Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
4
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
5
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SWAG
3
Ready for an off-road challenge? Welcome to Spartan Trail. No man-made obstacles here. Just you, the great outdoors and the open trail. Compete, have fun, meet new friends and explore America’s wilderness over a 10k and 21k distance. Are you up for a trail race designed to challenge even our … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I was looking for a second race this weekend and there were no local ones so when I expanded my search to a little further out, this one piqued my … MORE

    I was looking for a second race this weekend and there were no local ones so when I expanded my search to a little further out, this one piqued my interest. I know some people who love Spartan races and I was curious about them but I don’t do obstacles and I definitely don’t do burpees but thought I can do a trail 10K. This is located a few hours away in PA. I stayed at a nearby Holiday Inn. This is an all weekend event and there were some obstacle races on both Saturday and Sunday along with the trail 10K Sunday. Some crazy people did multiple Spartan races here this weekend. There was initially a plan for a trail 10K Friday evening but that got canceled. I was not very impressed with the pre-race communication. The emails were kind of confusing and the race guide only showed the map for the obstacle races. The trail map was just posted to facebook and not on the website so like their facebook page and specifically the Spartan trail facebook page. The instructions also said to find your QR code in your Spartan account but I didn’t have one when I signed up and when I made one the race registration didn’t appear even though I used the same email I did to register for the race on Active.com. I had the QR code from my registration email from Active.com and I assumed that would work (and it did) but I sent an email to be sure and never received a reply. I was just expecting a better website and communication from such a large company. Race morning though was extremely smooth and efficient. It felt much more like a large rock n roll race event and not like local trail race which has its pros and cons. While it was missing the small community feel, it was nice to be somewhere so crowded and normal. You start with registration which was easy. You get a headband instead of a bib and a wrist timer along with some wrist bands for a free drink, etc. Then you go through a merchandise tent and then to the festival area. It was so nice to be in a large festival area. There were lots of porta potties and the start was well organized. The obstacle races and the trail race share a start and finish. The more popular obstacle course race went in separate waves throughout the day while the trail race started at 8am. The trail race had about 200 participants and was a mass start. The RD introduced himself at the start and talked about how this was a large Spartan trail community trying to tie in the community aspect of trail running. He also clearly explained what the course was like and how it was marked. He also said he would hang around after to chat. He did seem to genuinely care about the course and the runners. The first part of the course is brutal. I was expecting this to be as bad as the Battle at Bristol Mountain but as that got canceled this year (maybe forever…RIP), I needed a different ski mountain to torture me this summer and this was only 10K. The first mile is straight up. While the start area didn’t feel like a trail race, the actual race certainly did. Just about everyone is walking the first mile and chatting/commiserating and telling “war stories” from the brutal trail runs they have done. The first about 1/2 mile was on the ski hill area then it is another 1/2 mile up a steep trail. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to get to the top then it is (almost) all downhill. The next 2 to 2.5 miles were amazing mostly downhill not very technical trail in the woods. The last 2.5 to 3 miles were more technical but much less technical than the first mile and had some ups and downs. This technicality of the last section was similar to the trail race I did at Campgaw in NJ. I thought it was a very smart and well thought out course. It was actually much easier than Bristol except the first mile but it was still probably the next hardest terrain I’ve run on. Although 10K is the perfect distance for me for this kind of race with just the right amount of masochism. The course was very well marked and easy to follow. There were 3, 6 and 9km signs along with motivation signs on the trail. My biggest complaint is the volunteers at the 2 aid stations were on their phones and did not seem to care at all. It has been so much fun interacting with volunteers now that things are opening up so this was disappointing. The photographers though were very friendly and encouraging. The views were quite pretty though not spectacular especially as there was construction at the top of the mountain. The finish is downhill and you pass some people doing the obstacles. I would much rather climb a mountain than that. The finish area is exciting with the fire pit and you are handed your medal. Obviously my finishing time was slow but it’s hard to compare this to other races since it’s so much more difficult. The medal is nice and good sized but while it is specific for a trail 10K race and has the year, it is not specific to the race location. It does not say Palmerton anywhere on it. I assume you get the same one at all their trail 10Ks this year. I get why they would do this to save money especially as it was probably unclear which races would happen this year, but it does give the runners less incentive to do another Spartan trail 10K in 2021 if they will get the same medal. There are drinks and bananas at the next table. I liked that they had liquid death water but the recovery drink was something called “Fit Aid” and was disgusting. Then there are the shirts. The shirts are nice, technical quality and specific for the trail race but again not the location. The shirts run teeny, tiny. I am usually a woman’s large and between a men’s small and medium. I like baggy shirts and usually get men’s mediums. I had to get a men’s large to fit me the way I like. After the race there is the festival area to hang out in. It was very nice to get to hang out with other runners. There was non-alcoholic beer from Athletic brewing company and alcoholic options. I wish there was more free food other than the banana but there was a tent you could purchase hot food and I got a black bean burger and fries. Overall there were many things I liked about this race. The race day was extremely well-organized and it was a festive event and the course was the perfect amount of challenge. I get why people love these races. It definitely had a more “corporate” feel than a local trail race but I think they tried their best to give the race a community feel. This wouldn’t be my first choice for a race as I’d prefer a race a little less difficult than this and if I had the option of a local race would choose that instead but I’d be open to doing another trail 10K with Spartan. Given the difficulty of the course, I would not do a longer race with them but the real masochists out there would enjoy it. I also refuse to do burpees so I will leave the obstacle courses to others.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Jul 11, 2021 at 6:53pm

