This was my first Spartan Race of 2016 and my first race out of the UK.
I was extremely excited and equally nervous about this one before I even got to Morzine.
From the start race day did not disappoint, apart from the weather, we woke up to thunder and lightening like I have never seen before along with heavy rain that continued throughout the day. Motivational music was on the go, lots of commentating going on but my French is very limited so didn't have a clue what was being said 😝. Registration was quick as it was well organised and staff were super helpful, friendly and their English was much better than my French.
John was racing in the morning as he was doing the Beast, I had opted for the Sprint today and the Super tomorrow.
I went with John to the start line, the atmosphere was electric, everyone was buzzing and raring to go. French Flag coloured smoke and a count down from ten and they were off. Never felt so nervous for John racing and I waited nervously for his return. John completed the beast and in one piece, I was delighted and relieved to see him cross the finish line. I am so super proud of him for completing the course even with major cramps setting in.
It was a quick pass over of the bag and it was time for me to get to the start line, at this point seeing how broken John was and seeing people getting rescued by others at one of the water crossings as the water was so fast moving due to the severe wet weather I really wasn't feeling too good about what was ahead. The competition was also unbelievably fierce, I was on the start line surrounded by mega fit Europeans that were towering over me, I was full of doubt and fear, this was also my first OCR in a while, I awaited nervously and just had to suck it up until the count down. Smoke and a count down from ten and we were off. I was pushed and shoved from every direction, this was just what I needed, this inner Tartan Warrioress came out and I was off.
The first section of the course was a trail run into the river, the pace was fast and the water was ok at this point as they had us taped into the side of the river out of the dangerous fast moving section.
Out of the river and we hit some walls, I am quick over walls and was even quicker at catching a guys foot before he kicked me in the face as we were going over the first wall, he got a bigger fright than I did when I threw it back at him and told him to be more careful, I think he thought he had made contact.
Another trail running section lead us onto the Slack lines, oh my word, burpee central, I got on the extremely muddy and wet line and after a few steps fell off. So that was my first set of 30 burpees, chest down into the mud surrounded by at least another 30 racers, male and female. I had a good view of the other racers from my burpee station, obstacle completion was shaky.
I then ran on through the forest trails to the memory board, we had a code to remember that was linked to our number, mines was, well I forgot and that's that for now.
I ran on through another section of trail to the side climb wall, it was very wet and muddy and for me the holds where very far apart, the guy in front of me fell off, the guy behind me fell off but I was gripping on and kept making my way round, I got to the corner section, I had to leap around the corner as my reach was to short, I made it, ding ding to the bell and I was off, leaving many others doing burpees in the mud.
Next section was another trail run into a very cold water barbed wire crawl, body got a shock at this, it was colder than most Scottish water obstacles I have done.
After another section of trail it was the Spear Throw, as many of you reading this may know I have been practicing this loads. So I grabbed a Spear it was bent in two places, attached to a knotted muddy rope, looked up and down for a better option, not a single Spear was in and all I could see was a pen full of people doing burpess in the mud, I put this out my head, focused and gave it my all and yes, I missed, another 30 burpees in a cramped muddy pen.
Very muddy I ran onto the next obstacle, this was the Atlas Stone, it was lighter than the UK ones, only about 20kg at a guess, I had to do a carry about 30 meters put it down 5 burpees then bring it back, I managed this with ease.
The next trail section included a muddy barbed wire crawl then a trail run up a hill to the rope climb, the ropes where all attached to a wire in the trees, the ropes were about 20 foot high and all in a line and close together, it was tough as the ropes bounced as you were climbing them but I made it up and down super fast and was now in the lead. We then ran down hill and towards the river, the next section was by far the toughest for me, a double river crossing while carrying a log. The log was easy for me to lift, my issue was in the water, I weigh 47kg, this water was moving so fast it took my feet away several times, as it did to others around me, one guy even lost his log, he did try and get it back but with no luck. This section was changed for the Super, it had barriers to stop you and your log disappearing down the river. I have never been so scared during an OCR, the water took me down several times, I was gripping onto rocks for dear life with one hand while not letting my log go with the other, it was touch and go but I gritted my teeth and gave it everything and a little bit more and I did it.
The next trail section had four 5 foot overs, these were tricky but doable and I ran on. This first trail section had taken us away and then back towards the main event village. I knew what was coming up, the scary section of water that I had seen so many people get into difficulty with due to the fast moving water, people had been struggling and helping each other across, luckily as I approached to my absolute delight Spartan had made a very sensible decision and closed this section.
So now I'm in the events Village and still alive it was the huge Wall A Frame to tackle, this was another obstacle I seen so many struggle with, I had broken it down in my head, 7 foot slightly slanted wall with a huge Apex on top, there was a women's side with a foot bar but I was confident I wouldn't need that so I jump up the 7 foot wall then a climb and down, easy peasy, I could hear someone in the crowd shouting that's how you do it, go me.
After this the course took us into the town centre we climbed down into the river again off a bridge, we had to go back up the river against the water but we were at the side of the river and had a wire to hold onto, we then had short ropes to climb to help us get back out.
I then ran further into the town to the Hercules Hoist, man that was the heaviest women's hoist I have done to date, I even used my teeth to make sure I didn't let it slip, one slip and it was 30 burpees, no thank you, I did it and got a huge cheer from the crowd sitting in near by bars and lining the street and kept all my teeth.
I ran further up the town then down some steps, then I had a climb back up into the town up a huge cargo net, then I ran back towards the main event village, down some steps to be greeted by marshals that wanted my code, this was all rather confusing to me as I had never done this in the UK, I didn't know the code so it was 30 burpess, at this point girls were catching me and some of them remembered their codes and passed me. I got my 30 done and then had to pull my finger out as I only had a few obstacles left and only about 400m. I sprinted towards the huge slippery A Frame with water coming down off it and ropes to help you get up it. I made it up fast and down and was toe to toe with another girl, we made it to the next obstacle together, a net crawl down into the river for our final river crossing, luckily there was a wire to hold onto, I was just in front of the other girl as she went to pass me in the water but the water was too strong for her, I helped pull her back in towards the wire and we made it out and onto the final obstacle together, The Rig. I had only seen one women attempt this non other than Amy, she failed, it was so wet and slippy. As soon as I got on I knew I wasn't going to make it, I fell and I ran on to do my 30 burpees, I did them and it hurt, it was down to who was the fastest at burpess after us all failing the rig. This is one thing being tiny and lean helps with, burpees.
I wasn't quite quick enough to win but I got up after my burpees and sprinted towards the fire jump and a 2nd place. If my memory hadn't let me down it would of been a win, my memory is terrible, I know now what I need to work on next.
The placings for the sprint are as follows.
1st Jennifer Beaudoin
2nd Joda Quigley
3rd Myriam Halassi