This weekend at Aston Down, Stroud, I was privileged enough to be part of the first UK Hurricane Heat as part of the Spartan Weekend which hosted a Super and Sprint race too (more about those in a separate post). Being in class HHUK-001 I thought I would give you a bit of advice. But not too much as I don’t want to spoil the surprise of what happens in those 4 hours+. However, I am sure they will change it up for each Hurricane Heat.
Here are seven things you need to know about Spartan’s Hurricane Heat:
- Learn and understand the Spartan Code
“I will always put the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.”
Keep this front and centre and you probably don’t even need to rest of this post!
- Check the kit list
You receive a kit list several weeks before Hurricane Heat. Check it several times, get what you need – don’t ask questions. Items on our kit list included – glow sticks (two), salt and pepper and milk bottle jugs. Just bring them! It really didn’t matter what colour your glow sticks were. It didn’t matter if you brought 50p economy salt and pepper or the more expensive sea salt grinders. It didn’t matter if your milk bottles were Cravendale or Tesco!
Also, don’t be the guy that didn’t bring anything (yes, this really happened!) However, most people brought spares of pretty much everything, so if you did miss anything, don’t worry – a comrade will have your back.
- Don’t try and second guess what’s going to happen
I was part of a group on Facebook and there was so much guessing and rumours about what was going to happen. A lot of it was totally wrong and just got the group more anxious. Just know you will be out there for at least 4 hours. It’s not going to be a “beasting” of a full evening of burpees. But there will be burpees! How many depends on how well you do on points 4 & 5.
- It’s all about communication
The class of 100+ was split into 3 teams of 30ish. Most people didn’t know each other and like true Brits, were afraid to communicate with each other. Well with a looming punishment of burpees, we got to communicate quite well through the night. Also learn when NOT to communicate – again, burpees are dished out for talking when you shouldn’t.
- It’s all about teamwork
As above – not knowing your 30 other comrades, you need to get together quickly. We had a telegraph pole to move around and it’s not easy when we’re all going in different directions – or worse – if people are COMMUNICATING contradictory things. Learn to be a team member quickly – but also don’t be afraid to communicate and take charge if you feel you can get team to work together effectively.
Oh and by the way – if any mistakes a made – the team are punished and not the individual. Don’t be that guy!
- It sometimes takes a hardship before you pull together
We were group C, we were “the runt of the litter” according to the Kryptae. It was only after the water (be prepared for water and most likely aqua-burpees) that our team really started to pull together. A number of comrades were really suffering and becoming hypothermic (the medics were ready to pull them). We got together to support our comrades, build the team work and move the log (telegraph pole) back to the finish line. We started as a bunch of spartans, but finished as a team.
- Think about the logistics
As part of the Spartan Weekend, I was running the Super (11am), Hurricane Heat (6pm) and then the Sprint the next day (9am). I had booked a (cheaper) hotel in Gloucester, but it was a 40 minute drive away. Friends had stayed at camp, or took a slightly more expensive hotel in Stroud. Inbetween Super and HH it would have saved 2 hours of resting (sleeping) time and same again having got back late after HH and then having to be up early for the Sprint. Looking back at it, I will at least be camping next time – however nothing beats a proper warm shower and real bed!
I came away that night absolutely hating the evening – but the more I think about what we managed as a team, the more I am looking back at it with fond memories.
The UK still has a 12 hour Hurricane Heat (Marston Lodge), Ultra beast (Edinburgh) and the first Agoge (Isle of Skye) later this year if you want to do something extraordinary. Otherwise there are still opportunities for Sprint, Super and Beast races across the UK. Learn more about the UK’s Spartan Races and use discount code – ST-JNDC-D4BQ for 10% discount, Fast pass, free parking (worth £5), Free bag drop and 20% off merchandise on site.
Pictures courtesy of Epic Action Imagery