Spartan Up!

The average Joelle gets to run the Spartan Sprint – oh my!


Yesterday I ran the Spartan Sprint Race, something that I know it’s going to be a one off in my life.. But what an experience!


The idea came from Milo a few months ago. He’s always wanted to do all three races (the Sprint 3+ miles, the Super 8+ miles and the Beast 12+ miles) and seen they had released the dates for London we decided to go for it. I started training (or at least tried) for it until two months ago when I injured my back and had to spend two days in bed. Again, I’m a swimmer and I don’t do well with gravity.
We’ve never got the tickets for the race and I almost forgot about it. I think it was Tuesday when Milo said he might get two tickets through the gym.. Confirmed on Friday evening!


All very exciting but there was just a tiny problem: shoes. It didn’t matter I hadn’t run in two months or that the max effort my muscles could bear was holding a reverse warrior pose. My trainers accompanied me through so many years of unskilled athletics sessions, they were so overused they had already lost the sole’s first layer and were about to lose their second and last one. At 9pm of the day before the race I had no other choice but to glue them. And so I did. Luckily, apart from sliding slightly on a few downhills, they held on really well through the race.


What were the obstacles? Mainly walls, cargo nets, barbed wire crawls, running up- and downstairs with weights, climbing ropes (or 30 burpees for me!). This is a race that can be done with no specific training. I can’t jump walls but Milo and the girls from Thames were always there to help. You can run on your own if you want to challenge yourself or you can do it as a team, help each other on the way and have lots of fun together!




Even better, you can run for a charity. I met this awesome lady, Deanne, while I was trying to climb a wall. It was pretty tall and I couldn’t reach the top. It was a thin wall too and I kept losing my balance. Deanne was one of the people who tried to help me get across. Imagine me scared as hell wanting to back down and three people pushing me up, cheering, with more people behind us waiting in line. I was so embarrassed and I apologised to everyone so many times. In the heat of the moment I even kicked Deanne in her belly. I apologised again, we went ahead and, at the next obstacle, a cargo net, I started climbing when I heard ” You go girl, I’m right behind you!”.


Deanne was running to beat cancer with two friends. We did a few obstacles together, pushing each other, and then I lost her in the woods. I found her again after the race while she was going to get some food.
I run after her because she’s made my day and I have to tell her. She introduces me to her friend: “Hey, this is the girl I told you about, the one who kicked me in the belly!” – oh my! She’s sweet and she laughs a lot. I ask her about her mission as during the race I overheard her saying “I’m doing this for you, dad!”. She tells me she raced for her boss who has leukemia and that three weeks ago she lost her father. She is grieving and she didn’t think she would be there yesterday. She’s in pain but also very happy she went through it and finished the run. I am glad she managed to go. What a strong woman. What a day!


And for you out there reading these few lines.. Spartan up! Challenge yourself, run for a friend or with friends. It’s doable, I promise. It’s a fun, challenging and enriching experience. No need to spend weeks in the wilderness.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Enveloped.”

Yesterday I went out of my comfort zone, very far away from the safe, quiet chlorine lane I love to immerse myself in, swim in silence, leaving all thoughts behind, becoming one with the sound of my body moving through the water..
We did have a glorious burrito after the race though!

when was the last time you did something for the first time?

4 thoughts on “Spartan Up!

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