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Spartan Trifecta: A check on the bucket list

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

When I became a Spartan SGX coach almost three years ago, in addition to other factors that contributed to my imposter syndrome, I also felt deficient in my ability to train somebody for a goal that I hadn't completed myself--a Spartan Trifecta.

What's a Trifecta?

A Spartan Trifecta is completing three different Spartan races of different lengths within a calendar year: a Sprint or Stadion race (usually around 5K), a Super (around 10K) and a Beast or Ultra (21k and 50k, respectively). I had set a goal in 2020 to complete my Trifecta but you can probably guess what happened there...

So fast forward a year. My first two post-COVID races were supposed to be this past May (on the same weekend), but they were pushed out to August. Which meant I was completing all three races within a month of each other. Awesome-sauce.

I was a nervous wreck approaching the Super and Sprint on August 14 and 15th. I definitely let nerves get the better of me during Saturday's race, but as the race progressed my confidence on the obstacles improved. I was very pleased with how I did the following day at the Sprint. I considered this weekend a great barometer of where I was with the obstacles.

Killington, Vermont is largely considered the birthplace of Spartan. While there are Beasts held all over the world, Killington is considered extra special because of its significance to Spartan as well as its difficulty level. So of course this was the Beast I wanted to do.

Heading into the Killington weekend, I knew I'd done as well as I could have with training. I'd paid another coach to put together my training plan and I read posts and listened to podcasts that discussed tips for approaching the race. I was as ready as I was going to be. I saw the elevation map but I didn't give it much thought.

The Race

The race was brutal. BRUTAL. So many steep hills. It was exhausting. I thought, oh once you get past the Death March on mile 3, you're good. Spoiler alert--you're not. But everyone was exhausted, which was very reassuring. No one sprinted up hills. Lots of people failed obstacles. I know I did as well as I possibly could. I didn't complete as many obstacles as I was hoping to. I'd get 3/4 the way through an obstacle and fall off. I almost got up the rope but I felt like if I moved up any more I'd fall straight down. So I was disappointed about that. But again, I know I did as well as I possibly could. Here's how I did:

I did pretty good*. The only reason I'd put an asterisk after my results is I didn't do burpees every time I missed an obstacle (as you're supposed to do). You know why? Because I was f***ing tired.

Even if I skipped the burpees, I'm still really proud of myself for this achievement. It was nice to have a goal to focus on this year.

What's Next?

What's next for this racer? I'm not sure. This is probably my last race of 2021 but we'll see. I think I'm going to focus more time next year on non-Spartan obstacle course races. There are some regional races that I haven't done in several years that I'd love to get back to. In the meantime, I leave you with some pictures from Saturday that show the progression of my exhaustion. Enjoy!

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