by Jessica Wohlen, Member of the New England Spahten Race Team

An OCR at Fenway?! You can’t be serious.  A Spartan Race Time Trial?  No way!

Boston was pretty much my stomping grounds while I was in college (back when I wasn’t so active and healthy).  I spent many weekends on Lansdowne Street checking out bands and enjoying great (and loud) music.  I’ve been to Fenway to see a few games.  I even got to stand on the field and run the diamond this year.   When I heard there was going to be an OCR at Fenway, and it was going to be a Spartan Race, it took all of 2 seconds for me to make up my mind – regardless of the cost – to be there!  It was going to be EPIC!

Being part of the New England Spahtens (pronounced “Spa-tens” for those non-New Englanders out there) we quickly decided we had to make our presence known.   Teams were created for both days, shirts were ordered (ok, really awesome team jerseys were procured from Akuma!).  This was a BIG deal.

I had no idea what to expect, but in the days leading up to the Big Day some sneak shots were taken and posted on Facebook.  I was excited; I was so excited, in fact, my internal dialogue from Wednesday till 11am Saturday was just “EEEEEEE!”

The worst part of any race is always right before the wave is released into the unknown and this was no different.  I think it was actually worse than normal, because I was just…so…excited.

The waves were released a little differently at Fenway, to keep things flowing.  For each wave, every minute on the minute 10 people were released.  This was done by lining up on dots, a volunteer jotting down your bib, and then burpees until it was time.  Rinse, repeat  – until everyone was freed to run their race from that particular wave.  I found this was excellent as there were absolutely NO bottlenecks to be found throughout the course.

So off we went, up the ramps.  Crawling, jumping, crawling, jumping.  I nearly got cleaned out by a sneaky black bungee strung at the top of a ramp – I saw it seconds before and alerted the folks around me with a “Whoa! Bungee!”   I quickly realized this was going to be no ordinary race.  As it turned out it was going to be more like if a CrossFit competition had a baby with Spartan Race…and I was ok with that!

There was some wonderful use of elements in the park.  We climbed over picnic tables.  We hoisted weight much higher than ever before for the Herculean Hoist.  We climbed up (and over…crazy!) beams that support the park’s structure.  We ran what seemed like every square inch of the grandstands, bleachers, concourses, AND the Monstah Seats!  This was amazing!

Like I mentioned before, there were some elements of CrossFit to be found around every corner.  Concept2 rowers – sneaky that you couldn’t see where you were in the 2 minutes of rowing!  Atlas Carry.  Super thick jump rope.  Push-ups. BOX JUMPS!  I really enjoyed all of this.

Our favorite obstacles were found too.  Rope Climb, Spear Throw (Made it for the first time ever!), Traverse Wall (1st time completed as well!), Hobie Hop (up 8 flights of stairs!), O-U-Ts, Carrying Heavy Stuff and walking (water; sandbag) and Wall Climbs were all present and accounted for.

This wasn’t your typical Spartan Race, but it was lots of fun!  I thought I was going to miss the mud, water, and fire – all very much parts of a typical race – but I had so much fun doing everything we had thrown at us that I was ok with them being on a mini vacation!

A part of me wants to warn the newcomers that this is not the norm, but the rest of me is giggling at the thought of seeing them tackle Amesbury in August… with all that mud, water, and FIRE!

Want to get registered for Amesbury?  Click HERE to join the action!

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by Carrie Adams

Race reports have been flowing in by our athletes who were lucky enough to be a part of the first EVER of it’s kind inside the walls (and stairs) of Fenway Park.  We’ll be sharing our own race report as well as the accounts of our Spartans willing to share their incredible stories of how the Fenway Time Trial excited and delighted all those in attendance.  Athletes had unprecedented access to the park as they ran, jumped, climbed their way through one of the most beloved American landmarks in a Spartan style tour.  

Here is one story, told by Adrian Syso, a true Spartan Chick and a six time Spartan Race finisher!  

