Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Race Recap: Spartan Beast - Utah

Race: Reebok Spartan Beast
Location: Soldier's Hollow, UT
Race Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013

A little late than never...Well, first off, I survived...that's good isn't it? lol! This was a killer race so here we go with the recap...

Day 1 - Travel Day - Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jeff, my race traveling companion, and I left home at about 5:30am while the hubs stayed with the K9s. The drive which was supposed to be 13 hours turned out to be 14 or so hours due to massive construction on the roads that we were traveling. We went up through Albuquerque, Farmington, thru Canyonlands National Park, Provo, Utah and finally to our final destination, Heber City, UT. The town is small and cute but there's not a whole lot to do here. Once we arrived, we unpacked and headed out for dinner since we had arrived at about 8pm. The first place we ended up at stopped taking patrons for seating at was 8:31pm. We ended up just going back to the motel (Swiss Alps Inn...nice place, older furniture but great owner and just nice overall. They do have pet friendly rooms (we were in one) and they don't smell and from what I can tell the rooms are all fairly large. We ended up ordering Domino's and then watched some TV and/or played on the  computers before bed.

Day 2 - Free Day - Friday, June 28, 2013

I woke up early and Jeff slept in so since I wasn't able to get my mile in yesterday for my run streak I had to start over and went to the local high school track to get my mile in. Afterwards I decided to drive up to the venue just to check it out. OMG! Was my first thought was, "It's all f*cking hills and mountains!" Here's some exapmles of the area...

Yup, we were knee deep in that sh*t. See the mountain on the left?
Yeah, we climbed the trail to the top.That was a b*tch
We were on mostly single track trails through this area.
Parking area, view 1.
Parking area, view 2.
We ate breakfast at a bakery/deli called Kneaders, great food! We've had breakfast there 2 days and are planning to go back today (Sunday) for more! We then headed up to Salt Lake City and visited Temple Square which houses the first Latter Day Saints buildings and which is the oldest area of the city.

The Temple from the west entrance.
Jeff in front of the Temple from the west entrance.
As much of the Temple that I could get in one shot.
Granite was quarried from 20 miles away by ox and cart
and took 4 days to transport until they built a railroad
which lowered the time to 4 hours.
Selfie in front of the Temple.
Assembly Hall, the oldest building and first building of worship.
Original pews are still being used.
Fountain in front of the Assembly Hall has plate murals
depicting the trek of the original settlers.
After the visit to Temple Square I made my first visit to a Lululemon store...just to say I've been in one!
We then headed to Gateway Center (shopping) to look around to kill some time. Jeff was looking for new mud shoes and I was trying not to spend any money. We then headed to REI where Jeff finally (we won't say how long this took!) found some shoes but they were out of his size so we waited for a friend of his from Clovis who now lives north of SLC who was going to join us for dinner and some impromptu shopping at the REI in Sandy, UT which had the shoes that Jeff was looking for.

We then headed out to Olive Garden, which luckily was pretty much around the corner and had dinner (I still have leftovers that are probably going in the trash). Megan, Jeff's friend, was a pleasant young lady who obviously had a great relationship with Jeff. After dinner we dropped Megan off at her truck at the SLC REI and headed back "home." We tried to turn in early so that we could be ready for the morning.

Race Day - Saturday, June 29, 2013

We were up by 7am and headed back to Kneaders for breakfast. We then headed out to the venue to get everything necessary for the race AKA packet pickup. We got everything together and found the small group of the Weeple Army that we were going to run with (more on that later). I didn't even think to take any pre-race pics of myself and Jeff but I did get some of the 10am heat at the starting line and of some of the Weeples as we waited in the corral for the 10:15 heat.
10am heat at the starting corral, 200 racers at a time.
Flags marking the start.
Bryce carrying the Weeple flag and wearing his GoPro.
Weeple people.
To the rear of the 10:15am heat.
Dave (our illustrious leader) and Bryce.
Weeple chicks.

