* Event Details
This event was listed as Montreal, but the actual venue was a small quaint village of Mont. Tremblant about an hour and a half past Montreal. Although only about 6 hours away, it felt like we were truly far away.
The village had a lot of restaurants and hotels. Everyone was extremely friendly! There was a biking event going on that had bikers go through the village as part of the course. There was also a ski luge which I have to say is a must do if you go. Heading up a ski lift and down a sled with bike handlebars through a windy course was a blast! We also hit up the casino and made a little money before heading out to dinner.
We tried to find the Spartan venue the day before, but no luck. Lucky for us and everyone else, signage went up the day of and it was easy to find. Parking was $15 Canadian. Since this was my first time running elite, it was nice to get there early, but to Canadians, 9:00 is the first heat. I liked that it wasn’t 5 or 6am! Parking was easy. Vendors were everywhere and they were so generous in handing out freebies.
1. The finisher shirt was a tech shirt, not your typical cotton shirt. I actually purchased another shirt with the Quebec flag and spartan logo on it that was relatively cheap ($20 Canadian)
2. Loved an area with a spartan helmet and shield and box to get up on for pics.
3. Free unlimited Canadian protein bars, yogurt, homemade protein smoothies.
4. ALL the volunteers were amazing and so encouraging and helpful!
5. Intimate setting. Maybe running elite it was smaller, but it didn’t ever feel crowded.
6. Beautiful views and still snow on the mountain!
7. Exchange rate was in our favor
8. Girls dressed in gladiator outfits gave us our metal. I heard they still did the gladiators at the finish in Canada and was excited to experience that, but for the guys, I’m sure the girls were a plus.
9. Changing tents and cold hoses to clean up after
10. Never a line for the bathrooms.
* Race Details
I’m not going to lie. After Vermont, this was the hardest course I ever did. The NJ beast took me 5 hours. This took me 4! There was a big mountain to stare up at and there was snow! There were different obstacles that made this a unique course and just being in Canada and hearing the french language on the course made it special as well as the incredible views at the top of the mountain which we went up several times!
The first obstacle at the top of the mountain was 2 bars to do an arm walk on. We were told to not touch the ground and you could use one bar and slide across if you wanted. Next was the sled pull in the snow uphill. Some had sandbags, others didn’t. This was when lines formed as several couldn’t move their sleds. It was a short distance to move them up, turn around and back again. Next was the atlas carry. Girls were told to roll their ball and men had to carry followed by the typical 5 burpees and bring it back. I found out after there was a smaller stone for the women. I typically have done every atlas carry, but I couldn’t budge mine so rolled it.
I don’t remember the order, but obstacles included a tire drag and stone drag on a short chain, tire flip, sand bag carry, hoist, carry a tire, hurdle logs, cargo nets, spear throw and of course walls. The barbed wire crawl was one of the longest I’ve done. There was the over, under, through, an inverse wall with cleats to hold onto. I saw a women fall right on her back on that obstacle. It was awful! Bucket carry was water jugs like Fenway. Men had 2, women one.
The longest and hardest obstacle for me was the mountain itself. There really wasn’t trail running. It was a hike up and run or walk down. There were areas so covered with leaves with rocks and logs underneath, running down some trails were too dangerous so I walked quickly. I kept thinking about all the ankle injuries our team has gotten in the past and I didn’t want to get hurt.
This was a venue that you want to take spectators because it was truly set up so your friends and family could see you do a LOT of obstacles. For the runner, it was difficult as it was so obstacle heavy, but as you ran down the mountain, there was an upper body monkey bar that was made of just rock climbing grips on the side. This was followed by the longest set of monkey bars I ever seen. There were straight and criss cross bars to hold onto. Unfortunately, the girl ahead of me was taking awhile so I had to hang a bit and ended up blistering on that obstacle, but was happy to hit that bell! Then back up the mountain we went!
Coming down again, there was a cargo net and the famous rig! When you thought your arms were done, you had the rope climb over hay! Followed by a pancake carry up the mountain. This was a blast as several people slid down on the snow with their pancake half way before running the rest of the way down. Then the traverse wall with 3 sides. Next was jumping through a few tires, over hay and then more tires. At this point, you could see the fire on your left and you knew you were almost finished. Last obstacle, so they said, was the metal A frame with knotted ropes. It was hot at this point and the metal got hot, but it was easy to get over. I always have done a wooden slippery wall, not metal so that was different.
We headed up the mountain again for the last time. You could see others coming down and it was so deceiving as there was a cluster of trees which made it seem like we went up half the mountain, around the trees and down to the finish. This wasn’t the case. We went up the mountain, turned right and went up more and kept climbing to summit again. This was the hardest climb I ever did. My legs cramped on the traverse wall and when going over the hay- so immediately climbing up a mountain again was overwhelming! The people made it for me at this point. I made a lot of Canadian friends and everyone was so encouraging to each other. Misery loves company!
Bad or different feedback
1. No bananas- I wanted one!
2. No water bottles after the race! There was a huge water jug so you could fill up your hydration pack or water bottle.
3. No real running trails. It was either straight up or straight down.
4. Mostly obstacle heavy in certain areas for spectators to see. Good for them and us for cheering, but hard as well.
5. No kilometer markers at all on the course.
Would I do this again???? …….. Hell ya!