The Odd Spartan

Yesterday afternoon, the temperature was in the 20s and a frigid north wind gusted down Burlington’s cold Church Street Marketplace.

Everyone was bundled up, except for three odd people carrying swords and shields, dressed in red Spartan outfits, accented with leather. There was a lot of exposed skin for such a cold day. They pretended they weren’t dying of frostbite.

Turns out they’re promoting the Spartan Race, another one of those strange races for those who find the neighborhood 5K too dull.

The race, set for May 16 at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, Vt., is only about two miles long, but apparently, it’s a pretty intense obstacle course.

Here’s how they describe it:

The Spartan Race is for athletes and people who are tired of the tedium of the usual races and workouts and yearn to recapture the spirit of an adventurous age. This international race is set up to test not only the strength and stamina but the cunning and creativity of each athlete’s warrior essence. Participants will confront obstacles ranging from extreme to absurd that gain their inspiration from sources as varied as Spartan training, Navy SEAL training, American Gladiators, Eco-Challenge and Ironman.”

Apparently, this whole thing involves fun encounters like crawling through dark, narrow tunnels, beneath and through barbed wire and jumping over a fire.

In other words, a placid day at the beach.

The lucky winner of the Spartan Race qualifies to participate in an event with the welcoming title, “The Death Race” in Pittsfield, Vt

The URL for the Death Race Web site is youmaydie. So judge for yourself.

I don’t know if these kinds of races are for motivated people, crazy people, or both. Some of these obstacle course races are scarier than others. Half of me would love to participate in one of these, the other half says no way.

I guess that means I’m just half-crazy.

I haven’t been doing my cardio like I should have, so I wouldn’t  be in good enough physical shape to do the Spartan Race this year anyway. And I’d want to train for some of the other elements of the event, like climbing, etc.

I could use a physical challenge, though. I wonder if I should make it a goal to do it next year. I want to toughen up, both physically and mentally. Maybe I am something of an aspiring Spartan. What do you think?

Of course, the other issue is this: Would I look good in leather briefs and a red cape, like the Spartans on Church Street?

9 Responses to “The Odd Spartan”

  1. Denis Says:

    i can totally see you doing the spartan race. remember your pledge of doing things “outside the box!”

    of course, you’d look good in leather briefs and a red cape.

  2. Spartan Race Says:

    Hi, We Just came across you blog,

    Thanks from all the people here at Spartan Race, we really enjoyed reading it, we would love to see you there on May 16th even if you wanted to come enjoy the festivities.


  3. Jeff Says:

    Denis, you took the words right out of my mouth.

  4. Sarah Says:

    Great blog! I am nothing near being an athlete but i have been searching for some adventure lately and this seems like it! I was a bit scared at first but i was reassured that i would be able to do it, its more about facing your fears and having fun then being in the best shape of your life. That being said, a few of us are working out and motivating each other for the Spartan Race!
    See you there!

  5. mattalltrades Says:

    I’ll tell you what: I really don’t feel conditioned enough for the race this year. Even if I do train well between now and May 16.
    Hopefully there will be another local Spartan race in 2011. I’ll do it then.
    I will try to at least be a spectator this year. That way I can take notes, and do a killer job at it next year!
    Now that I’ve publicly declared this, I bet people will hold my feet to the fire and MAKE me do it in 2011. That’s good. Gives me motivation

  6. Sarah Says:

    See you there as a spectator!
    Cant wait to read your post race blog.

  7. Optical Mouse Says:

    Good share, great article, very usefull for us…thanks!

  8. Vermont’s Spartans Race « Matt-of-all-trades Blog Says:

    […] Spartans Race By mattalltrades I’m in update mode today, so I’ll refer to yet another blog post I did in March: The Spartan Race in […]

  9. Am I Spartan Material? « Matt-of-all-trades Blog Says:

    […] By mattalltrades Way back in March, I wrote about how I found some people dressed minimally as Spartans on a blustery cold late winter day. They were promoting the Spartan Race, which is an insane […]

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