by Jonathan Nolan
My journey begins prior to the weekend of October 14-16, 2011. It actually began in the middle of July when I started working out at the Parkview YMCA. After a workout one day, I came home and checked Facebook while I finished my protein shake. As always, the annoying little advertisements lined the right side of my page. Except this time, I noticed something that instantly motivated me, the Spartan Race logo. I clicked the link and my world opened up to a completely new meaning of living. I made my way to spartanrace.com and could not watch the videos enough. I signed up for the Midwest Spartan Sprint and impatiently awaited the time to come. I scoured all the Facebook pages associated with Spartan Race and talked about it with everyone I worked with and went to school with at Ivy Tech. I made several friends before I even met them and there was a family created out of the camaraderie that we each showed each other. About a week and half before the race, Spartan Race unveiled the first Hurricane Heat at night, a chance to meet and run with the Spartan Race founders, Joe Desena and Andy Weinberg. That night, there was no timing or competition, but unity and teammates to rely on. It was all about team, sitting in cold, nasty water doing flutter kicks to doing “snow”angels in the sloppy, wet, and coldMidwestmud. As I am writing this even now, a euphoric feeling comes over me, the kind I had never felt before Spartan Race. Even though our Spartan clan was out there for over four hours that night, I am sure we would all still be out there if Spartan Race would let us. All I remember was that the eggs that we had to take care of the whole night we were out there were the best cared for eggs on the planet. I could go on and on about the Hurricane Heat and my awesome experience.
The 9AM time was the competitive heat, which starts the race. Every half hour up to 250 runners lined up and took off.
With a force of 309 strong starting the day off in the first heat, we set out to conquer what we thought was a 3.2 mile, 10-12 obstacle, insane, and punishing course. Climbing ropes, dragging bricks, monster monkey bars, deep, stinky water, spear throw, barbed wire crawl, and enough mud to make every pig in the USAhappy. What Spartan Race did not think of, nature and its insane environment did. I made it through while helping people along in 46th place out of 3800+. The best part was after I was finished, I watched the Spartan gladiators at the finish line give the racers a hard time so that they EARNED their finishes. Joe Desena, Spartan Race co-founder, asked me if I wanted to give one of the warriors a break and assume his place. Before he finished asking, I hopped the fence and was there in a spot that I felt I was destined for. My determination as a racer transformed into fierceness as one defender of OUR finish line. I can tell you something: I would not have wanted to go up against me with the way I felt then.
These experiences that I’ve just shared give me the drive to keep Spartan Race alive in everyone’s mind. Along with several other people I am attempting to bring a Spartan Race to Indiana. Joe Desena has said himself that if our Facebook group CORN FED SPARTANS can get 1000+ people interested in a race in Indiana, the race will be on the 2012 schedule. This is Indianaand the Midwest’s chance to show our power and who we really are, the heartland. Please, join us at Corn Fed Spartans at http://www.facebook.com/groups/131852773585737/ and become a part of something that we can all call our own. With your help, we can get our first Indiana Spartan Race and become Spartans. I leave you with the code every Spartan knows:
- A Spartan pushes their mind and body to their limits.
- A Spartan masters their emotions.
- A Spartan learns continuously.
- A Spartan gives generously.
- A Spartan leads.
- A Spartan stands up for what they believe in, no matter the cost.
- A Spartan knows their flaws as well as they know their strengths.
- A Spartan proves themselves through actions, not words.
- A Spartan lives every day as if it were their last