Spoiler Alert

Has Spartan or NBC or both stooped to the low level of drama instead of the sport?  I’ll just say that I called it first a week ago with the young lady participating despite having a brittle bone disease.  This week we allegedly had one, maybe two non-swimmers.  I have to pin this one on NBC and the producers for drama.  In the Spartan Race, we simply sign a death waiver and move on.  On the course, we help each other out when someone is in need whether desperate or not, life and death or just doing their thing.  It’s a big reason why I and so many others love this sport.  We are there for one another.  Drama has nothing to do with it.  And that’s what I saw in the pool below the Human Ladder on last night’s episode of the Spartan Ultimate Team Championship.  I applaud the racers for sticking together.

The first round teams included the Comeback Kids in red.  They were the Season One winners minus their captain.  Kevin Gilotto moved over to the blue team, Strike a Pose.  I loved the irony in all this.  Laura Messner of team CK is famous for striking her pose for the cameras.  Will Kevin’s leadership be the real key to team SP perhaps winning tonight?  We’ll see.  The silver team, Sweet Carolina seemed to be the strongest team with over 125 OCRs of experience among the team.

Strike a Pose struck hard and fast at the Barrell Roll taking the early lead.  But by the Table Tilt, the Comeback Kids were right on their tail.  Team SaP kept a narrow lead into the Human Ladder.  Sweet Carolina seemed to be walking while the announcers, Kelvin Washington and Apolo Ono wondered whether the red team’s captain had too many injuries slowing him down.  The entire team flipped over on the Human Ladder but they kept on moving.

At the new Totem obstacle, SaP was still in the lead with all five racers on the rope, passed the flag to the top, and clipped in first.  Somehow, team, CK was nowhere to be seen at this point.

The next obstacle, a giant Puzzle Pole, was pretty cool.  The team had to arrange these giant 280-pound blocks into a puzzle shape, then insert a pole into the middle.  Then the team had to get one member to the top of the pole where they reached out to pull a handle about twenty feet overhead.  This released a huge I-beam that the team then carried to the next obstacle, the wet, muddy, Army Crawl beneath barbed wire.  By then the Comeback Kids had indeed come back to second place.

By the time of the Dunk Wall, the Comeback Kids and Sweet Carolina were tied for second.  It all came down to the Slip Wall.  Strike a Pose kept cool and took the heat in 17:50 with the Comeback Kids in second.  Now team CK had to wait and see if their time was fast enough to win the Wild Card.

Round Two

Round Two teams included the green team, Standing Proud.  This was a very respectable team of all Service veterans, two of whom were amputees.  The Sparring Spartans were clad in pink.  They were all professional boxers and MMA champs.  I pegged them to win.  Especially when the yellow team, Showtime, introduced themselves as five Broadway dancers.  While I have huge respect for the athleticism of this troupe, I doubted it would be enough for a Spartan race.

The Sparring Spartans started extremely strong at the Barrell Roll.  But by the Table Tilt, Showtime was on center stage.  They kept the lead at the Human Ladder as the team SS fell into the pool and struggled to get out.  Rescue divers and members from Standing Proud provided assistance.  Then everyone got back into the race.

Showtime made it to the top of the Totem first but had a bit of a crash on the dismount.  Sparring Spartans looked tired by now but they were still moving along in second.  Standing Proud re-took second by the Dunk Wall.  By the Slip Wall it was only Showtime and Standing Proud left in the race.  The Sparring Spartans could not be saved by the bell back at the Army Crawl.  The mud was too much.

The dancers took first, easily conquering the wall.  Standing Proud slipped off the wall and lost to the clock.  That gave the Comeback Kids the wild card slot.  And with that, the slots were filled for next week’s quarterfinals.  What drama can we expect?  Maybe we’ll finally find out who shot J. R. on Dallas.