My initial plan was to have at least 1 gel every hour, and of course to drink as much as possible. I probably added an extra couple of kgs to my pack through food and drink, and not to have any would not have helped.
I took with me:
1. Mandatory Gear List
- 20m of para-cord (if you can't find some go next best)
- 1 x roll of duct tape
- $10 (2 x $5)
- 2 large black garbage bags
- minimum 2 ltrs hydration
- Sufficient nutrition (gels & solid food)
- 1 x Waterproof jacket
- 1 x Warm top & headwear (in waterproof/zip-lock bag)
- 1 x sandbag (empty)
- 1 x single length chain, min 1m length (5kg men) (3kg women)
- 1 x fresh raw egg
- 1 x straw
- 1 x mobile phone in waterproof bag. This is for emergencies only and must be off and stored in your pack at all times.
- mandatory skill requirement – must be able to tie a bowline knot.
- Clothing – You will receive a HH teeshirt to wear during the event but may wear something under it if you want e.g. compression, thermals, wetsuit (N.B. these are not necessarily recommendation, just examples)
- as much as possible clothing should be black .. it may pay to be hard to see at times ;-)
- HH racers must NOT wear a watch or carry one with their kit.
2. Pack weight requirements: Men 15Kg - Women 10kgs
This is the minimum weight the pack should be at any time during the event. So do not factor food or water into this weight, they should be extra. Pack weights will be checked pre-start. Any underweight packs during the event may result in a DNF or heavy penalties.
3. Additional Recommended Items:
- Anti-chafe cream
First things first, we had 30 seconds to get out our notebooks and pens, in which I had wrapped up in a bag (as I seriously thought everything was going to get wet), stupid, stupid, stupid idea this was, not only was it not quick to get out, I just ended up ripping the bag open to get to the notebook and pen as quickly as possible. It made sense at the time when I wrapped it up in a bag, I got it out (thank god). We were then asked if we read the race guide, of course I read the race guide. I read it as soon as I received it, and then went through the mandatory list again last night as I checked off all the items in my bag.
Ok - so write down the last four words in the race guide.
F@!# S$!@ what were they... We are Spartan ... nope can't be that, its only 3 words, maybe its got an Aroo at the end. S@!# what was it. My mind was left blank, as I felt like I was back at school, and the teacher asks you a question that you have no idea of what the answer is. This is not looking good, fortunately for me, it was not only me but probably about 96% of the group that didnt know the answer, punishment - burpees (this is going to be a hell of a long night)... not only were we doing burpees, we were doing them with our bags on, just to add to the punishment that we had actually signed up for.
Just focus on the task ahead, and it would soon be over, and it was... Next up we had the Rock Adventure Centre, we had to get into groups of four and were briefed on the tasks ahead 5 walls, 5 different tasks. At first glance, I took a massive gulp, how the hell was I going to make those bells?? My arms were fried from the exercises before, plus my biggest rings nemasis were also there, shit this is where I am going to get disqualified, can't believe it so early on... As I didnt really know anyone, everyone quickly got into their own chosen groups, and I was trying to lag onto someone elses, in which I was fortunate enough to be teamed up with four guys. I then found out that we didnt have to complete the walls on our own, but could have the help from our team mates. Thank goodness, a massive wave of relief hit me, when I realised that at least they were not going to be that mean so early on. Each wall had a bell, in which all team members had to hit in order to finish the tasks involved, we all had to complete the wall before the allocated time, and if we finished before, we all had to complete burpees until the change over.
Another inverse climb and ring the bell at the top, the benefit here was the giant fan (wearing additional clothing, due to be afraid of being cold, probably didnt help that much at this stage, as I was sweating)... After that was the wall traverse, with a transition to the rings to bell. Not so easy for me when I first saw this and seriously thought that this was going to be the end, but it wasn't. Another wall traverse, across to a beam where the bell was hanging.
Sadly we were finished, and it was back down the hill, luckily with no 'rifle' in hand.
A few more exercises that built up the lactic acid, and just made everything get heavy, we were then on decline pushups. Starting at 20, bear crawling to the cone, 18 bear crawl back, 16 etc.. I started on my knees, and it wasn't long before this got picked up, so on my feet I went. My arms just were not having any of this, and it took me forever just to do one, but slowly I would get there. The guy next to me was flying through them, but since he wasn't doing chest to ground, I wasn't surprised. Of course, the slower we got, the more often they restarted the sequence, back to 20 (you could hear the groans).
Have you noticed the common theme here??? There were a lot of burpees...
Once completed we had to find a piece of equipment and hang off it, ensuring that we did not touch the ground. I found the monkey bars, but used the two poles, and wedged myself in it, using mainly my back and legs to hold me. This also gave me the opportunity to stretch out the calfs (thank god), after a while it actually got a little relaxing, and then we got told to move, next one was a little easier with perching yourself on top like a seat, of course nothing is ever that simple, and I found that I was clinging onto a post for the next. People were hanging upside down from their legs and swinging, others were holding on using their grip, their feet getting closer and closer to the ground. I didnt quite trust myself to have the strength to pull my legs up and over the bar, something I used to do all the time as a child, but as an adult (fear comes into play). After a round, we had yet another set of burpees (at this stage I have no idea how many we had done, but it obviously was in the hundreds).
NNNNooooooo, I was so totally wrong, now pencil roll with your bag on towards the light (shit what???), as each team left we were the final team standing, down on the ground we went and then we started to roll. Not thinking about it just doing, it wasn't long until people around me started to puke (don't want to hear it, don't want to see it), just keep going. I am slowly starting to go dizzy and my stomach feels like a washing machine, just churning and churning and churning, but still I rolled and rolled and rolled. Yes I eventually got to the end. Richard saying to me about taking my band, and I was a bit cocky saying I will give it to him next week when i see him for training. A short walk around, to get your bearing and yep we were heading back. Just do this, I am more than half way there, still ignoring everyone puking up around me, I can do this, just keep on rolling. I hear Joe above me, saying that if Im last I will be disqualified, ok now is the time to start to hurry (not a good idea), as I roll and roll and roll, I eventually made it to the end. I knew I was close to the end, as I heard some of the trainers turn around to some of the finishers and say dummies out and go again. Whhhhatttt!!! No this can't be true, do it all again, I was already on the verge of puking and just made it to the end, I had no idea what time it was or how long we had been out there for...