“Here we go again” i thought as i looked over Sunland Green Shanghai, only this time i was doing the 13 km and not the 6 km from last time. In addition to the 13 km, the Spartan race has 25 obstacles. I knew this challenge was definitely going to be harder from the spartan race i had previously experienced.
This time I had a good idea of what to bring with me. I had undergone a training and diet plan throughout the weeks leading up the race, I was feeling ready to go.
When I arrived I walked proudly past the “Sprint” section and over towards the level 2 “Race” area, feeling like a total bad ass. I showed the staff my e-receipt and gave them my passport number and went through the gate. After this I went over to the bag drop zone, got the number for my bag wrapped around my wrist and I was ready. This time I wasn’t going to have any face paint/stickers because they take about 3 days to scratch off with a heavy duty scalpel.
Unlike last time, this time I was at the race line with plenty of time to enjoy the warm-up. After feeling nice and warm the “Orah” belted out of the 11:00 am crowd and we took off on our race. My strategy here was to keep it slow before approaching the obstacle and increase the speed during the obstacle. That way I could maximise on my strength HIIT training results, I’ve not got the shape of a seasoned runner after-all. The first 3 km was almost entirely running based with no obstacles, but eventually a tire lifting obstacle appeared. Something i had trained for at my local gyms yard.
This year the race had some more climbing wall orientated obstacles, my grip strength had improved since I had been going to a few climbing gyms lately. One interesting variety of climbing obstacle I really enjoyed was the ladder incline. These are rather easy to get your hands around, so it comes to upper body strength to hoist your way upwards and backwards rather than relying on grip strength like you do for the wall climb.
Monkey bars are always fun, the race had two sets of those which I swung through with ease. I did encounter one climbing obstacle which was particularly difficult, it was a long pole which twisted every time you grabbed hold of it. It had handles spread across the sides of the bar which you’d grasp onto, as your body weight moves onto that handle it would make that handle move around, rather difficult.
The other obstacles within quick succession here included the traditional, wire mud crawl (didn’t get my t-shirt caught this time), Lifting yourself under muddy ropes and carrying heavy stuff around.
After trenching through mud, we ran through what looked like a quarry, the quarry had mountains of granite surrounding us. The granite was reflecting the suns rays in every possible direction making the whole run blinding! It was unbelievably bright I couldn’t see a thing! This must have continued for about 3 km and it had a multitude of bends so I couldn’t run with my eyes closed all the time. I’m not being dramatic when I say I felt like I was in a escape room trying to find the way out. After leaving the quarry, a couple of classics awaited including the vertical rope climb and the pyramid rope climb, before jumping over the fire and crossing the line.
After jumping over the fire i took my medal and looked back at the challenge i had completed. I took a moment to think about why i love these races so much. I still don’t know, but i have to say doing these races provide me with the best memories whilst living in Shanghai! I took this race on alone, a little experiment to see how i did if i don’t chat as much whilst running with my buddies. In the future, i’m certainly looking to get another community together to go again! Just like in my Tour de Shanghai, Spartan 6km and the chinese military assualt course.. Comment down below if you want to join me on the next race, and subsribe to stay tuned.