    Burpees... I often wonder how such an intense exercise got such a goofy name. Congrats on getting up and down the mountain! Sounds like a 10K I did here in… MORE

    Burpees... I often wonder how such an intense exercise got such a goofy name. Congrats on getting up and down the mountain! Sounds like a 10K I did here in SoCal a few years ago called the Toughest 10K in the USA. Now that you mention it, I'm wondering if Spartan might decide to hold all its trail races in conjunction with OCRs, at least for the time being until participation in its trail running events reaches critical mass. Glad this one was worth the drive (I assume?) to PA, glad they had a post-race vegan option (even if you did have to pay for it), and here's hoping Spartan diligently continues to improve on & expand its trail running portfolio, since it sounds like there's a lot of potential here. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go look up "liquid death water" 🤨. Thanks for another fantastic review! LESS

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    M-Hall Jul 12, 2021 at 5:50am

    Believe it or not: The basic movement as described by its namesake, physiologist Royal H. Burpee, is performed in four steps from a standing position and known as a "four-count… MORE

    Believe it or not: The basic movement as described by its namesake, physiologist Royal H. Burpee, is performed in four steps from a standing position and known as a "four-count burpee" LESS

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    M_Sohaskey Jul 14, 2021 at 1:01am

    That's some great burpee knowledge, not every day you hear the name "Royal"... thanks Mark!

    That's some great burpee knowledge, not every day you hear the name "Royal"... thanks Mark!

    seagroves87 Jul 11, 2021 at 8:06pm

    In case you are wondering the liquid death sparkling water is even better than the liquid death still water they had at the race in my opinion. It is canned… MORE

    In case you are wondering the liquid death sparkling water is even better than the liquid death still water they had at the race in my opinion. It is canned water and the death is referring to death of plastic bottles as aluminum cans are much more recyclable and environmentally friendly than plastic water and it also makes drinking water sound hardcore LESS

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    M_Sohaskey Jul 11, 2021 at 10:13pm

    Ha, it does do that! I would've guessed the "death" referred to thirst. Sounds like the most hardcore thing about it may be the marketing $$ they put into coming… MORE

    Ha, it does do that! I would've guessed the "death" referred to thirst. Sounds like the most hardcore thing about it may be the marketing $$ they put into coming up with the name! 😆 LESS

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