2017 was my last Spartan Race. I didn’t deliberatly avoid it last year, it was just that I was concentrating on Worlds Toughest Mudder. Spartan Midlands, at Martson Trussel was my “triumphant return”. How did it measure up?
Read on below and check out the video re-cap!
- 4ft Hurdles – x 2
- OUT (Over, Under, Through) – 3 sets of walls where you go Over one, duck under the second and jump through the hole in the third
- A frame – Large cargo net “A” frame to climb over
- 6ft Walls – x 2
- Multi-Rig – Actually nothing multi about this one – just rings
- Vertical Cargo net – About 10ft high and very loose
- Barbed Wire Crawl – A very low barbed wire crawl made challenging through being up hill and around 30m in length
- Atlas Carry – 50kg balls (smaller for females) carried 10m, 5 burpees and carried back
- Rope Climb – Climb up the rope, ring the bell
- Balance Walls – short hop across thin beams
- Z Walls – traverse across Z walls using holds and stands
- Bender – traverse up and over a steel frame
- Plate Drag – drag a wighted plate using rope and then drag it back in place (2 weights for male/female)
- Twister – variation on monkey bars with bar holds north/south (compared to east/west on monkey bars) and twisting around as you traverse across the obstacle – 15m in length
- 7ft Walls
- Stairway to Sparta – Large frame to climb up and over
- Log Flip – two sizes for male/female
- Sandbag Carry – 2 different weights for male/female
- Monkey Bars
- Hercules Hoist – pull a weighted bag up a pulley system (2 different weights)
- Slip Wall – Pull yourself up a wall using a rope, whilst just coming out of a lake crossing
- Rolling Mud – Muddy trenches
- Bucket Carry – Euuggh (2 different weights for male/female) Actually whilst still being bloody heavy, this one was relatively short as bucket carries go
- Spear Throw – throw the spear into the target, don’t miss!
- Inverted Walls – climb up and over a tilted wall
- Fire Jump – over burning logs for an awesome finisher photo
The Route & Course
Spartan Midlands is definitely my favourite course to date. The route itself wasn’t too challenging – a lot of rolling hills for sure and the first half you seemed to keep climbing. But the route wasn’t too steep to just gas you. The obstacles were nicely spaced out – some were blocked together, whilst others (especially out of the village) were nicely spaced out. This meant there wasn’t too much trail running before getting to another obstacle. Kudos to Spartan too for the amount of water stops (6 I think) over the 14km course. Usually I would say it was too much, but with the humidity and hills, the water stop was a welcome sight.
As per the obstacle list above, you can tell that over 14k the density was really good. All Spartan obstacles are designed to be completed solo and whilst they have some great signature obstacles (Twister, Fire Jump, Spear Throw) but none are really to the “stature” of Tough Mudder (but that’s another blog post..)
A nicely compact village with a large number of obstacles and the kid’s course all in the vicinity should the specatators not want to wander off. Many food outlets (including a really taste non-dairy ice-cream place called Dappa) and places to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere. Everyone had to walk through the merch tent to get in/out of the village (great commercialism!) Whilst the start and finish lines were at both ends of the village as not to mix anyone up. To note, parking was £10 and bag drop was £5 – pretty much on par with OCRs out there nowadays. Not a direct critism on Spartan, it’s just worth knowing! There is a “fast pass” you can buy at registration which includes this as well as a discount on Spartan Merchandise.
A really enjoyable route and the 14km Super was the right length for my return. This was my first race of 2019 and whilst I only have the Spartan Stadion booked later this year, I will definitely look to book more in 2020.