After a busy 2018, I have already begun to plan for 2019. One of the things that I truly believe in is setting goals on a regular basis. We are always evolving, and setting goals helps us push our limits and see what we are truly capable of.
After my first obstacle course race in 2017, I was HOOKED. I have been running ultras for several years, as well as spending lots of time in the weight room, and this sport allowed me to merge the two and challenge myself in a whole new way. The combination of trail running with challenging obstacles is heaven to me. I started with the Panther Run in Springville, Alabama, then the Barbarian Challenge in Gadsden (this is still my favorite), then, finally, adding my first Spartan race later that fall.
In 2018, I completed my first Spartan Trifecta, which includes completing at least one Spartan Sprint, Super and Beast in a calendar year. I ended up doing five Spartan races in 2018 and committed to learning more about the obstacles, as well as the company itself. I decided to dive in and get my Spartan SGX Coaching certification. It was a great experience and I felt like it provided a refresher for a lot of what I learned in college. Then, I attended the Spartan Obstacle Specialist Course in order to learn more for myself and to help my clients as well.
The big goal for this year was to complete the Trifecta, tackling the Beast as my longest distance OCR (obstacle course race). It was in Spartanburg, SC and was a little over 13 miles with 32 obstacles, some of which I had never even tried before. It was a BLAST! I discovered (not surprisingly) that the longer distance race was right up my alley! As the miles clicked off, I felt stronger and was able to up my pace. I finished much faster than I expected and fell deeper in love with this sport.
The feeling that you get when you complete an obstacle for the first time is something that you can't really describe. Empowerment is the best way to describe it. You feel like you could conquer the world and do anything you set your mind to. Then, jumping over that fire to reach the finish is just icing on the cake.
So, what’s next? Well, the next logical step for me is the…..drumroll please….
THE SPARTAN ULTRA IN KILLINGTON, VERMONT IN SEPTEMBER, 2019!!!!!!!
Why? Well, read this and you’ll see why. It is straight from the Spartan website:
Welcome to the Birthplace of the Spartan Beast.
The Killington, VT Spartan Race has hosted three Spartan World Championship events. If you think you’re among the baddest of the east, we welcome you to come play in what is known as “Joe’s backyard.” This is where Spartan Race was born; and that means anything goes. You can expect steep slopes, off-trail descents, massive climbs, and chilly swims. The wonderful ski-town of Killington welcomes Spartans with open arms. Come see where it all began and witness the menace that gave Spartan Race its roots. Be forewarned though: this course has been known to destroy those not prepared in their mind, body, legs and soul.
This iconic race has a lot of history. Aside from being the birthplace of the Beast, it’s where Spartan Race was being held when NBC first showed interest in highlighting the sport at the 2013 World Championship. In 2014, NBC returned to film the ruthless battle that led to the crowning of the first Spartan Race World Champion from Europe, Jon Albon.
If you want to experience one of the most rewarding and challenging courses in the world, come out to the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont. While the climbs will have your calves and quads begging for a massage, the cascading silhouettes of mountains and the unpredictable weather will have you shouting AROO! as you battle for glory from the mountain tops.
TOP REASONS TO TAKE ON THIS COURSE:
1. After you conquer this course you’ll have a new idea of what it means to push your limits. Completing the tasks of going the distance, completing the obstacles, and yes, doing the burpees, will leave with you with the ultimate sense of accomplishment.
2. You have the chance to enjoy a Spartan Feast. Share your battle stories with fellow Spartans over your favorite post-race cuisine at one of the many mountainside restaurants. There are plenty of options from Sushi Yoshi to the Original General Store in neighboring Pittsfield, VT -- so, you’re sure to find something suitable for replenishment. After all, you did just exert all that hard work and energy on that 4241 foot mountain.
3. With all the lodging, cabins and hotels nearby, there are options for all Spartans to bunk up for a weekend -- that’s sure to make for some interesting conversations around the water-cooler.
4. Are you an Ultra Spartan? There’s only one way to find out. Sign up and never give up.
This race will be one of the hardest things I have ever tackled and I CANNOT WAIT! Training has already begun and I am working on a plan to get me to the start line in the best shape that I have ever been in.
Think you might want to try an obstacle course race yourself? Great! I’ll be working with my Sweatlocal fam to provide a training program that will begin in March. Check back toward the end of December 2018 for more details!