by Brett Stewart & Paul Mitas
When is a Spartan Race NOT a Spartan Race?
HH045: Phoenix, AZ , Brett Stewart (excerpt from Spartan Magazine)
The absolute best part of Hurricane Heat is trying to explain to your family or co-workers what you did for several hours on Saturday morning. Once you start describing the challenges you endured and teamwork required do you begin to fully realize what you actually accomplished. Seeing the look on a friend’s face when you describe the relentless “activities” you underwent actually crystallizes the real purpose of why Hurricane Heat was created. I’m not going to spoil that “AHA! moment” for you, it’s one of those rare gems that you can only get in life by truly searching within yourself and finding a new focus and a little deeper meaning in your life. Hurricane Heat may not necessarily change you as a person, it will at least remind you that no matter who you are, there’s much more inside of you than you may have ever realized, and provide the grit to sand down some of your exterior and let it show.
I went into Hurricane Heat 045 without a clear vision of what challenges it would bring, and what punishment it would entail. The one constant that I knew from reading about previous HH’s was that there would be burpees – and plenty of them. When I signed up, I really envisioned a lot of hiking punctuated by sets of burpees on the trail, and little else. I knew there’d be some mystery curveballs thrown our way, and it wasn’t until reflection later in the day – several hours after I’d finished – how many there actually were.
I am now a proud Hurricane Heat alumnus, and am in an unique position to provide the following advice:
- Preparation is key for your gear and all required items
- Be mentally prepared for providing solutions; your entire HH squad will be reliant on it
- If you are a leader, then lead like you never have before.
HH046: Atlanta, GA Paul Mitas
Let me start this off by saying that no spoiler alert is needed here, I am not going to give a blow by blow description or even give a lot of details about the exact things that we did during the Hurricane Heat. I will give some does and don’ts with regards to doing a Hurricane Heat.
First and foremost a Hurricane Heat is hard, but it is doable by anyone who can push themselves. No one quits, no one is left behind. Be ready for lots of physical activity, burpees are not your friend, you will not enjoy them.
If you are going to do a Hurricane Heat and then race later the same day, give yourself plenty of time to re-hydrate, change clothes, and eat something. The HH usually has a soft stop time, meaning that if the time is estimated at 3 hours and it starts at 6:00 AM it could easily be 9:30 before it ends. So pick your race start time accordingly. You will receive an email about the required items, start location and time a few days before the event. Read it carefully, know where you need to be and when and GET THERE EARLY. Don’t be the one(s) the rest of the team pictures when doing the spear throw later in the day.
I was excited about HH 046 in the week leading up to it, even during the drive to the venue, and during the wait before it started. Then during the actual heat, I was thinking and saying “I won’t do this again!” Now a few days have passed and as I write this I am eating crow. I would sign up for another HH, I know now what I need to do differently and how to make it a lot more “enjoyable” by all. One suggestion is to keep in mind a HH is a team event, and everyone in the HH is on one team. So do your activities as a team, keep track of what you are doing, and most importantly enjoy it. Not all of the activities are fun, but you can be sure that you will learn a few things. Working as a team you can do some amazing things, watch your fellow members, help them if they need it, give encouragement when they think they cannot make it, and ask for help if you need some.
Hurricane Heat 046 had the pleasure of having Joe De Sena at the event so we got to do a few burpees with him and some of his other morning exercises.
The best advice I can give about doing a Hurricane Heat is be at the location on time, no be there early! keep an open mind, think about what you are being told to do, remember this is a team event, everyone is on the same team there, drink plenty of water during, and have a great time.