Starting Your Spartan Journey: The Race

Are you about to take on your first Spartan Race? here is how these two did!

The Sevenoaks Spartan Weekend was amazing. With the first Spartan Sprint of the U.K. season, my aim was to bring in people who had never taken part in a race before and get them to try something for the first time despite nerves or fears. In a previous post (go and meet them first) I introduced you to two ladies who were up for a challenge, not experienced or super fit athletes, but had a bit of determination to finish and get their first Spartan Medal! Let’s see how what they thought about the event and more importantly, will they be back for more?

Cantara ‘Atlas Stone’ Armah


How did you find your first ever Spartan race?
I surprised myself because I really enjoyed it! In all honesty, I was dreading the Spartan race in the lead up to it. I am the most unfit I have been in a long time and I didn’t train well enough (read: at all) prior to the race. The only reason I was doing it in the first place was because Michael signed me up so I was basically forced into doing it lol. Buttttt, I’m so glad he did! It showed me that I’m capable of more than I thought & that even when I’m finding something difficult I can continue to push myself. If I could complete the Sprint now when I’m really unfit, imagine what I can do when my fitness improves! It’s motivated me to keep up my fitness journey going forwards so I’m really glad I got to do the Spartan Sprint – thank you Michael!
I really enjoyed the atmosphere too, everyone was helping each other get through the muddy hills, tackle the obstacles and just keep going. People smiled at you, encouraged you to keep going when you paused for a breath in the middle of a steep hill. It really felt like everyone was supporting each other!
What did you find most difficult?
The mud! It rained overnight on the Saturday so by the time we did the Sprint on Sunday the track was covered in thick mud! It made navigating the steep hills really difficult. I had to tie my shoelaces tight because I almost lost my shoes a few times lol. I’m so glad Michael made me buy trail shoes otherwise I would’ve been slipping all over the place in my trainers.
The good thing about the mud was that it meant we couldn’t really make a run for it and I hate running so there’s that at least lol.
What was your favourite obstacle?
My favourite was actually my most difficult both mentally and physically. We had just come out of a mud swamp so we were wet and my hands and feet had no grip left. It was the 4th or 5th obstacle from the end and we had been going for what felt like the whole day so by the time we reached this obstacle I was running on empty. It was an A frame with a wooden slope and a rope to climb up and the other side had a net to climb down. When we approached it one girl had slipped and fallen from about halfway up so that didn’t fill me with confidence. I managed to get about two thirds of the way up with difficulty but that last third was a serious struggle. Mentally I could clearly see myself falling and hurting myself. Physically my strength was zapping rapidly, my feet kept slipping and my hands, forearms & back were killing me from gripping that rope for dear life. I had nothing left. I only had Michael at the top holding out his hand to grab me, telling I could do it and the volunteers at the bottom cheering me on. I’m making this sound dramatic, I know, but that obstacle was my biggest challenge. I did it!! I got to the top!! I can’t tell you how proud & relieved that made me feel.
Oh and the barbed wire! I kind of forgot about the barbed wire inches above me and just enjoyed rolling down the hill like I was a kid again – that was fun lol.
What was your least favourite?
Anything that required upper body strength because I have none lol. The rope climb, monkey bars and The Twister were instant burpees for me.
Thanks to Michael letting me climb all over him, muddy shoes and all, I was able to get over the 8ft walls.
Would you do a Spartan race again?
I don’t think I’m going to become Michael’s OCR sidekick anytime soon, but I would like to do a Sprint again to see how my race improves once I am fitter. I think Spartan is a great test of mental and physical fitness so I’d love to see how I improve over time!
Would you recommend Spartan?
If you’re crazy enough to want to run around a field/forest for several kilometres, pick up heavy things, clamber over walls taller than you and jump over fire then yes! Honestly guys, if I can do it, anyone can. I’m unfit, overweight and never ever run, yet I managed to navigate my way around 5+km of mud and obstacles. You won’t know what you’re capable of unless you try!

Mary ‘Spear Throw’ Adeniran


How did you find your first ever Spartan race.
I honestly really enjoyed my first ever Spartan race. Michael has loads of medals and has had a lot of experience with these races, so I really wanted to give it a try (and also get a medal!). I was really looking forward to it! I go to the gym quite often (a few times a week) so I didn’t think it would be too hard BUT it was challenging. I have never been tested that physically before and was probably one of the most challenging things I have ever done. However, I very much enjoyed the experience and I am so glad I stepped up to take this challenge.
What did you find most difficult?
I found the obstacles that required upper body strength quite difficult e.g the monkey rings. Although I do weights at the gym this showed me that I really need to work more on building strength in my upper body.
It was also VERY muddy so climbing the hills was quite difficult. There were some places where I had to crawl up or down the hills because it was so slippery. Though in the moment it was difficult, now I look back and I’m glad I did it and I can’t believe I was crawling up and down hills.
What was your favourite obstacle?
My favourite obstacle was the barbed wire crawl as that was one of the first obstacles we came face to face with. It really got my heart pumping and excited me of what was to come.
I also like the one where you jumped in muddy water and slid down a hill of rocks (ALTHOUGH I RIPPED MY LEGGINGS). I also liked the sandbags and also the one near the end where you had to walk up a board and hold the ropes (The very slippery one which I think they call The Slip Wall which makes sense).
What was your least favourite?
My least favourite was probably the 8ft walls at the end. At this point I was so exhausted and really needed help. Thankfully Michael was on hand to lift my leg over (Though this took more than a few tries!!!). I found this really difficult but feel that with practise I could climb it myself.
Would you do a Spartan race again?
Oh I definitely would. Although I found it difficult I would do it again. I feel I have learned what my strengths are (I like running but could build up more stamina) and my weaknesses (upper body strength) so I will use this when I attend the gym to possibly alter what I do and the type of weight training that I do. I have even asked Michael when the next one is!!!
Would you recommend Spartan?
I would definitely recommend Spartan. Believe me it is not a walk in the park but it is an experience everyone should have. Anyone can do it if they put their mind to it and there are always people along the way willing to help you out. You don’t need to be super fit, just willing to give it a try!!
Nothing is greater than jumping over the fire at the end! AROO!!

I think that these girls prove that a Spartan Sprint is accessible to anyone who is willing to give it a try. Despite what you think about what your capable of, there is always more you can give and you wont find out how much more that is until you try! Visit www.spartanrace.uk to sign up!
How was your first Spartan Race experience? Was this your first ever Spartan weekend? Will you be back for more at the next event? Let me know in the comments below. If you are still thinking of signing up use the code URBANSPARTAN for 20% off of all UK open heat Sprint, Super and Beast events. Thanks for reading!

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