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My First Spartan Race

My First Spartan Race Brian Kondas holding medal

Who Am I?

On a field of grass, 288 forty-something men gather at the start of the Atlanta Spartan Super 10K race. Seventy-six women join us, so together, we are 364 forty-something racers. We assemble in Conyers, GA, the weather is clear and the temperature cool (55 F). On Saturday, March 19, 2022, at 8 AM, I am ready to run my first Spartan Race.

The race director says, “Who Am I?” The men and women racers proclaim, “I am Spartan.” Again the race director asks, “Who Am I?” Stronger, we declare, “I am Spartan!” Still louder, the race director shouts, “Who Am I?” Once more, we holler, “I am Spartan!” Then we yell our Spartan war cry, “Aroo! Aroo! Aroo!” and run through wooded trails up and down muddy hillsides.

Grip Strength

Spartan racer, Brian Kondas, runs to a four-foot wall obstacle and kicks his legs over it. On the next six-foot wall obstacle, I jump up and pull myself over. Then I approach the monkey bar obstacle.

With my right hand around a three-inch diameter bar, I swing to the next bar. Then I release my right hand and swing; the bar is wet, I lose my grip! Falling, I land hard on my back.

I rise to my feet and run the penalty loop. Reaching the inverted wall obstacle, I climb up and over it.

Cold Water

I plunge into waist-high cold water. Boldly I step forward through the muddy water. As I wade in the murky, dark water, I step over fallen trees. Suddenly I step into a deep hole and go down!

I enter the rolling mud obstacle jumping into these pits of muddy water. My feet sink deep into the mud. On all fours, I crawl from one mud pit to the next.

Finally, I come face to face with the dunk wall. A high inflatable wall sits on the water’s surface. The cold water makes me hyperventilate. Grasping for breath, I bravely dunk my head under the freezing water!

Cliff Climb

From out of the wooded trail, I look up at a towering cliff of mud and see racers hanging from a large rope net. I approach the muddy cliff as my feet slip and slide. Unable to reach the rope, I shuffle to the left edge of the net and grab hold.

Like spiderman, I rapidly ascend the rope net passing many racers. As I reach the top of the cliff, I slow my ascent. Carefully gripping the rope, I pull myself over the edge and stand victorious on top. I’m breathing heavy and my abs hurt.

Spear Throw

Running up the hillside, I see the spear-throw obstacle. Hurray! I’ve trained at home throwing a spear into a wall of hay bales. I run to the obstacle with a smile on my face.

I grab hold of a rope tied to the end of the spear and pull it out of the target. With the spear in hand, I toss the excess rope over the barrier. Balancing the spear, I take aim at the target twenty-five feet away. Stepping forward, I throw the spear and hit the target!

Heavy Lift

A challenging obstacle in my first spartan race is the atlas carry. I approach the first atlas sphere. Squatting down, I wrap my hands around it and lift. It doesn’t budge.

I try the next atlas sphere. The mud covers the bottom and it’s difficult to get a grip. I strain to lift it. Then a supervisor suggests the atlas on the end because fewer people use it.

I squat and get a better grip on this atlas sphere. With all my strength I struggle to lift it. Struggling, I finally lift it up and carry it around a flag pole and back.

Rope Climb

Another hard obstacle in my first spartan race is the rope climb. I’ve climbed a 16-foot rope at home, so I expect this 12-foot rope to be easy.

Walking up to the obstacle, I see many available ropes hang down. I wrap my hands around the first rope and discover it’s wet. I move to a second rope, and it’s just as wet.

Moving to a different section of the obstacle, I see a man climb up the rope. Placing my hands on this rope, it feels like the man has squeezed out most of the water.

I climb up this rope. Near the top, I struggle and yell out in pain. With all my strength, I pull myself up and ring the bell!


Having lost my grip on the Monkey Bars and another grip obstacle (Beater), I am determined to complete Twister. So far in the race, I had done 30 burpees. If I failed this obstacle, I would need to do another 30 burpees.

Unlike these other obstacles, Twister’s grip diameter is much smaller. With my hand tightly gripping the handle, I swing to the next handle. Pulling it down, all the handles twist around a single axis.

At the end of the obstacle, I swing and hit the bell. My feet land on the ground and I’m running with a smile!

My Race Experience

My First Spartan Race Results

My first Spartan Race is a Super 10K. I competed in the 45-49 age group. The race category includes men and women ages 40 – 49.

  • Time: 2:02:29
  • Category Rank: 244/364
  • Percentile: 67%
  • Gender: 200/288
  • Ages 45-49: 28/40

I completed this Spartan Super 10K faster than 2/3 of all men and women in my heat. My official race results.

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