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One of kids got into a new kind of event, the Spartan race. We had never heard of the event and wanted to support our son. We thought the best way to experience a race would be to volunteer for the race. Of course we did not want to actually run the race! So, we took the officials training and became volunteer course marshals for two different Spartan races.
Our first trip to Perfect North in Indiana was in July, even though it is not too far from our house in Kentucky. Perfect North is a ski slope and one we have avoided until July. At least we went as officials.
The good news for the racers is we had an hour long training class on how to be an effective course marshal. We had a great time monitoring our obstacle during the race and could see our son competing as our obstacle was near the end of the race.
This Spartan race has several types of obstacles that required crawling, climbing, pulling, and lifting. All they are missing is a bike ride. Of course the stadium event had a stationary bike obstacle.
Some of the obstacles at our races were:
- Barb wire – crawl under barb wire.
- Rope climb – climb a rope.
- Hoist – lift a weight with pulley system.
- Multi Rig—This is the event we monitored. This is similar to the monkey bars we had as kids.
Our son and his friends did well. He was so excited to see us that he ran the race twice, and we got a chance to see the second run with his friends from the gym. It really is a community event.
Since my in-laws live in St. Louis, we joined our son for his Stadium race as course marshals in Busch Stadium. We saw more of our son on this race as we could see him run by and then hit some other activities.
It was really fun to be inside working an event at Busch Stadium. It is different from watching a baseball game. All of us said walking (or running) onto the field was a highlight. It must have been hard to run up and down all of the levels of the stadium. I clocked over 7 miles walking just as a volunteer.
The stadium race had many of the same obstacles as the Sprint. It did not have water based obstacles. We again monitored the multi-rig and one other obstacle later in the morning. The multi-rig is a challenging event; the Spartans make it look easy.
The views throughout the stadium were great. We enjoyed being able to walk around before and after our volunteer shift.
We again participated in training and were treated to the behind the scenes view of the stadium. Of course things are dark at 5:30 AM when we have to show up on race day. We did get to view the press area and walk around the entire stadium prior to the race beginning at 7 AM.
Spartan race organizers want to encourage people to become active. They are looking to make that activity a way of life. Having now met several competitors and officials, we see that there is a community devoted to that mission. The race is a way to have the athlete held accountable to themselves and put pressure on their training. I have found that if you do not have a goal, you do not get serious about the training, in business or in other pursuits.
We are certainly proud of our Spartan!