M&F Conquers the Spartan Race

A Muscle & Fitness staffer takes on the grueling Spartan Race and lives to tell the tale...barely.


The wall jumps, water jug carries, and the rest of the obstacles were very fun and I completed them explosively. I finished the race in 52 minutes and 59 seconds, which was 846 out of 6916 in the Open Heat, placing me in the top 12%. When crossing the finish line, I had plenty of fuel left in the tank and I wanted to keep running. With that said, the form on some of my burpees after the rope climb left much to be desired. Knowing that the possibility of a better time exists makes me want to take another crack at it.

Obstacle course racing (OCR) is a competitive sport with cash prizes, sponsorships and elite athletes leading the charge to expand its global recognition. The rising popularity of OCR is fascinating to me because the top athletes in this sport, such as the number one ranked Spartan Racer Hunter McIntyre, are incredibly strong and fast. The Spartan Race has courses that are longer than three miles but I feel I would want to do at least one more Sprint, this time a hilly one, before I attempt a Super, which is 6+ miles.

My favorite aspect of the race was that when you’re out there it's you vs. you. There are no excuses for not crossing the finish line. My advice to someone who is considering running their first 3-mile course would be to give it your all at every point because you will regret a lackluster effort at the end. In addition, try to avoid burpees at all costs. The few seconds it may take to focus on completing obstacles is worth the minutes it will take to do 30 burpees. Plus, the satisfaction of conquering an obstacle is just plain awesome. Overall, OCR is great way to burn fat, improve aerobic capacity, test your limits and have fun like never before. AROO!

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