The Spartan Race Sprint is an obstacle course race about 3-5 miles long. Spartan Race Sprints are mostly run outdoors, but there are some that are held in sports stadiums like Citi Field that are indoors. Upon completion of the Sprint, each participant is given a medal. If you run the Sprint at an outdoor location the medal is red. If you run the Sprint at a stadium, I believe the medal is the stadiums home team color. In the case of Citi Field, the medal was orange. It is one of three Spartan Races that must be completed in 12 months in order to earn the trifecta medal. The others are the Super, which is 8-9 miles long, and the Beast, which is 12-15 miles long. The Super and the Beast are only held outdoors.
This was my second year running the Spartan Sprint at Citi Field and I was definitely more prepared this time. You can read about my first experience here. I will say that after also running a Super Spartan last year there is a big difference between running the race indoors at a stadium and outdoors. For one, there is no mud in a stadium and the distance between obstacles seems longer. In a stadium, the hills are replaced by stairs, and there is no rocky terrain and no barbed wire. But in my opinion it does not diminish the race at all, it just makes it a different experience.
With less distance between obstacles in Citi Field, it was a good test of strength and endurance. When I ran the Super Spartan last year the distance was long, but the distance between obstacles allowed me to “rest” somewhat. The Citi Field Spartan Sprint felt like a high intensity training session.
If you haven’t run a Spartan Race yet and want to try one, a Sprint in a stadium is perfect. You get to experience the obstacles without the barbed wire and the mud. If you aren’t one that hits the gym regularly or you’ve found that you’ve been skipping the gym for a bit it’s a good way to gauge if you’re ready for one outdoors. Looking at the pictures on the Spartan Race site, it’s easy to underestimate the race, but don’t. During this last go around I saw plenty of people who were gasping for air on the sides. I could totally sympathize with them because I was like that last year.
I will say this about the Spartan Race, it is addicting. And it’s a great motivation to get back in shape. Signing up for a Spartan Race gives you a deadline that you have to hit. So it’s either you get moving or you struggle through the race big time. The Spartan Race also encourages teamwork and camaraderie. You start as a team and finish as a team. Everyone who runs the race encourages others to finish. It’s not about how long you took to finish, but that you finish.
Now that the Sprint is done you can bet that I’ll be continuing to train for the Super and the Beast, both are in September 2014. Are you interested yet? I hope to see you all out there one day!