I heard many stories about the fun that’s been had at Spartan Race weekends in Austin in the past, so I was grateful to have had the opportunity to join in on the 2016 fun.
The race weekend started with the pre-race dinner on Friday night at Bill’s Burgers in Burnet. I joined almost 100 Lone Star Spartans (LSS) in enjoying a tasty meal before the weekend’s shenanigans. When I arrived I had several people embrace me with hugs and call my name (henceforth I am only known as ‘Aussie’ or ‘The Aussie’). I recognised some people from Battlefrog but there were a lot of new faces. Despite having only met some of the people a few weeks prior they all acted like I was a lifelong friend.
After ordering my food I saw my friend Van and went up to give him a hug hello. He was standing next to a guy in a Superman shirt who looked at me like he knew me, said an enthusiastic hello, then opened his arms to give me a hug. I had no idea who he was but went along with it. Later in the night I heard this random guy speak and I knew that I recognised his voice from somwehere. I asked Van who he was and was told me it was Dustin Dorough (Spartan Race MC). I’d heard his voice at the Spartan Race World Championships in Tahoe in 2015 which is why I recognised the voice but not the face.
The night was full of fantastic food (even if it took 1.5 hours to get) and great company, and I even had the chance to see some of my Weeple Army friends who had made the log drive to Texas. After a few hours Brandon and I made the trek back to Round Rock so I could prepare myself for the race the next day.
I was up at 5:30am on Saturday and out the door just after 6am. I was so excited to see all my new friends again and to meander along the Super course. As LSS had planned a Prom for the afternoon, I decided to join some of the other LSS ladies and gents in wearing my dress out on course. I’d found a perfect sundress at the Goodwill earlier in the week along with a fabulous silver jacket.
Soon enough it was time to head out on course with Leah and Adair so we jumped the wall into the start chute and shortly after we were on our way. The course terrain was quite rocky in parts, and the scenery reminded me of hiking in John Forest National Park back in Perth. Although Texas has a lot more cacti than Perth.
Climbing was the theme of the day as we tackled 4, 6, 8, and 10 foot walls, along with an inverted wall (my nemesis) and the ramp wall. If there’s one thing that’s a bit challenging to do in a dress, it’s climbing over walls. I had my compression tights on underneath my dress which made things like the barbed wire crawl a lot easier.
There were a few creek crossings which were nice in the heat, but the holes in my shoes meant I was gathering an abundance of river rocks. I stopped a few times to empty my shoes before continuing my trek with the girls. There were several people who recognised me along the way and yelled out “hey Aussie!” Although the pronunciation was more like ass-ee.
At the atlas carry I heard a girl asking desperately if anyone had a phone. Turns out she had seen Lance Armstrong and wanted a photo. I wasn’t paying attention which means I walked right past him. I did my atlas carry and we continued meandering through the bush and up some rocks. The spear throw was my first failed obstacle (both days), followed by the multi rig (thanks to the softball). I failed the rope climb on the Saturday but nailed it on the Sunday.
Four and a bit hours later we got down and dirty in the muddy water at the dunk wall, then jumped over fire before finishing and being medalled by Danial. It was a fun course and I’m glad to have had two awesome people to walk with! I ended up giving out two of my three ‘You Got Chicked’ bracelets on the course to fellow LSS guys when I passed them.
At 3pm it was time for Prom, so all the LSS folks met at the stage in our fabulous attire. We posed for a team photo before the music started. Due to technical difficulties we didn’t have the music that we wanted, and in that moment I thought of my ‘Wifey’ Kirsty back in Australia and I knew what needed to be played. I got Dustin’s attention and asked if he had ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ by Wham as we needed to dance to it for Kirsty. Luckily someone had it on their phone and soon it was being blasted on the speakers.
At first there were a few people dancing with me and Dustin to the song, but shortly after everyone moved to the side and formed a circle around us two as we danced like crazy. I was singing along and dancing up a storm and by the end of the song I was exhausted and sweating up a storm. It was an awesome 3 minutes 😀
Shortly after the dance-off I spotted Dio and Haruko (The Mudcrusher) about to cross the finish line so I headed over to say hello and give them both a big hug. It was great to finally meet Haruko after all this time! She was impressed to have found someone taller than her.
When it was time to go I headed to the car and went to Bill’s again for a post-race burger. It was amazing (of course) and the girl who served me got very excited when she heard my accent. She kept asking me questions just to hear me talk and asked if I could just stay nearby and talk to her all night. I’m clearly a novelty at times.
Sunday started the same as Saturday – with an early wake up and a long drive to the race site. Before my race I said a quick hello to Dustin, Haruko and Spencer (Spartan Spencer) before just making my wave time. That’s what happens when you’re busy taking selfies with swans and koalas.
The Sprint was going to be the course that I tackled alone. I was at the back of the heat so I tried to get towards the middle of the pack as soon as I could. I spent my time jogging the sections with the easy terrain, and took my time on the really rocky sections as I didn’t want a rolled ankle. I got through the monkey bars and took on the men’s tyre for the second day in a row. At one obstacle I had a lady recognise me as ‘the lady who was dancing to Wham with the announcer’ the day before.
The only obstacles I needed help with were the Z Walls and the inverted wall. At one of the walls I was chatting to a volunteer when a guy called out to me because he said he recognised me. He asked if I’m the person who was at the OCRWC last year stuck on Dragon’s Back, as he had been in the crowd cheering me on. Turns out he recognised my voice from when I was talking to the crowd in my moment of fear. That’s the second time someone has recognised me from my voice.
I did the Herc Hoist twice as the first time I was helping a girl who couldn’t lift the weight. I then jogged to the dunk wall, jumped the fire and I was done! I checked my time and it was 2:01 for a 9km course. I’m so annoyed that I just missed out on being under 2 hours!mAt the end I saw Marc Montano so we chatted as he handed out FitAid. The lady from FitAid heard me talking and asked if I could just stay at the finish line all day and talk to her because she loved my accent.
The rest of my day was spent saying goodbye to the awesome LSS folks before heading out to volunteer as the course sweep. For four hours Corey and I walked the course and pulled all the markings off the cacti. I got into an argument with a spiked tee which pricked my thumbs several times, so there were many expletives coming from my mouth at that point. After watching the last Spartan finish, we headed back to base camp to count signs until it was time to head home.
It was an epic weekend and I had an absolute blast! I can’t wait to see all the amazing LSS folks again when I go back to Texas. See y’all next time! (That ones for you crazy Texans!)
Event: Spartan Race Super/Sprint Weekend
Type: Obstacle Course Race
Distance: Super – 14km. Sprint – 7km
Location: Reveille Peak Ranch, Burnet, Texas (USA)
Date: 24-25 April 2016