Hey guys and happy Friday! Today’s topic is a little off my fitness niche, so I asked my friend and fellow fitness enthusiast/instructor Jaclyn to help out. The topic? Spartan Races. Have you heard of them? They’re crazy and intense races that are held all over the US and offer a variety of obstacles and challenges that will test your mental and physical limits.
I have yet to try one myself because I have just never really had the opportunity, but after researching it a bit more for this post….I’m intrigued! Be sure to check out the link above to read about the different events that are offered, they all look pretty neat! (and tough)
Anyways, I want to turn it over to Jaclyn. Backstory: I met Jaclyn at Oranj Fitness. She quickly became one of my favorite instructors because of her variety of bootcamp and circuit classes and I found out she had a huge passion for all things obstacle! I’d describe a bit more of what she does, but I think she does a much better job…
My name is Jaclyn Ung, I’m a mom, personal trainer, fitness instructor and self proclaimed obstacle course racing addict.
It was February 2014, my best friend and I were having coffee in my living room and she said “we should try that Spartan race thing that Tracy (a mutual friend) did last year”. I responded with “no way, I’m not ready for that and I’m not in good enough shape”. But that planted the seed and I kept thinking about it, and researching it and reading every blog post I could find about first time Spartan races. Fast forward to August 2014 and there I was at the starting line of the Calgary Spartan Sprint feeling both nervous and excited (I like to call it nervecited). You can read more about my first race experience here – http://smartfittraining.ca/the-race-that-changed-my-life/
That first Spartan race really did change my life, I pushed myself to do things I didn’t think I could do and that spilled over into everyday life and gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone. I started doing CrossFit to train for my next obstacle course race and decided that one of my goals was to earn my Spartan Trifecta (which is earned by running all three Spartan races, Sprint, Super and Beast in one calendar year).
I’m proud to say that in 2016 I earned my first Spartan Trifecta, a journey which began by running the Montana Spartan Beast in May 2016. The race was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life and crossing that finish line was one of my proudest moments, something I think about almost daily. You can read about my experience in Montana on that mountain with the beautiful views and crazy hills and obstacles here – http://smartfittraining.ca/montana-spartan-beast-2016-part-1-hills-hills-and-more-hills/
During my journey to my Trifecta I had a lot of people contact me with questions about training and how they wished they could run a race like that too. I started thinking why not? I believe that anyone can finish a Spartan race if they are willing to properly train and prepare and willing to accept and offer help on the race course. That’s one thing I love about the sport of Obstacle course racing, everyone is willing to help, I’ve been pulled out of mud, helped over walls, encouraged when I felt like giving up and in return I’ve encouraged and helped others along the way.
In 2017 my goal is to help as many women as I can to train, prepare for and run their first (or second, third, etc) obstacle course race. I’m dedicating my time and energy not just to my own Spartan race training but to help others with their own training. I’ll be offering in person private group training and online group training. I’m very excited to be training and running the Calgary Spartan Sprint with a group of strong women who are looking forward to their first Spartan race experience.
I’m also signed up to run the Red Deer Spartan Super and my fingers are crossed that I will once again make it to Montana in May to run the Spartan Beast.
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Jaclyn! (You may have inspired me to get involved in one of these crazy races!)
I think it’s pretty cool that there is a certain cult following for this type of fun fitness and that it is now so widely accessible! To my more local friends, please PLEASE connect with myself or Jaclyn if you’re interested in joining a team to train or race. In my opinion, it’s not only a social event but one that challenges your mind, body AND spirit!
And again, don’t forget to check out more info on the Spartan races here.