidding…maybe.

People should sign up so that they can take in this challenge and have a great experience. For some, it’s a race in the truest sense of the word and for others, it’s a means to have a goal to focus their training on, perhaps inviting a few family/friends to do this as well and to be in a supportive environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. All through both days, there was camaraderie among the people participating. Cheering each other on, helping each other at the obstacles (even complete strangers helping each other out!). Yes, it’s an intense event but it’s also fun, rewarding and I guarantee that everyone who does one will walk away with at least one “I didn’t think I could do…but I did!” moment.


Kevin

Proud: I am proud of getting to do this race together with my fiancée Aileen. This was her first Spartan Super and I knew she was nervous and stuck with her until the end. I am also so proud of her that she overcame her fear of the water! Not just one obstacle but two!
Challenge: The challenge that affected me physically during the race was that both my calves had cramped up during the race. I didn’t want to throw in the towel because I was so close and needed to finish four more obstacles. I couldn’t run at this time so we walked the rest of the way until the finish line despite the situation.
Why You? The one reason I think people should sign up for the Spartan Race is to prove to themselves that if one can overcome obstacles like in the race, they can overcome life’s challenges. 

Johnny

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Proud/Challenge (similar): Having my best start to a race this year…half-way through I got lost and went way off track and did obstacles in the wrong order. I had come back from about 35th to 7th at the time and the guys with me packed it in as no chance to really do well and might as well save up for day 2. I went back into the race to simply finish and make sure I had no regret personally which was hard as it was my worst placement in 10+ Spartan races (and I’m on Team Canada!)…but I felt good about it. Having been training harder and smarter since April…I was also pretty disappointed to have poison oak all over my lower body for 2 weeks leading up to that event. It wasn’t ideal but was able to get through it!

Why You? Well, why not you? I have seen hundreds of people at these events (and many who look like or have same fitness level or same age as YOU who are reading this) and have trained up people from teens to people entering senior years. If signing up will give you focus and excitement and help pull your life ‘better’…then I encourage you to say “yes” and we will support you along the way!


Thank you everyone for sharing! I hope you can relate to some of these stories that celebrate something good amidst challenges. These challenges range from fear of water, failure, not being at their best, having a tough first day, family sickness, personal sickness, getting lost, personal injury prior to race, and more. Over the last 3 years, we’ve had every age range represented in 5 year increments from 4 years old all the way to in the 60s. If you can walk 5km and are willing to give something your best shot, we go from there!
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We hope to get 100+ of you and your friends/fam out and many of you it will be your FIRST Spartan (most of you). Let’s do this together and overcome and enjoy what our minds and bodies can do to help propel us forward….progress not perfection! Please ask your coach any questions if you’re unsure.

99% of everyone is a bit nervous. 99% of people walk some or most of the course. 99% of people do not successfully complete 1 or many more obstacles! It is about showing up and trying, learning, doing it with others, getting better as people.


Join our Facebook Group “Bring Spartan Race to Manitoba (Official)” and invite others to pre-register so we can all benefit from the potential this event can bring to our lives!
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We are a caring community of genuine people who want to meet you where you are so that we can live better together!

At Fukumoto Fitness, we strive to create a place where you experience dynamic coaching, efficient training, effective accountability, and feel safe yet challenged.

We are DIVERSE yet we are one FAMILY.

We are about RESULTS but are MORE than ‘just fitness’.

We CELEBRATE your story. We are about long-term PROGRESS, not perfection.

We are excited about your STRENGTH. We EMBRACE flaws.

It’s about what you CAN do today.

We are committed to being a HIGHLIGHT of your day.

We are committed to being a part of CHANGING YOUR LIFE.

We are better together!


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