For my second Spartan Race, I crossed the Channel for the South East Sprint in Sevenoaks. After a good night sleep in my cozy bedroom (booked via AirBnB) I headed down to St. Clere. When I arrived it was still foggy, but it was not too cold. As usual, I was running in the elite wave, together with about 150 other competitors. After a small warm up, we entered the start box and at 8 am we started running.
I didn’t know what to expect but the course was a bit more demanding than I anticipated. Over the lengt of 5,3 km we gained 271 meters. And to be honest, I was not prepared for this. But the hills aside, I really loved this course in the middle of the British countryside. Once the fog cleared up, the views were quite spectacular.
It can be my imagination but I feel like there were a lot of walls we had to get over, but they are not really that difficult for me. As usual, I also had no issues with the monkeybars. New to me was the rig with the rings where you had to sling from one ring to the next but this obstacle also didn’t cause any problems. Obstacles like those are some of my favorites as I can take them very fast. Others, like the traverse walls, take some more time. The traverse walls with the ropes – I have only seen these in the UK – are easier then the normal traverse walls.
Spread over the course, there were three obstacles where we had to carry ‘heavy’ stuff up and down a hill. First two wooden logs, then two tires and finally two sandbags. I have to admit that those obstacles gassed me out a bit and that it was difficult to start running again after those. That is something I definitely need to integrate into my training. Other heavy things – that were a bit more easy for me – were the tire flip, kettlebell hoist and the atlas stone.
Just like during the Valmorel Sprint, I failed on two obstacles, the traverse wall and the spear throwing. Again, on the traverse wall, I slipped off the wooden block and was given 30 burpees. So far this is the 4th time I fail on that obstacle out of 5 attempts. I really consider building a traverse wall so I can practice it in my garden because it’s getting pretty ridiculous now.
The second obstacle I failed was the spear throwing. Just like the traverse wall, this is an obstacle I can’t really train and it shows. This time I had the direction ok but the spear didn’t hit the hay straight so it didn’t stick. So again, 30 burpees.
Kalenji Kiprun Trail XT6
This race was the first one I ran on the new Kalenji Kiprun Trail XT6 shoe instead of my Inov-8 X-talon 200 and I was pleasantly surprised. The one thing I worried about was the grip but there was no reason to. Even on the steep descents, the shoes had a perfect grip on the loose dirt and I never slipped. I’m curious how the will perform in muddy conditions and how the feel during a longer run but the first impression was more than OK!
Distance: 5,32 km
Elevation gained: 271 m
Kilometers Driven: 731 km