Saturday morning, November 17th, I was up at 4 am to eat breakfast and be on the road by 4:30. I live in NY and don’t ask me why I thought 9 am heat would be a good idea! I made myself some oatmeal which almost immediately after I took the last spoonful decided it didn’t want to stay with me. It was starting already, my pre-race jitters. I am positive my anxiety was turned up high because I was running SOLO! I had never run a Spartan by myself before, I always had a sister with me, or my teammates. But my sisters are off at college and my team signed up for a later heat. So it was just ME!

Walking up to Fenway Park was a surreal experience. I saw people running in the stadium and I knew that would be me in a few short moments. I got my racer packet and signed my son up for the kids race and headed inside. I found the starting line, kissed my son good-bye, my mom and brother wished me luck, and I was gone.

A spot opened up for a single runner so I made my way to the front and stood on my spot. We started off with Joe DeSena showing us proper form of a Burpee and before the race even started we had to do 10, that was just a taste of the massive burpees I knew would be in my future.

And off we went, in true Spartan fashion up the incline ramps to the top of the stadium, I just can’t get away from Spartans with hills huh? At least it wasn’t a mountain. The air was so cold. I wasn’t used to running in the cold weather so immediately I could feel the effects on my lungs. But I was determined not to make that an excuse to stop. “Keep running, deep breath, in through your nose out through your mouth.” I kept repeating in my head until the air didn’t bother me as much.

Honestly I don’t remember what order the obstacles went in. I was focusing on getting through them and NOT WALKING! I had no one with me to cheer me on. usually I have my sister Rosy with me and we are constantly encouraging one another, or talking smack, you know how sisters are. I just had to keep pushing even when I didn’t want to.

My favorite Obstacles would have had to been the medicine ball slams, women had 15 pounders and had to lift them over their head throw them to the ground and pick them back up 20 times.

The rope climb, my arch nemesis. In Tuxedo, NY I got all the way to the top only to realize I was too short to hit the bell!  In PA I only made it about halfway.  This time around, I was determined to get to the top!  I took my time and focused. Reassessed my grip and footing at every knot I made it up. I got to the top and hit that bell and was ON TOP OF THE WORLD. I felt like I was flying.

The traverse wall and I have a love/hate relationship, I am about at a 50/50 when it comes to being able to get all the way across. I picked what I thought the best wall would be, and it was UNTIL I got about three pegs away from the bell to realize they were spaced out a tad farther than my 5 foot tall body could reach. I just had to keep telling myself I could do it… Sure enough, DING! I hit that bell and took off running again.

I did my fair share of burpees though, got to about 85 meters left in my row only to see “Burpees for You” come across my screen.  Missed the spear throw, another 30 burpees, and of course the 30 burpees “Just for Fun” Come one really?? Who does Burpees for fun??

I had a ton of silent victories. Not going to lie every time I passed a guy I grinned to myself in true Spartan Chick fashion. Knowing I was able to do the race by myself was a huge victory in and of itself. That I didn’t stop to walk for longer than a few seconds. I ran the whole race. I carried that ridiculously heavy sandbag through the stadium bleachers with only one stop to adjust. I just focused on one step ahead of the other. Not worrying about what was next. As I was crossing the finish line running full force INTO the gladiators I saw my mom and my son.  I fought my way to the finish line had my time chip cut off and was shacking with adrenaline! I was handed the most beautiful Spartan medal and t-shirt I have ever seen, its such an amazing feeling to know that you EARNED that.

The slogan is right, you do know at the finish line.

I scarfed down my banana and two glasses of water. Found my son and gave him a huge kiss!  In addition to me running my 6th Spartan Race, I also had a six year old who was running his 2nd Spartan. We headed down to the starting line. He wanted me to run with him so I ran alongside to take photos. I have a ton of proud moments as a mother, but I have to admit watching him participate in the Kids Spartans are up there on my proudest. He is fearless, he doesn’t even think twice about an obstacle. He is a true natural and I can not wait for him to be able to run along side me and be cheering me on in a few years.

I am thankful to Joe DeSena for creating such an AMAZING race. One that I am able to share with my sisters, friends, family, and most importantly my son. To be setting a good example that fitness can be fun, that it is something to do with the people you love. I am grateful for the entire spartan community. I have met so many amazing and driven people who motivate me to be the best me I can be.

