Spartan Sprint 2017 Race Review: World’s Best Obstacle Race
The world’s largest obstacle and endurance race was held in Singapore on 6th May this year
There are three main types of Spartan Race, namely the Sprint, Super, and Beast. The Sprint, which is the shortest course of 5+km with 20+ obstacles, is recommended for beginners. The Super is 13+km 25+ obstacles while the Beast is 20+km and 30+ obstacles. There are also junior races for kids under 14. As my friend and I were first timers, we opted for the Sprint Open with flag off time between 3:15 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Getting to the Race
The race was held at Tampines Avenue 10. My friend and I reached there by car and followed the suggestion in the race guide to park at one of the HDB parking areas at Tampines Avenue 8. From there, it took us about 10 minutes to reach the race site by walking.
Participants could also take bus and taxi to reach there. The race site was an open field where the start and finish pens, some obstacles, race pack collection, bag deposit, timing chip collection, merchandise, and other facilities were located.
Upon reaching the race site, participants had to collect the timing chip. We were lucky because there was no queue for it, otherwise, it would have taken us a considerable amount of time. There were also portable toilets. However, they were very dirty and the tissue had been all used up.
There was a wall jump all participants had to go through in order to get to the start pen. It served as a preview of what lied ahead; I knew I was in for a tough race. The race started with a series of wall jumps with varying heights but all lower than an average adult’s height. There was also Over Under Through, which was one of the easiest obstacles.
We then headed towards the jungle where kilometres of muddy trails and terrains awaited us. The mud at the trails was most of the parts ankle-deep, making walking already quite tasking. Once my left shoe was also stuck in the mud. Luckily, the participant who was walking behind me helped me retrieve it.
Once in a while, I saw shoes abandoned in the mud. I presumed they were from participants who couldn’t afford to lose time retrieving their stuck shoes. Most people that started off with me were walking and occasionally running when the trail was drier. There were a number of obstacles we had to go through in the jungle, mainly barbed wire crawl.
After enduring a few kilometres of jungle trail, we came out to the open field where the remaining obstacles were held. I had to say it felt so good to be walking on solid ground again. It was impossible for me to take photos when in the jungle as my hands were completely covered with mud.
The race continued with a series of obstacles, the first being barbed wire crawl (again! And this time longer than those we had in the jungle). Then it was the monkey bar swing, rope traverse, Hercules Hoist, cargo net climbing, and many others. As we proceeded, we got more and more exhausted and the obstacles became more and more challenging to overcome.
Luckily, the team spirit was really strong and at every obstacle, there were participants helping and encouraging each other. To be honest, without these kind souls’ help, I wouldn’t have been able to get through many of the obstacles.
Personally, one of the most interesting obstacles was to jump into and get immersed thoroughly in muddy water. We were uncomfortably soaked and yet needed to continue with the race.
A few more obstacles, such as Rope Climb and Inverted Wall stood between us and the finish pen. And the race finished with a dramatic fire jump at the finish pen.
The participants were directly greeted by event volunteers giving out finisher medal, a bottle of Pocari Sweat and a bottle of Waiz water, and finisher t-shirt in their respective stations. Participants could then pose in front of Spartan signboard to commemorate their accomplishment.
Event Overview and Suggestion for Future Participants
- The event was well organised with enough volunteers standing by at each stations and obstacles. The event volunteers were knowledgeable and were quick to response to enquiries.
- There were two water points during the race; one on the 1km mark in the jungle, the other one shortly after exiting the jungle. I hope there would be more, as I was very thirsty halfway through the obstacles in the open field.
- The race is really fun but not for the faint-hearted. It takes physical strength and endurance as well as the ability to overcome fear. It gets you out of your comfort zone and makes you do things you think you cannot do.
- There was a bottleneck at almost every obstacle but it was understandable. The worst was when we had to queue for minutes for rope traverse.
- Leggings/ tights are compulsory if you do not want to go home with extra scratches on the knees. If possible, wear elbow protector as there was a considerable amount of crawling.
- Cross terrain shoes would be best as they had better grip to cope with the slippery muddy trails.
- It would be better not to wear your best clothes/shoes as they will get really dirty and the mud stain may never totally come off.