Who is this “they” that I speak of. Everyone. Literally. Yes, I mean the correct definition of ‘literally’. Elite racers, open racers, Spartan staff, Hobie Call, & me. It is unanimous that this one was a different sort of animal than we were all accustomed to. 8+ miles of almost constant incline/decline racing. 8,000 feet of elevation change. As hard as the treks up the mountains on Wintergreen Resort were, the descents were just as knee-shatteringly difficult. I heard there were scores of DNFs and many finishers felt like they had just traversed the entire Appalachian Trail. Just like I have been unable to adequately describe the Vermont Beast, I find myself unable to properly put this event into words. The venue in the midst of Virginia mountains was gorgeous. The obstacles weren’t that different or any more difficult than other races. Except for maybe the log carry. Yeah, the log carry down the mountain and then back up. That was tough. I went barreling down the hill with my log, but the ascent to the top ground me to a hamstring-cramping, quad-burning, maddeningly-slow, wobbly pace. Up the mountain. Down the mountain. Up the mountain. Down the mountain over water-washed, jagged, slick as snot rocks, boulders and logs. Up the mountain. Down the mountain. There were obstacles, but they were almost forgettable (except for the water slide!) The last mile or so up the mountain knocked everyone down to a hike. Start at the bottom with the tractor pull. Hike up to the inverse wall. Hike some more to the rope climb. One last hike to the horizontal wall traverse.
The rest of this review is continued here at OnMyWayToSparta.com.