Better late to post than never! I ran my first Spartan Stadium Sprint on November 2nd at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI. It was also my first time to ever be in Milwaukee..I didn’t do much sight seeing but the area I stayed in reminded me a lot of Nashville’s downtown.
Friday was a lost cause due to a delayed flight – UGH. Hotel restaurant dinner and bed time for me.
Saturday was race day! Early to the stadium to take the official Corn Fed Spartan photo at 0730 since we had some elite racers in the mix. It. Was. Chilly. Miller Park has a retractable dome – which was closed – but it also has side panels…those were open. For my running attire, I opted for a long sleeve UA top, UA shorts, calf sleeves and my 195 inov-8s. The entire 400 person CFS team had start times between 0830 and 0945 – mine was 0930. Rob had decided he was going to stick with me for the race to help me out and push me when I needed it. Turns out I needed it a lot.
The main difference between a stadium and a normal sprint start is that with the stadium you run out in groups of 15 instead of a mass of 200. The cool thing about the stadium is that there’s no mud or water so you don’t have to worry about getting dirty or freezing or having to change out of grungy clothes post-race. Lastly, there’s a lot more CrossFit-type obstacles than the outdoor sprints.
Back to the start. We take off running and I immediately feel weird, great. My leg was slow to warm up and I had a weird feeling in my chest. We’re running up the ramp and I’m coughing. First straightaway I find a trash can and spit out some of the junk I’m coughing up. WTF. Our pace has to slow because I’m coughing, but I can do a slow jog/fast walk pretty easy and Rob’s ok with that. We hit the upper deck and weave up and down the rows and aisles with me setting the pace. I’m super glad I did some weighted stadium carries prior to this race.
The obstacles weren’t too strenuous. I did the guys’ weight for the slam ball (25lbs instead of 15)..the volunteer tried to get me to stop but there weren’t any 15’s available and the 25 was pretty easy so I continued my slams. The 500m row on the Concept2 Rower gave me a fit…I thought I was going to puke. The typical spartan obstacles were easy – walls, monkey bars, spear, T-Wall, Hoist, atlas carry. The CrossFit obstacles were easy things like HR push-ups, fat rope jump ropes, slam balls, box jumps, farmer’s carry with water jugs. The most annoying obstacle was the Hobie Hop only because every time I hopped, snot came pouring out of my nose. I ended up just stretching the band and walking up the stairs.
We finished happy and unbroken in 1:02. We were aiming for under an hour but for my first stadium I was stoked for the time. Rob also got a pretty sweet video out of the deal of him doing a legless rope climb thanks to me. Most importantly, I got to finish my first stadium race with one of my most amazing friends by my side pushing me to do my best the entire race, finishing side by side.
My review of the event logistics:
– the biggest negative, NO BEER. Not only no beer, but no one ever said there wasn’t going to be beer and NONE of the stadium staff had a clue
– As per usual, $5 for bag check but you get $5 in mercy once you get your bag bag. Downfall with that is some of the cooler stuff sells out before you get your $5…
– Parking was FREE, always nice
My grade: Definitely do it! It’s definitely a different Spartan experience and you should do it!