Yesterday, I drove to Concord, NC to volunteer at the Spartan Sprint, ostensibly ‘all day’, in exchange for running a race for free!
It’s was muddy but fun. I met new people, goofed a twice, got to see some of the obstacles up close and got out of my comfort zone!
We were done by 5:30 and I was home by a little after 8. I didn’t get lost going to or from, only melted down once I was in driving back so nobody saw it but me and I’m glad I went.
If you’re racing:
– Use bag check (it’s free if you volunteer).
– If you want it to stay clean, do NOT wear it, or put it in your backpack (and check it) while you race.
– Try to find a pair of clearance running shoes or try Goodwill or Salvation Army or your local thrift store. Your shoes will be ruined! Some see it as a sign of victory that their covered in mud and mud stained water head to to and that’s cool, but if you love your $100 running shoes and you want to keep them awesome…DO NOT WEAR THEM to race the Spartan Race. That’s all I’m sayin’!
– TRAIN – Run, do upper body strength training. Sign up for the Spartan Workout of the Day (WOD), drink more water, eat better.
– READ the emails because the tips are very helpful!
– If you want a ‘drier’ course, relatively speaking, race on Saturday morning when the course is fresh and less muddy. It gets wetter and muddier as the day goes on and the last Saturday heat is 4PM. And it’s muddy. We weren’t even on the course and we were sinking into mud. And it’s worse if it’s raining.
– Bring clothes to change into. And a towel. They have showers on-site. I think many people see being covered in mud leaving the race course as a sign of achievement. If that’s you, good on you but if you’re volunteering or you’re like me and being covered in mud for much more than the race isn’t your thing, they have showers on site.
– Wear knee socks or tights under your shorts and wear shin guards if you can…there are walls you will climb and if you fall or slide, having coverage over your shins will minimize the hurt.
Great post on Spartan Race Training for Beginners: Beginner Friendly Approach to Spartan WODs
If you’re volunteering:
-Bring sunscreen. I was doing registration so was under a tent but if you’re not covered, especially if you’re volunteering on the course, you want sunscreen.
-Get there early! They really do depend on all the volunteers showing up.
-Wear shoes/clothes you don’t care about getting dirty and/or get rain boots. MANY volunteers and ALL the Spartan staff members were wearing boots. It gets muddy everywhere!
-Be mindful of the forecast and dress accordingly.
-Be patient with yourself and everybody around you.
-They had snacks and sandwiches, water, Gatorade and protein drinks for us. If you’re super picky, bring your own!
– Have FUN! It’s a great way to earn a free race.
Next year or later this year, I’ll do the same thing again, volunteering to earn a free race. I’ll probably run Saturday morning and volunteer 2nd shift again, giving my race to my boyfriend/significant other/whatever he is at the time. Hopefully he’ll be game to run it with me!
Overall, MORE proof for me that I have fun, and see and experience some awesome things when I get out of my comfort zone! I will be getting out of my comfort zone more often this year and beyond!
Have you left your comfort zone lately? How did you do?