The Spartan Death Race took place over the weekend in Pittsfield, Vermont. The birthplace of Spartan. The race kicked off on Thursday just after midnight with 63 races attempting to see how far they could go. The event included an overnight hike, a Guinness World Record record set, and in the end, 12 athletes were granted the coveted skull.
As an Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) athlete who typically is better at longer events, I often am asked the question “When are you going to do the Death Race (or insert other similar event)?” The answer is probably never…because it is a different sport. Death Race and events like it such as The Ultimate SUCK, The Brutality, GORUCK Selection, Fuego y Agua and SISU Iron are not OCR events. They fall into a category on their own that lies in a region between OCR and Adventure Racing but closer to the latter.
While not a full 6-feet under, 6 Death Racers (or was it 7) were buried alive. Read that again - buried alive. Eulogies from their dear friends wafted through the air as these select finishers were laid to rest in actual plywood caskets laid in the ground, that were nailed shut and even covered by dirt for good measure.
Ever have a certain product that you use just about every day and can’t be without? Well for me, this is it. Geigerrig Hydration backpacks are simply one of a kind and stand-alone from the rest of the competition! Geigerrig Hydration packs are a total game changer! What makes these hydration packs different from others is its pressurized system to squirt out water wherever needed. All you do is pump it (it comes with a easy to reach hand pump) to create the pressure & you're ready to drink or spray it. They are one of my favorite things I own for OCR’s.
From my first event to this day I have been excited about the prospect of pushing my limits and the limits of the obstacle course racing events. The end of the line for the two largest events in our country are the Worlds Toughest Mudder and the Spartan Death Race. Having participated in WTM in 2013 I am now about to take on the Death Race and find out if I have what it takes. The two events have chosen vastly different atmospheres and different challenges to apply to its participants.
The Death Race is a physical, mental and emotional journey. It is designed to break you, to teach you, if you’re willing, a lesson about yourself. It’s up to the individual to see the lesson in the journey. Some people will focus on the wrong things and be consumed with, “It’s not fair!” and “That person is cheating!” Others, even some first time participants, will let go of what they can’t control and not give it another thought. They will go from one task to the next with no preconception, no rating or judgment system, they will simply go. Life isn’t fair, neither is the Death Race.
“Watch out!” a Death Racer shouted as the snarling bull charged across the ring slamming a racer against the wall. He was pinned to the ground if only but for a moment, the dust began to settle. Blood dripped from the bulls nostrils, not from a racer but from ramming it’s own face into the wall just missing it’s target. All across the arena crimson red bibs lay scattered about waiting to be collected by their owner. Up till now, the Death Race was an abstract concept, each racer asking themselves if they possessed the mental and physical strength to survive anywhere from 36 to 72 hours of punishment at the hands of the co-founder of Spartan Race. Now, as they all stood inside a bullfighting ring in an undisclosed location in Mexico, it became real. Entirely too real. Death was more than just a possibility.