Spartan Race 2016

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This was probably the most fun you’ve had since the old army standard obstacle course (the manly one with the 2m jump and rundown). After a successful first run last year, the Spartan Race is back. If you think I’m crazy for saying that, stay far away cause the Spartan Super edition is not for the sheltered Singaporean soul. For the brave of heart, check out our photo diary for some grit, grime and grizzly.

Two days before the race, we finally got the green light to cover the race as a participant. With nobody else #yolo enough to go for a last minute suicide mission, I offered myself as tribute. Recalling my army days training, I packed my gear and equipment to prepare for an adventure through foliage.

Race Pack

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For a major race, it’s rather sparse. Which is fine. Spartans have no need to flip through stacks of brochures and coupons. The Reebok discount is enough to top up whatever gear is lacking. (You get the bear for doing 46 bicep curls at the Bridgestone booth. Earn it for your Spartan woman.)

Race Route

This is probably the highlight of the race. The only race where ~70% is off road, you’ll definitely see a side of Singapore you’ve hardly seen. It’s a sure recipe for sprained ankles and scrapped knees, but that’s all part of the challenge.

Crawling up the hill.

Crawling up the hill.

Sliding down the slope.

Sliding down the slope.

And then up some more.

And then up some more.

Through possible danger.

Through possible danger.

Jumping across trenches.

Jumping across trenches.

The smart Singaporean Spartan would of course, avoid muddy puddles.

The smart Singaporean Spartan would of course, avoid muddy puddles.

For some waterfront scenery.

For some waterfront scenery.

Signature Obstacles

A staple of all Spartan races, these come as no surprise. Still, they’re not something that your typical gym session would train you for. Even the army SOC doesn’t come close, hence presenting a legit challenge for Spartans.

1. Over Under Through

Scattered near the beginning of the race, this series of obstacles seem easy but it’s meant to tire you out.

Scattered near the beginning of the race, this series of obstacles seem easy but it’s meant to tire you out.

2. Atlas Carry

Sure looks easy. Until you realise that trying to grip a smooth 100 lbs concrete sphere is like trying to catch water.

Sure looks easy. Until you realise that trying to grip a smooth 100 lbs concrete sphere is like trying to catch water.

3. Hercules Hoist

Lightweight competitors might find this frustrating when the weight lifts them off the ground instead.

Lightweight competitors might find this frustrating when the weight lifts them off the ground instead.

4. Wall Climb

There’s plenty of this with varying heights and incline. Then there’s also the problem of coming back down.

There’s plenty of this with varying heights and incline. Then there’s also the problem of coming back down.

5. Barbed Wire Crawl

Compared to the one last year, there’s much less of this. Probably due to complains of many competitors getting cut. And look at how dry they are.

Compared to the one last year, there’s much less of this. Probably due to complains of many competitors getting cut. And look at how dry they are.

6. Tire Drag

Everyone seems to have a different pulling method. But all have the same expression when stuck in a pothole.

Everyone seems to have a different pulling method. But all have the same expression when stuck in a pothole.

7. Tyrollean Traverse

A chorus of cracks can be heard as competitors lose their grip and hit the ground.

A chorus of cracks can be heard as competitors lose their grip and hit the ground.

8. Traverse Wall

Easy if you’ve tried bouldering. Not so if you have butter fingers.

Easy if you’ve tried bouldering. Not so if you have butter fingers.

9. Bucket Brigade

Every pile of rock on the ground is mixed with the tears of competitors who found the load too heavy.

Every pile of rock on the ground is mixed with the tears of competitors who found the load too heavy.

10. Rope Climb

Even if you know the technique to do this, doing it with a wet grip from the previous obstacle makes it frustrating.

Even if you know the technique to do this, doing it with a wet grip from the previous obstacle makes it frustrating.

Other Obstacles

There’s many more than what is shown in the race guide, so here’s some of them.

A taste of how slavery feels like.

A taste of how slavery feels like.

Standard tire flip.

Standard tire flip.

Monkey swing that actually swings.

Monkey swing that actually swings.

Carrying a sandbag uphill through uneven terrain.

Carrying a sandbag uphill through uneven terrain.

Do you see it? Exactly! That’s a whole stretch of road with fine wires suspended below waist height.

Do you see it? Exactly! That’s a whole stretch of road with fine wires suspended below waist height.

More net climbs.

More net climbs.

Now you get to roll with a view of 2 storeys high.

Now you get to roll with a view of 2 storeys high.

Discriminating those with short arm reach or can’t jump high enough.

Discriminating those with short arm reach or can’t jump high enough.

When you’re bored of climbing over walls, take a selfie.

When you’re bored of climbing over walls, take a selfie.

Being the only wet element, they made sure it’s really filthy.

Being the only wet element, they made sure it’s really filthy.

Another picturesque climb.

Another picturesque climb.

Now you get to climb with a rope.

Now you get to climb with a rope.

Finale: Fire Jump

Maybe the fire died down after burning since 6am, but it really looks like a matchstick instead of a bonfire.

Maybe the fire died down after burning since 6am, but it really looks like a matchstick instead of a bonfire.

Festival Area

After the gruelling race, it’s time to kick back and enjoy the festivities. The Spartan Race festival area is well equipped to keep you entertained with various offerings from sponsors’ booths, miscellaneous activities, Spartan merchandise for sale and a F&B tentage. Unfortunately they’re not free and accept cash only. The area is also spread out across a large field, so it appeared sparse with little buzz and quite a hassle to get from place to place.

The saving grace was the free cup of beer, if you didn’t throw away the ambiguous drinks tag that came with the race pack.

The saving grace was the free cup of beer, if you didn’t throw away the ambiguous drinks tag that came with the race pack.

Verdict

Hyped up from the recent Spartan Super in Malaysia where competitors crossed the finish line in identical brown, you’d expect a race to put army field camp to shame. That’s still too much to ask of sanitary Singaporeans. Nonetheless, the level of challenge and unique route is unrivalled by any running race in Singapore. You’re paying for legit obstacles and not just a 12km stroll you can do any day. A must-go-to event for thrill-seekers and if you’re bored from the monotony of the rat race.

If you’re up for a bigger challenge or missed this one, fear not. The Spartan Beast is up on 9 October just up north (and thanks to our currency, it’s much cheaper).

Spartan Race Malaysia: http://spartanrace.my/

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