May 5, 2014


The 1st of May was D-day. It was a day I had been training mentally and physically for the last two months. Since signing up for the Spartacus Run 2014 I had imagined this day many times. Especially the days and hours right before the race I had made up all sorts of scenarios of getting injured and not being able to finish! 

The night before the run I was extremely nervous and could barely sleep. I'm pretty sure I saw every hour on the clock! But surprisingly I woke up pretty alert and awake, it must have been the adrenaline that pumped me up... 
I had a filling bowl of porridge for breakfast, drank a cup of coffee and took off to the domain where the race would take place in the afternoon. Together with my friend Laurien we went to pick up our electronic chips, which you needed to wrap around your ankle so it would measure your time, and some other information. We were scaring ourselves while walking around the domain talking about all the obstacles we could see and the weather predictions. Not a good idea to talk too much.... so we went home to relax a bit. 
An hour and a half before the race I had half a banana, some water and a final cup of coffee (since it was recommended by many runners). Then it was time to go! 

I was only getting more nervous by the minute. It was the first time I participated in an event like this, so I didn't quite know what to expect. At 12:45 a.m. we headed to the starting blocks where we had to wait for 20 minutes until our wave would take off. We were both excited but VERY nervous. Laurien was getting a headache and I was feeling the coffee and water and needed a bathroom break! At 1:00 p.m. the first 250 people, of a total of 9000 people, took off. Now it was getting very close and my heart started beating faster. Five minutes later it was our turn. Suddenly everybody in our block started running and we were following. The race was on! 
In the first couple of meters we had to immediately run up a hill, a pretty exhausting beginning but I decided to go by a slow pace. 
The encouraging yelling from my friends and family were certainly helpful! 

This is how the track looked like

These were the obstacles
1. Crawling over and under objects
2. Walk on water: a net over/in water where you needed to crawl over. Completely soaked after!

3. El Capitan: a steep hill you needed yo climb.
4. Gravity: a slide with water and soap

5. Barbed wire: crawling on all fours under barbed wire for about 10 meters
6. Running over floating blocks on water
7. Labyrinth
8. Running over floating blocks on water
9. Sand for cement: running with a bag of sand (15kg) over and under obstacles
10. Belly scraper: crawling under fences military style (so hard!)
11. Swim sala bim: swim or pull on the ropes in the water (50 meters)
12. Bushrunner: run through the woods where smoke is created (you can barely see)
13. Human wall: a rugby team is blocking you and you need to try to pass them
14. The wall

15. Stihl Drill
Combination of climbing fences, crawling over wood and through pipes in water

The hardest part of the Spartacus Run 2014? Definitely the swimming! Although you had gotten completely wet by this point, it was still a shock for your body to be in cold water suddenly. I felt all of my energy leaving my body, it was an overwhelming and scary feeling. Right after the swimming there was the belly scraper, which was even more exhausting after the swimming! 

I finished the race in 1 hour and 24 minutes. I'm so happy I participated and finished. The whole experience, before, during and after the race, was a boost to try out new things in the future and to keep challenging my own body. I did need three days to recover from the Spartacus Run, all of my muscles were sore, my knees were busted and my left foot was bruised. But like I said, it was worth it! Now I'm going on the lookout for a new challenge, probably something completely different, but I'll keep you updated! 

x x x

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