A Spartan Race Relay Experience
New to Spartan Race is the Spartan Race Relay. The first relay of this sort was offered at the Carolina Beast in October of 2012. Injured and sore, I had to refrain from the temptation to earn the yellow medal. A few of my friends gave it a try and had a blast. I was going to make sure I didn’t miss out on the next opportunity.
I reassured him that these two chicks, particularly Barb Wire 4 Breakfast chicks, don’t go for the usual tiaras with bling. Why we were going to race in none other than Barb Wire Crowns, yes, real barb wire crowns. Shane asked where we would get these and how would we wear them to not bleed our heads. We’d make them of course and we’d wear my signature lime green bandanas underneath them.
We were in for an adventure for sure. Our good friend Joe Kauder was working on putting together a three-person team of his own. However, he decided that he would rather join the Electrifying Green Royalty Team and run the whole three legs supporting, helping, and encouraging us. So, even though this beast offered a three-person relay team, we formed the first four-person relay team.
For two weeks prior to the Sacramento Beast the four of us planned, bent barb wire, and gathered our green. We measured our heads and snipped and tucked barbs. Finally the night before the race, the crowns were revealed. Proudly we each set a shiny silvery, lime ribbon clad halo on our heads admiring the ingenious creative fun which would symbolize our friendship and commitment to our passion of OCR the next day.
Our teammates, Ang and Shane were yelling encouraging words to us at the top of the mound as we crawled out of the murky water and approached the relay exchange. Ang was ready to go out for her leg of the course. Joe and I traded crowns and made a quick adjustment to head gear and he was off with her. What a great sight. Electrifying green dots made their way through the muck and out of our sight. Shane and I hung together stretching and keeping warm while we waited for the other half of our team to come back into vision. After about 45 minutes here they were, hopping down a very slick, no longer grassy decline into the traverse wall area. Both Joe and Ang quickly jumped onto the now soaking wet, mud topped wood blocks.
Unfortunately neither could hang on. In fact, I cannot recall one person who could at this point. Burpees for our team. I held the dry clothes and camera while Shane so kindly jumped in on the 30-count. Cold and wet, Ang and Joe faithfully pounded out their penalties. Once number 30 was hit, Shane and Joe were off for the final leg, the longest leg, of the relay. They helped many a racer on that last leg, stopping when they were needed.
Ang threw on warm dry clothes and we hung out discussing how awesome the course was a second time. We headed to the sandbag hill as I was going to jump in and help either teammate, if need be, to finish the race. The sun finally appeared although the wind had picked up and the temperature had dropped. What a gorgeous place to be on this November day!
faces. Even Joe, who was about to complete his 28th mile of the day, cracked a smile. Up and then down that monster of a hill we went with our pancakes. We were quite happy to toss them into the pile at the bottom of the descent as we turned the left hand corner toward the final obstacles.
Perhaps for each of us this relay meant different things. For me it was not about winning, or about an insignificant yellow medal to add to my collection but much, more importantly this relay experience meant what Spartan Race has symbolized to me all season: honest, sincere, giving friendships with people who live their lives with true passion, care, and unselfishness for others and this incredible sport.
Thank you Ang, Shane, and Joe for helping me once again live and enjoy my life to the fullest. (And a special thank you to Scott Gregory for being our hidden cheerleader and photographer the whole damn cold, wet, muddy day.)