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Solupia FIRST-TIMER '16

This is a new course location for Spartan Race. As usual, Spartan Race has put on a great production for everyone to enjoy. It's noteworthy for any first timer that … MORE

This is a new course location for Spartan Race. As usual, Spartan Race has put on a great production for everyone to enjoy. It’s noteworthy for any first timer that this course is not for beginners to trail racing. The main nemesis is not the obstacles here, but the heat. It’s better to race during morning while it’s cool than during afternoon. Many afternoon participants were dehydrated due to the heat. If you don’t train properly, it is not advised to race the afternoon waves even if it is non-competitive.

Spartan Race is an obstacle race, which means it is innately challenging for average people. However, some races are doable for people who trained for it. My course difficulty rating is primarily a comparison with my past experience with the World Championship Tahoe Beast as 5. I have rated this course 3/5 with a couple of considerations. First, Spartan Race is known for burpees as penalty for failure to complete its obstacles. Since there are primarily 3 categories of distances, super means 8-10miles with 25-29 obstacles. This race is 8.7 miles with 26 obstacles. Different courses have different obstacles, but among those, there is 1 obstacle no one are allowed to skip, Bucket Brigade. This obstacle is one of the toughest because you are asked to carry a bucket full of rocks or dirt and up a loop with incline. In addition, there is an inspection at the end of the obstacle, where a staff will make sure your rock/dirt are above the fill lines as indicated on the bucket. Failed to have the appropriate amount will result in a redo or disqualified. I remember vividly the World Championship has a quarter mile loop with 40% incline, it took me 90min to complete the obstacles with multiple breaks. However, the Bucket Brigade at this course is particularly short, which is why I lower the difficulty rating significantly. Beside this, I also consider the barbed wire obstacle here as easy because it is a much shorter distance to crawl and no requirement to roll on your side , which I personally is thankful for. I hate the obnoxious and dizzy feeling from rolling under barbed wire for 5 minutes straight. No fire pit is present in this course, which is understandable with dry grassland throughout the course and average 90s during the afternoon. Beside the usual obstacles, this course includes multiple steep hills, you better be ready for some steep incline. Add hill workout to your training routine.

As for my performance, I had to do 90 burpees to make up my shortcoming in failing the spear throw, Z-wall and Hercules Hoist. Spear throw is one of those obstacles you don’t want to fail, or the penalty will add up the time significant. To complete the Z-wall, you must go slow, or you can slip off the blocks easily, which I did. And Hercules hoist is one that requires shoulder, back and core strength to lift a sandbag 40ft up in the air by pulling on a rope. It’s not easy for a lightweight guy as myself.

Overall scenery is average with rolling hills and open oak woodland, typical for obstacle course.

Race swag includes finisher T-shirt and medal. They offers banana, protein bar and 1 can of fitaid. Personally, I am not a fan of protein bars. I wish there are more drinks to be offered especially with the heat. However, you get to show off your accomplishment with the battle scars. Very few finish the course unscathed. That’s the beauty of obstacle courses.

AROO!!!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Solupia FIRST-TIMER '16

This is my second Spartan Race. My first was the Lake Tahoe Beast. This is a lot easier in comparison. Course layout: This is a hilly course with multiple steep … MORE

This is my second Spartan Race. My first was the Lake Tahoe Beast. This is a lot easier in comparison.

Course layout: This is a hilly course with multiple steep terrain, but totally doable. Since I have done the World Championship course, the amount of incline here is insignificant in comparison. I gave a 3/5 for difficulty. Please note that there are multiple loose dirt steep downhill. If you are not used to running downhill will minimum footing, it could be a difficult course for you to finish. For those who are competitive, you may have trouble passing people due to narrow trail and slow-down at some steep downhill area. You’ll better be ready to scream “RUNNER!!!” multiple time unless you get to be in the front pack of elite wave. Unfortunately, even in competitive wave, there are still way too many people walking the hills. That really slow me down when I can’t pass them off easily.

Obstacles: There’s no fire in this year’s race. I don’t know about the history though. You can expect the usual with walls, bucket and dunk. After the Tahoe experience of bucket, I think this bucket obstacle is much doable, shorter hill to climb and gravels instead of semi-wet dirt. Personally I still hate the barbed wire, because I get super dizzy from rolling on my side. Thank God, it’s not as long as the one in Tahoe, otherwise, I would have thrown up. You may want to figure out a tactic for motion sickness or crawl you way through instead.

Scenery: The course is primarily chaparral and grassland with sparse oak woodland. Honestly, once the race starts, I hardly focus on the scenery but rather making sure I have the proper footing to avoid injury or tripping over. Therefore, I don’t think I would be a fair judge of the scenery. But again I was not there to hike, I was there for the obstacle course to challenge myself.

Race production: The bib pick-up was quick. The only thing worth mentioning is that waiver is provided on-site to be signed. I printed out mine, but they said they revised it. This happened at the Lake Tahoe Beast, too. Basically, the online waiver version is useless if they keep revising it last minute. Just be there early enough to sign the waiver. Due to no parking at the actual course, parking is elsewhere and people must take a shuttle to get in. If you do your homework and read the email, you would have known that and be prepared for an early arrival. I had to wake up at 3pm to start driving. Next time, I should have stay at somewhere nearby.

Swag: You get a finisher medal along with a T-shirt. I love the quality of their T-shirt. It’s soft and fitted and comfortable. You also get a slice of the Trifecta medal. Collect 3 of different pieces to complete the medal.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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