Spartan European Championships
11th September 2015

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Categories: Obstacle Race

Leaving Oslo on a flight to Kraków (Poland) I then had a 3 hour drive over the boarder into Slovakia where the race was to be held. Arriving at two in the morning I was thankful to see a bed waiting for me and even managed to have my first shower since competing in Oslo.

After what felt like three minutes asleep, I woke to find James Appleton making a well needed coffee and some porridge. Fuel I would need as this race was going to be long: the usual Spartan Beast races are around a half marathon, this one eventually clocked in at over 30km.


The course was spilt in two. The first half was the mountain and the second – the valley. This meant we climbed 855m in the first 6km but wouldn’t be going up much more in the race.

I managed the mountain stage well but was a little surprised to find I wasn’t the athlete most at home there. Siting in second as we finally reached the bottom of the descent I was a little relieved when the leader was awarded thirty burpees for using the top of the traverse wall…I was now leading and we were heading into the valley. Miles of flat running lay before me made interesting with interspersed obstacles and clever use of terrain such as rivers, forest and swamp.

I was now up to speed and kept my legs firing completing each obstacles as they came. Some time in a swampy quarry packed with obstacles put a halt to the quick progress but these I completed one by one and was soon headed back to the base of the mountain and the finish.


This would turn into a long run though and glances at my watch revealed just how long. Already on 25km I was still a way off and could feel my legs starting to get sluggish. To add insult to injury and make things even harder, the final two kilometers back into the arena were up a rocky stream which gave the feet a complete battering.

I knew I was in the lead but not by how much and there were still two obstacles left that I knew could cause me some problems. The first was the spear throw, I watched disheartened as my spear sailed the distance well but of target, so thirty burpees it was. Next was the Hercules Hoist. Being a light chap, if the ballast is of a certain weight it can prove quite impossible for me to pull up. Managing to lift it something like four inches it didn’t take long for me to come to the conclusion it would be more realistic for me to climb the rope instead…thirty more burpees done and I was finally over the fire and across the line in just over 2 hours and 42 minutes.


Believe it or not this was the first time I earned my Spartan Trifecta by completing a Sprint, Super and Beast in the same year. Probably a long time coming.

With no more races planned for the weekend it was now time to catch up with the friends that weren’t in Oslo and have a well deserved shower, massage and beer. With plenty of big races coming up it’s exciting times and should be interesting to see how the season finishes, check back to find out.

Thanks go to Alex Uhrin & Kateřina Tetřevova for the photos and Spartan Race Slovakia for having me.

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