Spartan Sprint Review – New England 2012 – In the books!
This is a week overdue but we went on vacation last week and I’ve been playing catch up at work all week so I apologize for the delay. Without further adue my Spartan Race 2012 review in all it’s glory!!!!!
Parking: It was a breeze to park for the event, we parked at the Seabrook Dog track. Where good times go to die. What a sad place that joint is. I swear the only time they have anyone there is when a race at Amesbury uses their lot. Plenty of porta potties too. Nice touch as the ride can be long for some and water and iced coffee can make you have to go right away when parking. The only negative is $10 to park on top of registration. I don’t like that. If you up your price for an event fine but I already paid now it feels like your nickel and diming me. Grade: C-
Venue: Anyone who’s done a mud race in New England knows the Amesbury Sports Park. Good venue and from what I’ve seen online this year there was no rash outbreak at any event! Spartan Race really made it look nice too with some cool new banners and a custom made metal Spartan Race sign complete with bloody spears! Aroo indeed!!! Grade: A
Ease of Registration: Registration was done online, we printed our release forms and signed them at home. There was plenty of staff directing us to check in and we were in and out in five minutes tops. Also got a sweet mesh bag with a ton of free Gaspari Nutrution samples. Plus the bibs were the more durable cottonish kind that held up to abuse this year. I keep my bibs and decorate my wall at work so that was a welcomed change from last year! The only negative was a $5 bag drop off fee that is a new addition this year. Please see earlier about the nickel and diming your customers. It’s nonsense. Grade: C+
Bathrooms/Changing area: Porta Potties as far as the eye could see. Never stood in line all day. Also there was a changing tent this year. Nice addition. However the showers were just a bank of hoses to wash off with. Last year there was a group shower and it worked MUCH better. Gravity is your friend! Grade: B
The Course: Spartan Race goes out of their way to keep the course changing and VERY challenging. It is in my humble opinion the hardest “short” race we do each year. Not sure if it’s just the humidity on top of a tough course or what, but each year I have my worst performance of the season at Amesbury with the Spartan Race. Bonus this year though, I wasn’t stung by any bees! They always make good use of the hill you can see from the highway. You have to go up and down at least twice and they learned their lesson from last year and have the new sandbags (which you can purchase at the merch tent for $85 for the ladies and $105 for the men’s) instead of the buckets of gravel. One thing I did notice was some of the course volunteers were being dicks. Wil Wheaton would not approve. I don’t need someone who clearly doesn’t do these races let alone work out telling us me “were cheating at Spartan Race” while dragging the cinderblocks on chains by helping a fellow competitor. I just told her I missed that memo and always help my teammates out. I will be back next year as I’m already registered with the early bird discount code and will challenge myself to do better again next year. Where were the big burly gladiators at the end this year? Much smaller guys this time around. Grade: A
After Party/food: To be honest I wasn’t feeling so hot at the end of the race, I had a turkey leg (didn’t finish it) which is customary for me and no beer this year. I do enjoy that a Vermont based company serves a Vermont based beer in Long Trail. I wish other mud race companies would follow SR’s lead on this. Now if you could just also add some Woodchuck to the post race options you’d make this Paleo guy a VERY happy man! Music was good, the only issue I can remember was it was sooo humid and there wasn’t much in the way of shade so a lot of people were hiding in and around the merch tent. I’m sure SR loved all the eyes on their stuff. They sure know how to brand too. This company is light years ahead of all others in this respect. Multiple items for kids, women, men. It’s really a well oiled machine that way. Grade: A
Overall Grade: B+ Wickedmuddy.com has fun wherever we go. We might not be super elite athletes but we’re ok with that. Lately we’ve noticed that the people at Spartan Race have been going out of their way to differentiate themselves from other races out there. That’s a good thing but it’s also can be a bad thing. Mud racing will never be (IMHO) a sport one can truly go pro in. The only way your time “counts” is if you register for the competitive heat. So if I post the best time of the day but wasn’t in the competitive heat I don’t “win”. To me that’s nonsense. Who cares when I go? The only thing that should matter is that I go. So long as no one is Rosie Ruizing it who cares? Also the culture of some of the more vocal Spartan Racers on facebook can be cultish at times and turns me off frankly. Not everyone does CrossFit. I’m not posting in the WickedMuddy feed about all the different chokes and armlocks we’re doing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. You can do squats and clean and jerks. I get it. Awesome. You can’t do squats if I choke you unconscious. Settle down Francis. In short there are other ways to train, don’t alienate your customer base. Unless you want nothing but CrossFit teams doing your races. I do a lot of different races, they all have good things and bad. But if you’re only doing Spartan Races your limiting yourself. Why not have more fun? See how the other guys are doing it. You might be pleasantly surprised. All that being said I’ve noticed that Spartan Race has just gone through a MAJOR growth spurt. I saw a SR commercial on NESN this week while making coffee. This all has me very intrested to see where it leads. If you’re reading this SR crew get Joe Lauzon or Rick Hawn to do SR 2013. They’re local MMA guys. Dan Miller was a nice start, expand on that.
Whose in for 2013??