by Oliver Layco
The Trifecta. No I didn’t complete each race within a year of each other, but I have finally raced each distance that is part of the Spartan Race series. Out of the three, I would have to say that the Beast is really the hardest; but that is mostly due to the endurance and mental aspect of the race. My Sprint wasn’t the normal mud, fire, and barbed wire that I’ve become accustomed to; rather it was a much different experience running through the halls and stairs of Citi Field. It was supposed to be 3.1+ miles, but it really didn’t feel like that. It felt like I was flying through the obstacles even with the larger crowd and longer waiting times. The first time I really noticed the effect of the pace of the crowd was for the initial bleacher set in the rafters of the stadium. The racers in front of me were going at a slower pace than I would have liked, so I went a row down and hopped over the hand rail every time I would come across one. After the race, my compatriot, J.D. Cook, and my girlfriend, Melie Arana, would point out that they saw me doing this and the rest of the crowd as well. Throughout the stadium, I would wind up and down the stairs and even have my legs bound at my ankles for a certain length. Once I broke away from the main crowd, I settled into a nice pace for the remaining obstacles. I would fly over the 6’, 7’, and 8’ walls while also mastering the rope climb much easier than when I raced the Spartan Beast. Also, the most interesting part for me was the jump rope with the really thick rope; and I had to do 50 reps of that. Anyway, the only time I ran into a real buzz kill for my pace would be when I came to the rowing machines, the wall traverse, and the spear throw. I understand there were a lot of people, but it feels like there could have been a way to accommodate all of us so that it would flow more smoothly. I know not everyone’s going to race with the same intensity, but I would expect people to be somewhat aware of their surroundings so they know if a person is passing them on their side. Overall though, it was still a real fun experience that I would love to do in the ‘normal’ version of a Spartan Sprint. I wouldn’t put it past me to run a stadium race again, but maybe I’ll try to choose an earlier starting time to try and avoid the larger crowds. AROO!!