My 2012 Race Season is over for the year, I am looking forward to 2013 and what the Spartan Race has in store for us next year! and possible Death Race 2014! Who knows? All I know is that I am determined to beat my results next year and to make 2013 the best one yet!

 

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by Carrie Adams

As Spartan Race prepares to enter Fenway for what will be the FIRST Obstacle Race in the beloved ballpark, we thought we should tell you all about what makes the park unique in its 100th year!

I enlisted the help of my friend and fellow Spartan Chick Bostonian, Andrea Piscopo for some insider facts the on one of the most cherished sporting landmarks in the United States.

Built in April 1912, America’s most beloved Ballpark also known as Fenway Park is the home to the Boston Red Sox. There are many unique features to this beloved and historic park that make it so wonderful.   It first opened its doors in 1912, but the ballpark was not complete.  There was only seating in centerfield bleachers, right field grandstand and main grandstand. The main grandstand still stands today.

In 1934 Tom Yawkey purchased Fenway Park, he would make some changes – a giant wall was erected…and years later it was painted green to match the rest of the ball park, it was then that the “Green Monster” was born. You will also see a ladder on the Green Monster, it no longer serves a purpose, but it used to be there to climb and retrieve home run balls from the netting. Another gift left from the Yawkey’s was Morse code on the scoreboard – the code stands for the initials of Thomas A. Yawkey and Jean R. Yawkey; former owners of Fenway Park. This scoreboard is still updated by hand from inside.

Two great’s from Sox history: Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams…There right field foul pole named after the great Johnny Pesky, who hit a game winning home run around the foul pole. As for Teddy Ballgame, Section 42, Row 37, Seat 21 – it is painted red in honor of the longest home run ever in the park; 502 feet from home plate.

How’s that for a Spartan challenge?  See you at the ballpark!

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by Carrie Adams

How does a historic ball park celebrate it’s 100th anniversary?  With a Spartan Race, of course!  The Green Monster is no match for the thousands of Spartans that will invade on Saturday November 17th and Sunday, November 18th 2012.   Spartan Race, the world’s leading obstacle racing series and Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race in 2012, is joining yearlong festivities to commemorate Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary with an event as unique as the two iconic institutions themselves. For the first time ever, Boston’s cherished ballpark will be transformed into an obstacle racing venue for the Spartan Sprint Time Trial presented by Dial For Men, Saturday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.

“Spartan Sprint at Fenway Park will be an experience no one has ever seen in the world of obstacle racing,” noted Spartan Race co-founder Joe Desena. “For the first time ever, Spartans will have the chance to run a time trial through one of America’s most treasured landmarks.”

“Making it even more memorable,” Desena continued, “Fenway Park is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.  This truly is a chance of a lifetime.  We urge everyone to take advantage of this rare opportunity to be a part of history in more ways than one.”

Desena went on to explain that the approximately one-mile course is a head-to-head, time trial, speed-style event, not a distance race – with the unique twist of incorporating numerous, challenging obstacles for which Spartan Race is famous.

Adult heats will start at 8:30 a.m. and continue in roughly five-minute, small waves with individual start times assigned at the event.  No aid stations will be available on the course.  As with all Spartan events, points will be awarded.  Each racer will receive a unique medal, commemorative t-shirt, photographs and access to Fenway Park, as well as get to see themselves on the stadium’s JumboTron and take home memories for a lifetime.  Beloved Mascot, Wally the Green Monster, will be onsite 10am-2pm each day.

Children also can join in the fun and excitement with the Jr. Spartan Adventure Race.  The course will be approximately one-half mile for children 4-9 and one mile for ages 10-13.  The children’s event will feature a variety of scaled-down obstacles and their own mini-festival area filled with games and children’s challenges.  Each child will receive a t-shirt and finisher’s medal.  All Jr. Spartan Adventure Race proceeds will benefit the Kids Fit Foundation. As a leader in the movement to help children learn life-long health and fitness habits, the Kids Fit Foundation strives to raise awareness and develop programs that educate, empower and inspire kids to become and stay fit.

For more information about the historic Spartan Sprint at Fenway Park, including entry fees and deadlines, spectator tickets, parking and children’s activities visit http://www.spartanrace.com/fenway-park-obstacle-racing-spartan-sprint-2012.html

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