Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Published in the Newsletter of the Prospect Park Track Club

What you do not know because you are not me! Michael Ring

The Spartan Race

As many of you may know I work part time for a race timing company.  I help out with the scoring of races.  Most of the races I time are just like the races I run.  In fact most of the participants are familiar to me and I often already know the race director.

Not last week.

There was a race out in Floyd Bennett Field called the Spartan Race.  I had to Google it to find out what it was some sort of obstacle course event and was a qualifier for the “The Death Race".  When I got there I was shocked to find out they had over 1,500 people already signed up.  I was shocked because I did not even know anyone who knew anything about it.   (I was also a little upset because the race was started in waves of 250 people each, so that meant I had to be there all day)

I congratulated the race director in getting such a large field (?) to come out.  I told her I was a little surprised because I was a runner and a race director myself and that I did not even know the event was going to happen.  She told me that that makes since because they don’t market their events to the running community, “We get a lot of cops, firefighters, army guys, and we also put out a lot of flyers in bars….”  That worked!

Theses were things I observed.  No exaggerations.…

·         The course marshals were US Marines.  They were there to supervise the climbing wall. “If they can’t get over the wall, make them do 50 push ups.  If they can’t do 50 push ups, kick them for every one they can’t do.”  “We are Marines, Sir.  We follow orders, they will sue YOU”  “Fine that’s what they paid for.”
·         The race was started by a guy in a toga.  He was holding a plastic sward and plastic shield.
·         The staff assigned to help me retrieve the timing chips were (and I hope I am not offending any of my readers, because they would have taken this as a compliment) hired as “eye candy”.  They were wearing bikini styled loin cloths.
·         90% of the finishers were so dirty that I would have thrown out my clothes.
·         50% of the finishers were bleeding.  I thought about 10 of the finishers needed medical attention.  All but 2 of them ignored me.
·         I had to stop about 5 people from throwing up in the buckets I was using to collect the chips.  (This was a 5K!)
·         Many of the finishers were so pumped up from battling the “Spartans” along the course they cursed me out when I asked them to turn in their chip.

If you reading this in print, go to you computer and Google “Spartan Race Brooklyn” and click on Video.  If you are reading a digital copy just click on the blue words, you will see that I am not making this up.

I just figure out why none of my Prospect Park Track Club teammates ever heard of this event.  Because we are in it for the long haul, the lifetime health benefits, not the rush of crossing the finish line and spitting PowerAid all over your compotators.  

you can see a little of me at 8:18


  1. Um, yes, I see there were 14 videos of the Spartan Race. I didn't watch any of them. It sounds dreadful, and I'm sure some of the injured people should have received help -- probably did, later, after the adrenalin wore off. Still, there's a lot to be said for adrenalin. During the three years I had to visit a care facility to see both, then one, of my parents, it took me two plane flights and an hour's drive to get travel across two Canadian provinces to get there. Every time, the feeling of urgency amounting almost to emergency, provided me with sufficient adrenalin to get there, stay a week, and get back. There has never been a time in my life when I would have considered entering a race such as the Spartan, but I can almost understand why the participants did it, but only almost.

  2. I find this whole Spartan thing so very odd

  3. Hi,

    I was searching for some information on Death Race today when I came across your article: What you do not know because you are not me! Michael Ring The Spartan Race.

    Great Stuff!

    However, I couldn't help but notice that you mentioned You may have heard that Death Race and its site no longer exist.

    You may want to remove that link from your article.

    Also, I recently published a brief article about Death Race and its end:

    Might make a nice addition to your page. Either way, keep up the awesome work!




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