Menu Close

Super 10K Spartan Race

Super 10K Spartan Race holding medal 2023

The experience of Brian Kondas running his first Super 10K Spartan race in Jacksonville, FL. In November 2022, I signed up for the 5K Sprint with 20 obstacles to complete my Spartan Trifecta. However, I would run twice as far: 10,000 meters and 25 obstacles.

Black Friday Spartan Sale

In 2022, I purchased a buy-one-get-one Black Friday Spartan deal. My plan was to give the free ticket to a friend. Unfortunately, the friend I purchased it for told me she didn’t want it.

Then I created a Spartan Race Giveaway that required people to complete an online form. I recieved a couple of applications, but none of them met my requirements. Finally, with the help of Amy Stangle’s referral of Lori Danko, I found her application acceptable, and she got the 5K Sprint ticket.

Unexpected Spartan Volunteer

Saturday at 8:40 AM I walk up to registration for my 9:45 AM race. I show my printed ticket and they lookup my name. Then a guy tells me, “Your race is tomorrow.”

I ask, “Can I race the 5K today?”

“No,” says the guy, “you’ll have to come back tomorrow.”

“Okay.” I turn around and walk away.

Heading back to the my car, I consider about the consequences. I’ll have to stay another night at the hotel and rent the car for another day. Running up from behind, the registration guy tells me, “You can volunteer and race today.” He points toward the volunteer tent.

Intriqued, I walk over and tell the lady at the tent I want to volunteer. She hands me a form to sign, gets me a wrist band, and a red colored Volunteer shirt. Then she tells me to go to the start of the Spartan Kids race.

Volunteering for Spartan Kids

I’m grateful to be admitted into today’s event and I record a quick video about doing volunteer work for the Spartan Kids race. Looking around, I find the kid’s race and meet a Staff member with a blue shirt and radio. I introduce myself and wait at the starting line for the next race.

The guy in the blue shirt assembles a group of male kids at the start line. He says the winner of this 2-mile obstacle course race will win a ticket to the Kid’s World Championship in the Bahamas. I was not given any job, so I follow the kids and parents around the course observing.

Ten minutes later, I’m back at the startline with a group of girls. I observe a blueshirt female warming up the kids with some exercises. Then a male blueshirt counts down, “3, 2, Go!” and the girls race starts.

I show the blueshirt my volunteer wristband that reads 1 PM – 4:30 PM. He asks, “Do you want to race today?”

“Yes,” I tell him. Then he says, “Go race and come back at 1 PM.” So, I head to registration.

Upgrading My Race Ticket

First, I revisit the athlete registration. I explain my situation: showing them my 5K Sprint ticket, I tell them I want to race today. These volunteers can’t help me and suggest I talk to a blueshirt. I tell them I already did.

Then I walk back to the volunteer tent and talk with a blueshirt lady. She tells me to go to registration. Walking back towards registration, I notice a sign that says, “Volunteer bibs” and walk there.

I start filling in my information on a tablet computer for my volunteer bib. Then I overhear a guy say he upgraded his ticket to run the 10K today. Handing back the tablet, I show registration my printed 5K ticket and say I want to upgrade to 10K and race today.

The lady at registration updates my info on the tablet and says it costs $54. I gladly give her my credit card. Then she asks, “What time do you want to race?” I look at her and she asks, “As soon as possible?”

“Yes,” I smile feeling delighted to finally get my race packet.

“You can start at 9:45 or anytime later.” She hands me a white envelope and I’m excited to run the Super 10K Spartan open race.

2023 Mud Face Photo

With my race starting soon, I dart through the merchandise tent and remove my red volunteer shirt. I won’t need this to race today! At the bag check, I attach my timing chip to my left wrist. Then I place my Spartan headband with bib number 13267 on my head.

A volunteer gives me two red wristbands. Looking at the volunteer, I say, “One on the bag and the other on my wrist.” With red bands attached, I walk the aisle looking for my number. Then I notice the rows are labeled by color. “Where’s red?” I ask. A volunteer points at the first row, and I hang my bag with a metal hook.

