Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
“Spartan Race in a baptism into this life, the Death Race is an exorcism.” – Joe De Sena
The 2014 Spartan Death Race is upon us.
Three years ago I fell into the position of volunteer coordinator for what I can honestly say is the most insane “sporting” (can we even use that term?) event I have ever witnessed or heard of. I’ve tried time and time to explain to those who ask “what is this Death Race thing you go to?” but words fail me . I tried to explain it in writing…twice. And I’m sure I’ll give it another attempt sometime next week when I catch up on sleep, but words simply do not do the experience justice. It’s not another obstacle course race. It’s not an adventure race. Though the athletes cover nearly hundreds of miles, it’s certainly not an ultra marathon. It may cover 24 hours, it may cover 72 or beyond. There is a start and a finish, but only a few choice people know exactly where and when those are…and none of them are the athletes. As anyone who has raced, worked, or even spectated a Death Race can tell you: you have to see it to believe it. There simply are no words.
It is the Death Race.
The story of how I fell into that position is very Death Race like in and of itself (click here to read that story). Three years ago when I reported for duty, I had no idea what I was in for. More importantly, three years ago when I reported for duty, I didn’t know anyone.
I didn’t know that the people I would meet that weekend would change the direction of my life. I didn’t know that some of the people I met then would become more than just friends, they would become my Spartan family. I realized really quickly that these are the type of people I want to surround myself with. People who are physically and mentally resilient. People who believe that they are capable of so much more than what our society deems “sufficient”. People who want more out of life than simply average. People who will go to extremes to find what they are truly capable of…and not for fame or glory, but simply for self improvement.
They are also pretty crazy and stupid at times, and this is exactly why I love them.
And these crazy, stupid, resilient people have no idea what they are up against this year. I do. The theme this year? The Explorer. (I sure hope you kids know how to use a compass.) I’m both terrified (seriously) and excited for them as they face some extreme challenges over the next few days so tough that the majority of them will not succeed. But most of all, I’m honored to be a part of the whole experience.
For those of you interested, I will be posting updates to my Twitter and Instagram feeds throughout the weekend, and you can follow the official feed on their facebook page and twitter feed. Also follow the hashtag #PeakDR
If you care nothing at all for updates…I apologize in advance. Ignore me until Wednesday. I’m off to Pittsfield…
“Every man dies, but not every man lives.”
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.