Forget what LL Cool J told you- Go ahead and call it a comeback.
There are a few reasons why I want to call the 2013 NJ Super Spartan a comeback.
1. Technically, the whole pack of original Misfit Spartans DNFd the 2012 Super. Rain, tornado, yadda yadda yadda. We didn’t actually cross the finish line and get an official time. As far as we were concerned, we finished, and Spartan Race even called it a finish and let us earn our Trifecta medals on that completion, but it just wasn’t a REAL completion. At least to me, my shiny blue medal always seemed a little hollow. This year, we had a goal of properly finishing that race, even if we were swept away by another tornado and had to fight off a witch instead of gladiators.
We started off our race with a quick little prayer to whatever gods had the presence of mind to pay attention, that they better not stand in our way. Zeus, I was particularly talking to you, Mister Throw-Stupid-Weather-At-Nicole.
2. Our brand new Misfit, Rob, DNFd his previous attempt at a Super thanks to a possible stress fracture- I swear to all things holy that these friggin’ things are contagious. He needed to finish. No doubt about it. In true Misfit fashion, the whole team banded together with amazing levels of teamwork to make sure that each and every one of us finished. We even made sure that Rob did the water obstacle, even though he really didn’t want to.
3. I had skipped the 2 OCRs that I had planned for August. I skipped a race in June that I was supposed to do. I walked an OCR in July. And honestly I didn’t know if I was going to make it to this race. I spent way too long to be out of commission. This was my comeback to racing so I had to rise out of the ashes appropriately. I wore my brand new, bright orange X-Talons, flaming mockingjay knee socks, an INKnBURN Phoenix running cami, and sparkly orange hair ribbons.
I was the girl that was on fire, just without the need to kill all the other people out on the course. Though, let me tell you I would love to go all Hunger Games on some of the schmoes that have no idea how to properly pass people. Shoving or yelling does not make me happy. “On the left” or “Excuse me” work very nicely, thank you. And while you are learning race manners, can you also teach yourself how to not leave Gu wrappers all over the ground? I have a bow just like Katniss and I will take it to my next race if I have to.
So how did the Misfits fair this time around? Amazingly.
We were a new team. Some from last year’s Misfits: Me, Jay, Derek, and Ty. We added 3 new Misfits: Rob, who we knew from other Spartan races but never ran with, and Allison and Justin who ran with us at the Tuxedo Sprint.
It was a shorter course this year, a measly 9 miles compared to 2012’s 11+ but with nearly 9000 feet of elevation change, we did not miss the extra distance. They also eliminated some obstacles that was surprising as hell. There were no monkey bars at all, the steep ascent up the rocky slope was covered in grass now and not part of the course, and the cliff jump that intimidated the crap out of me last year wasn’t anywhere near the course.
The good old stand-by obstacle were there (in no particular order):
spear toss – 30 burpees
fire leap – check out me and Allison in the photo above. We are so cool.
Hercules Hoist – I totally feel like She-Ra yanking that 30-60lb hunk of concrete up on that pulley.
tractor pull – dragging that chunk of cinder-block around feels even more like walking Nilla since her stint in the cone. Beagles walk with their noses on the ground. Cone catches ground. Friction ensues. Pissed off dog ensues. Dog feels like a dragged cinder-block.
tire flip – I girlied out and flipped a smaller tire. I didn’t want to push myself further than I needed to and risk not being able to do the Beast.
sandbag carry – It was really short this year, and not nearly as steep as it has been in the past.
barbed wire crawl – standard issue
slippery wall – much better than the evil one from the Sprint
slip n’ slide – Lubed up with V05 shampoo!
backward-leaning wall – team work
log hop – more team work. These logs were extra skinny so we all needed to help each other out
lake crossing – swim to a platform in the center of a lake/pond. Climb up and help other climb up too. Swim to the other side. With 2 non-swimmers in the group, his was our team-iest effort of all.
rope climb – 30 burpees
wall traverse – 30 burpees
They did add an atlas stone obstacle where you pick up a giant chunk of concrete, carry it 20 feet or so, put it down, do 5 burpees, then carry the stone back to it’s starting place.
Gladiator pit – I got hit in the ass. The coward went for the biggest target.
We each crossed that finish line in 4 hours and 53 minutes and received our shiny blue medals. For realsies, this time. We put them around each other’s necks and then promptly found clean clothes, brownies, beer, and meat.