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