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.
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!)
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.
Why You? I found it very intimidating to sign up for my first Spartan race but the atmosphere is incredible and extremely inspiring!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Proud: finishing back-to-back races, and only failing two obstacles.
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!
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.
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!
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.