The second Spartan race of 2013 was held this weekend at the McDowell Mountain Park in Fountain Hills, AZ. Spartan HQ changed the venue just a few weeks prior to the event for a “more challenging course”. As a result, logistics also became more challenging due to a 30 mile ride to parking, a 25 minute bus ride (each way) to the venue, and a 45 minute wait to board a return bus. It was time to STFU!
The 4.7 miles sprint meandered through single-file trails littered with loose rocks of all sizes. Flat ground was rare and there were two steep hill climbs both up and down. My knee-high socks protected my shins from the desert scrub brush and the brutally sharp gravel I encountered on the crawls. The 47 degree temperature chilled my FL bones once I became water-logged during the last mile.
- Over Under Through
- Concrete carry with 5 burpees (new to me)
- Walls of 6′, 7′ & 8′
- Log Hop (obstacle formerly known as Stump Traverse)
- Monkey Bars
- Pancake/Sandbag Carry (appeared shorter than expected)
- Wall Traverse
- Tractor Pull
- Spear Throw (my only failed obstacle)
- Rope Climb
- Mud Mounds & Water Trenches
- Cargo Net
- Mud Crawl under barbed-wire (long on a bed of super sharp gravel)
- Slippery Wall (no running start due to mud/water trench)
- Fire Jump
I thoroughly enjoyed the desert terrain and panoramic views from the hilltops. Cloudy skies and the cold temperatures were not ideal, but it’s part of the adventure. Many obstacles had improved signage with descriptions. The Reebok name was ubiquitous and omnipresent. The festival area seemed a little tight and chaotic, but all the usual tents/booths were represented. Bag check was a total mess. It was drastically understaffed and many Spartans including me were permitted to retrieve their own. Growing pains with volunteers at new venues are to be expected.
I’m looking forward to meeting NE Spahtens at the Miami Super, only 13 days away and 30 degrees warmer!