Weeples preparing for the start.
To the front of the starting corral.
When the race started of course we were going up hill...and you know how much I love hills...NOT! (Yes,  I know I have to train for them for NWM 26.2!) It was this early point that I fell behind and rather than have them wait for me I just let them go and continued on  my own. I was able to do the race at my pace and asked for help from total strangers at obstacles that I needed it. I met several other women close to my age who I walked with for varying amounts of time  plus a young lady who was a tired of the crap we were dealing with and we were going to go through this together...until she got called to the medical tent for an emergency. So I trudged along and met a few other women and some men that I walked and chatted with throughout the race. One inspiring person was a young man named Lemoni (apparently a name from the Book of Mormon) who had lost a leg and had broken a spring so I let him use my phone (yes, I had it sealed in a ziplock bag) so he could contact his wife to meet him with a new part. I believe he had lost his leg in the war, but I'm not positive. The last time that I passed him, he had met his wife and was fixing the piece but also had to do some gerry rigging with athletic tape so that he could continue on. He passed me again and I saw him at the spear throw doing bupees with his prosthetic off...the man was a freakin' BEAST!! So as I continued on through some mud/water obstacles I worried that I should have taken my FitBit Flex off, but it handled the mud/water like a champ and is still working (only water resistant no proof). It was totally submerged several times for several minutes and it's going great today (Sunday). I also had bought a new waterproof, dustproof, shock proof camera that ended up totally covered in a thick layer of mud but is also working like a champ. Needless to say, I was unable to take any pics with it though.

I started the race at 10:15am and finished around 5:30pm, according to Jeff only about 30 minutes after the Weeples finished, if that's true I'm pretty proud of myself! That's a little over 7 hours for a killer race and we had finished a Super in just over 5 hours and that was an 8 mile or so race. I was so tired that I didn't even want to think about taking pics, just wanted to wash all the mud off and get into the pool at the motel! So when we got back to the motel we showered, rinsed out our clothes/shoes some more, sat in the pool and hot tub then went next door to Dairy Keen to have some burgers and a shake (Yummy, thick shakes). We then came back to the room and although we wanted to go to sleep early we ended up finally going to bed at 11pm or so. Ugh.

Day 4 - Travel Day - Sunday, June 30, 2013

Well, I was up at 4:30am so I'm going to have to stock up on some 5 Hour Energy before we leave. Jeff woke up for a few minutes at 5am but is now back asleep. I'm considering another shower or to lay back down in bed. We managed to get on the road around 11am after having been disappointed that Kneaders, our fave breakfast/bakery joint was closed. We ended up eating at a cafe across the street before beginning the 15+ hour drive home. The drive was uneventful other than more frequent stops to stretch, gas up and nature breaks but we did stop to eat 3 times adding on another hour or so to the trip. Note to self...don't have the patty melt at Whataburger, it just didn't sit well with me. We finally made it home at almost 2am exactly. Another Spartan race done. A week of soreness to look forward to!

The Aftermath:
Bruised on every body part except neck and face. Bruises ranged from 10" to variously sized spots. Sore for 5 days after...ran/walked 5K on July 4th and soreness went away the next day.

What I liked about this race...
I finished, it was a bruiser but it can be done by a not so in shape 48 year old female.

What I didn't like about this race...
Hills, steep hills, loose rock...the 100 yard barb wire crawl roll...usually one of my fave obstacles. Didn't like my normal disliked obstacles...traverse wall, monkey bars, rope climb...took burpees for all those.

Would I do this race again?
Yes, just because I am a glutton for punishment and it would give me a reason to eat a Kneaders and have a shake at Dairy Keen.

Recommendations in Heber City, UT (about 10 minutes from Soldier's Hollow venue):
Swiss Alps Inn - Clean, roomy motel w/ pool, hot tub and sauna.
Kneaders Bakery - Great baked goods and breakfasts.
Dairy Keen - Right next door to the Inn, great burgers and shakes.

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