Answer: The Vancouver Sprint! Held June 1st on Mount Seymour, in North Vancouver, this unique and extremely challenging course saw approximately 4,000 athletes grinding their way to the snow-capped peak (where they were treated with spectacular views of the city and the Pacific Ocean) before careening down the steep ski slopes towards the mud of the lower altitude.
Racers from as far away as Quebec, USA, Europe and even Australia commented that it was one of the toughest Sprints they had ever encountered – with at least one calling it a “shorter Beast”. A few traditional obstacles were made unusually difficult; monkey bars placed on a downhill slope wreaked havoc as grips slipped, the 20 foot high cargo net climb scared many as it was essentially straight up and straight down over two stacked shipping containers, and the mercilessly low barbed wire crawl forced everyone off their hands and knees and crotch-down into the mucky mess. Finally, the thin, dynamic ropes used on the final climb had even many veteran elite racers cranking out 30 burpees just meters from the finish line. Still, with all of that, the fastest time was a blistering 33:26 with second place less than 30 seconds behind.
Even with a light rain, the festival area was rocking all day with a popular fitness challenge, awesome food vendors (with a few giving away free samples) and free sport wraps being applied by a trained kinesioligist. Families abounded too, with the kids’ course truly being a mini-version of the adult track – hundreds of Jr. Spartans started with a steep, snowy climb, weaved through several challenging obstacles, and ended up slithering on their bellies under their own “barbed wire” crawl before running straight through a deep puddle to the finish line.
Are you ready to take on a Spartan Race? Find one HERE.