For the first Spartan Race of 2019, I headed to Paris where I ran the Spartan Stadion Sprint at Stade de France. Being my first Spartan Stadion Sprint, I was very curious about it and very excited as well!
When I signed up, I decided to run in the open wave at 14h10, so I could drive to Paris on the same day and didn’t need to spend the night there! I was lucky to find a parking spot at walking distances from the stadium. I arrived a bit early because I didn’t know how long we had to queue for registration but this all went smoothly so it was a well-organized event, just like we are used to with Spartan Race!
I didn’t know what to expect from the obstacles, but most of them were the same as in a normal sprint. We had walls to climb over, stairway to Sparta, tire flips, spear throw, rope climb, Olympus and of course stairs. Lots of stairs. According to my Garmin data, we climbed 81 flights of stairs during the race. Sometimes just walking/running up and down, other times with a sandbag or with a chain.
We even did bear walk up the stairs under barbed wire and crab crawl down the stairs under strings of cord!
Only two obstacles were new – and I believe they are exclusive to a Stadion Sprint.
The second new ‘obstacle’ was a sandbag snatch. With a 40 lbs sandbag we had to do snatches – lifting the sandbag of the ground and bring it over head. This was not the most challenging obstacle but it kept the heart rate elevated.
First things first, in the new Stadion Sprint concept, the burpees penalty is reduced. Missing an obstacle during a Stadion Sprint is only 15 burpees in stead of the normal 30. I can see the reasoning behind this. The Stadion Sprint is a fast race, with obstacles close to each other and short running parts. Keeping the number of burpees low keeps the momentum going.
The only obstacle I failed was the multi-rig. My game plan was to avoid the little ropes and go from the monkey bar immediately to the Spartan helmet grip, but I didn’t have enough momentum. I tried swinging back and forth but unfortunately, I failed. In the last attempt, I tried to grab the rope but my grip strength wasn’t strong enough and my feet touched the ground. 15 burpees with the finish in sight were my price to pay!
After conquering the slipwall and the fire jumpg I crossed the finish line in a time of 1h 08’55”. By far not a fast time but since I don’t run time, I can’t be bothered with this.
Overall I liked this new concept. Very fast race, with lots of obstacles and short bits of running. I’m already looking forward to the next one, in Amsterdam.