Report from OAC’s Richard Clarke:
Having already done two of the ‘Major Series‘ obstacle races organised by British Military Fit at Bramham Park, I was persuaded to try the Yorkshire Spartan Sprint event at Ellington Banks, Kirkby Road, Ripon.
The Spartan course is half the length of the Major Series course at 5k but has a lot more obstacles (they advertise a minimum of 15) and these are more challenging and varied.
In order to avoid overcrowding, competitors were set off in heats at half hour intervals. I set off in the third group at 11 am.
There was a reasonable amount of running at the start – similar to those in cross-country races – except punctuated by a few obstacles. The obstacles became more challenging and closer together after about 2k. The obstacles included:
sandbag pull (pulley)
tyre carry (down and up hill)
sandbag carry (down and up hill)
rope ladder climb
cargo net climb (up and over)
rope climb (very few seemed to manage this one)
tunnel crawl (several meters; narrow)
balance beam (short; very low; zigzag beam)
wall climb (plank wall about 8ft tall)
barbed wire and other crawls (several of these; through mud and water)
barbed wire swim (barbed wire only above water! water muddy!! See picture)
fire jump (very small)
Ice crawl (cold!)
You were encouraged to try all obstacles and do a number of burpees instead, if you could not complete one. However, this was not strictly enforced, and you could pretty much choose what you did and didn’t do.
The only obstacle I didn’t attempt was the rope climb (arms too tired from previous obstacles and hands and feet slippery from mud). I also failed to walk the balance beam (tried three times but just couldn’t retain my balance) and did my 30 burpees instead.
Because of the option to miss obstacles and/or do burpees instead, and queues at some of the obstacles, the chip timings don’t really mean a lot, although it was interesting to compare times with others.
I thoroughly enjoyed the event and will do again next year.
Entries are now open for the Yorkshire Spartan Race 2013 (same venue) on Sunday, 8/9/2013 (price £30 for an individual, up to 31 August 2012) through activeeurope.
Pictures on Yorkshire Spartan Sprint 2012’s FlickR.
Results from trunim.com (non-competitive)
For the record, my overall position was 202/1,175 and in the in mv50 category, my position was 2/20 and my time was 54:38.
Certainly something a bit different!
Youtube video of last year’s race here.