For the third year in a row, we ran Spartan Race Citizens Bank Park, and for the third year in a row, we were totally not prepared for it.

The first year we just didn’t know what to expect. The past two years we just didn’t train properly, despite the best of intentions, so it felt harder than it needed to be and I knew perfectly well I coulda shoulda done a whole lot better.

Don’t we look happy and accomplished in that picture up there? Yeah. This picture here is a more accurate representation of how I felt most of that day.

spartan race citizens bank park

Miserable. It was cold and windy and that stadium is like a wind tunnel. By the time it came for us to run, we’d been frozen stiff; it literally took half the race before my legs started to feel warmed up properly.

The wait did mean we got to spectate a bit, which was nice. Amazingly, I happened to notice when one of our CrossFit coaches went across the monkey bars— that’s her with her hair in a bun, in the middle.


Those monkey bars are no joke. They’re wide in diameter and far apart, and you have to be careful to keep your feet off the mats. Touch down and you’re done.

After cheering Coach Mik across the monkey bars we went and waited for her to deal with the traverse wall. This sucker is one of many obstacles at Spartan Race that is harder than it looks; it requires a fair amount of finger grip strength and getting around the curves is rough.


Another deceptive obstacle, a new one this year. It looked like it was going to be fun. All you had to do was keep your feet on the skates and “walk” across on your hands, spin around, then come back the same way. 2015-11-23 21-36-56

But, the wheels were like the ones on shopping carts in that they swung every which way, and liked to pull hard to the left, and sometimes my feet would randomly overrun my hands. It was not easy.

I guess it was sort of fun.

citizens bank spartan race

Seriously, I look like a psycho. A cold, windblown, miserable psycho.


My yearly dugout photo. I look happy here because I’m out of the wind and in the homestretch.

spartan race citizens bank park wall

I really struggled with the walls this year, which is disappointing because I don’t usually. My upper body strength is not where it used to be.

spartan race citizens bank park vwall

And for the third year in the row I still didn’t ring that damn bell at the top of the rope. I’ve got the technique pretty much down, but I get scared at a certain point. Also, the knots actually make it harder and these ropes are well worn; the ones at my gym have a lot more grip to them.

I don’t know. Next year, I hope.


Another year down. I’d say I gave a solid… like… 65% of my best effort. So if you’re wondering if you can manage Spartan Race, the answer is YES. Yes, you can, and you should. Because even though it was cold, and miserable, and I wasn’t ready, I enjoyed it as always.

spartan race citizens bank park finish line


More details on Spartan Race obstacles at stadium races here.

Rope climbing techniques and other ways to prep for Spartan Race obstacles here.


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