As soon as I exit the bag check, I hear the announcement for Spartans to enter the 9:45 AM heat. Quickly, I walk towards the race entrance. New for 2023 is a bucket of mud you can apply to your face. Then I crawl on the ground, passing burning bales of straw as the photographer takes photos of our muddy faces.

A group of wounded military vets with prosthetic legs and gas masks join us. The announcer says 22 military veterans take their own life every day. However, veteran suicides have decreased in the last couple of years.

My Super 10K Spartan Race

At the start of the race, I run with the front runners. After jumping and pulling myself over walls, we enter a small lake. The cool water reaches our waist as we quickly wade out. I ask, “Where are you from?” to the younger Spartan men. The one on my right says Florida, and the other on my left says South Carolina. As we exit the water, a photographer takes our photos, and I smile.

Monkey Bars

Approaching the monkey bars, I say, “I have gloves.” Then I remove a zip lock bag from my waist pack. The Spartan looks over and says, “Dry gloves, that’s smart.”

In my past two Spartan races, I have fallen quickly on the monkey bars. The bars have a wide diameter, and I found it impossible to hold onto these wet bars. I’m hoping these gloves, covered with anti-slip silicone, will help my grip.

Cautiously, I swing, gripping the bars with gloved hands. I move slowly across the monkey bars. Then with only one more bar to go, my left hand slips, and I fall down. Getting up from the ground, I say, “So close!”

Failing my first obstacle, I feel disappointed and run fast through the penalty loop. I need to work on my grip strength, especially in my left hand.

Rope Climb

In my last Spartan Beast, I easily climbed the rope obstacle. Today, I have trouble executing the J-hook rope climbing technique I learned in my first CrossFit class. On my second attempt, the rope wraps around my right foot, and my left foot steps on it. Then I start climbing.

After a couple of pulls, I look up and reach for the bell. It’s too far away, and I almost fall off the rope. Engaging my core, I pull myself back to the rope.

I need to climb a little higher to reach the bell. I pull myself up, hit the cow bell, and slowly lower myself down the rope. On the ground, I feel fatique in my arms.

The Multi-Rig

My arms feel so weak I don’t even attempt the Multi-Rig obstacle. I walk through and asked the volunteer, “Where’s the penalty loop?”

Jogging the penalty lap, I need to develop better strength endurance. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has the benefits of increasing strength and stamina. So, I need to do more HIIT strength training.

Barbed Wire Hill Crawl

The most difficult obstacle of the Super 10K Spartan race is the barbed wire hill crawl. The dry dirt and stone feel hard on my knees and elbows as I crawl up the first incline. Then I hear the moans of a Spartan man who got a cramp. A volunteer offers him pickle juice as he cries out in agony.

I reach the top of the first pass and the Spartan on my right says he’s got a leg cramp. I tell him the guy down there has a debilitating cramp. Then I roll downhill and, after four rotations, come to a stop. I feel very dizzy.

Struggling up the next incline, I feel the rocks biting into my knees and elbows. Rolling over on my back, I rest for a moment. Then roll over and continue crawling up the hill. A volunteer shouts out, “Who will win? You or the hill.”

Near the top of the second hill, the ground is very hard and steep. I scramble up and slide down. I raise my back, and it hooks on the barbed wire. Unable to get a foothold, I grab hold of a metal stake and pull myself up.

The hill plateaus and gives a moment of rest. Then I look up, and a sprinkler is spraying down on the next hill. I crawl through deep mud, which feels much softer. Finally, I reach the peak and complete the barbed wire crawl.

Super 10K Spartan Race Results

During most of the race, I see many Spartans walking while I run past them. Similarly, I fly through obstacles, and others seem to move in slow motion.

My Super 10K Spartan race results (bib# 13267 in Saturday’s Super Open heat):

  • Time 1:26:13
  • Rank 126 out of 1750 (Percentile 7%)
  • 5th in Age 45-49

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *