Approximately 8 months ago when my brother got moved out of Alaska and got orders to Texas I declared that the only way I’d come back is for him. I hate Texas. I love my brother. I’m currently sitting in Texas. That must mean I REALLY love my brother.
Why exactly did I come to Texas? To run a Spartan Super on my baby brothers birthday of course. Duh.
When I decided I was going to get my trifecta this year I started looking at options. When I saw the Austin race which happened to be by his new house AND it was going to be on his birthday it became a must do. I called him up;
“Let’s do the Austin Spartan together.”
“You and Cindy can. I’ll be in Korea.”
I asked Cindy, his amazing and beautiful wife, if she was game.
“Yes. Wait. What’s a Spartan?”
We drove the hour from their house to the race site. The closer to the race venue we got the more wild flowers we saw. Dammit Texas it’s hard to hate you when you look like this.
After we parked, I slathered myself with sunscreen before we got our crap together and headed towards the shuttle buses. If I didn’t apply early and often I was going to fry like an egg. The heat was already starting to ratchet up. Cindy now understood why I said, register for the earliest wave possible.
By the time we got our packets (hey we both have 23 as our last 2 numbers) and checked our bag there was only ~20 minutes until our wave left. Perfect timing. Can’t get too keyed up that way. We looked at the map one more time and it was like suddenly it hit her.
“Wait?! There are how many obstacles?!”
I told her.
“That’s like an obstacle almost every quarter mile?!”
“Yes. Yes it is. Did you not read or watch anything I’ve sent you? WOMAN!”
As we stared at the wall before we jumped into our start corral she looked at me and said,
“Why am I suddenly so nervous.”
We stood listening to Dustin be his amazing self (as always) until he said, “…and there are rattlesnakes out there…” Cindy turned wide eyed at me. I shrugged. It’s Texas. He released us out into the wilds and we started down the trail. She started off at a break neck pace. I had to remind her to pace herself. Spartans are long slow grinds not sprints. (This lesson will be important later.) Plus the goal is to finish in one piece. (This will also become important later.)
The first hill and obstacle came up fairly quickly. I helped hoist Cindy over the wall and then I asked for a boost. Hey I’m only 5’2″ and even jumping I couldn’t manage. This is the thing I love about Spartan; everyone is out to help everyone.
“Low bridge” (Watch your head)
“Feet!” (Root, rock, etc)
My personal favorite yesterday; “CACTUS!!”
Somewhere during one of the first obstacles as I was helping Cindy over I tweaked my knee. Crap. Onward I pressed. Every single hill I felt and could hear the grinding. Oh this isn’t good. Nothing I could do about it.
When we hit the 7′ wall I warned Cindy; DO NOT drop hang as long as you can to decrease the drop. Yeah…..about that. She cleared the top of the wall and dropped. And pomptly landed on the side of her foot, straining her ankle, and landing on her ass. If I broke her my brother is going to have my ass, I thought. She got up and managed to limp along.
We continued to push through the course succeeding on some obstacles and failing on others. Some I may always fail (like the monkey bars) just because my wing span is not wide enough to swing bar to bar. I helped folks I could help and requested a boost when I needed it. Every time I broke out the sunscreen I offered it to others. I had lots of takers.
Passing mile 6 we were still running along. Granted not a fast run but a run/fast shuffle nonetheless. Those folks that had gone streaking past us earlier? Yeah they were walking. See, pace yourself kids it’s a long slog.
We crossed the finish line in 3 hours 14 minutes and some change. Along the way we did an ass ton of burpees. All that said, we finished. For that I couldn’t be prouder. The best part? I didn’t get sun burnt! That in and of itself is a major win!