The weekend I have been anticipating for a long time now has finally come and sadly gone. On Friday Nick and I packed up and headed to the airport to fly to Philadelphia to run in a stadium Spartan race. Earlier this summer we ran our first ever Spartan race at Welch Village, MN and I absolutely fell in love. I ended up placing 1st in my age group of females and 1st female overall. I participated in the open division which is the least competitive of the divisions but have the most amount of people. Let’s just say, I did not in any world expect to come in first, ever.
So, when I just magically happened to come across cheap plane tickets to Philly I quickly booked the trip and registered us for the Citizens Bank Park Stadium Spartan Race. I didn’t know what to expect because I only ran one Spartan race which was on a ski hill, not in a stadium and I was completely out of my element flying to a completely new city, a big one at that which I am not a big city girl. Anyways, we stayed with some family of mine so Friday night was spent just getting settled, relaxing and grilling out. It’s like, they know me or something. Saturday morning quickly came around and we were running at 8:30am. At this race, I decided to register us in the competitive division which is between the elite division and the open division. This gave me a little bit more motivation to give er because I knew I would have less of a chance doing well when competing against more competitive runners. Unlike the first race we did, it was chilly and breezy so it called for a lot of warming up.
Our wave was finally up and we all chanted AROO AROO AROO and we were off! We got to run through the visiting team dugout and then straight back into the stadium where we came to the locker room and had to drop and do 20 push-ups. The volunteers were telling everyone that your chest had to touch the ground and your hands had to come off the ground. I of course listened. Nick claims he didn’t hear the volunteer, finished his 20 and then realized what he was actually supposed to do and dropped and did 20 more! Honest man he is. I ended up waiting for him which I shouldn’t have because I pulled ahead anyways. He literally does no conditioning. If he did cardio a couple times a week he would totally blow me out of the water at these races. The race continues, we are climbing cargo nets, jumping over walls and then the sandbag carry. The sandbag carry actually wasn’t that bad despite the flight after flight and flight of stairs we had to do. After that, it was a lot of running up and down the stadium stairs, across the rows of bleachers then into the stadium to run the ramps and stairs and then back into the stadium to do it all again and again, but this time with a huge jug full of water. More obstacles came after that and the walls kept getting higher and higher. The atlas ball carry was much lighter than it was at Welch Village. I missed the damn spear throw so I had to do 30 burpees. 30 is such an awful number. An obstacle that I’ve never had to do before was 20 jump ropes with a battle rope so it was this huge heavy rope that we had to use just like a jump rope while our ankles were banded together. I made it across the monkey bars which at Welch Village I slipped right off because my hands were completely wet and muddy from the previous obstacle. When you think you were done with the stairs, you weren’t. Back into the stadium to run some more and then get down to the field to finish out the remaining obstacles and last leg of the race. There was the rope climb, 20 box jumps, 20 ball slams then run through the gantlet and then sprint to the finish line.
I finished the race, honestly had no idea what time it was or how I did. I quickly spotted Nick at the rope climb and was able to watch and cheer him on as he finished. Now it was time for the moment of truth, we headed to the results tent. I typed in my name and BOOM! I finished 1st in my age group and 3rd female overall in the competitive division! Again, I was in disbelief. But, how? I honestly felt like I should and could have pushed harder in the race. I am beyond proud for finishing 1st and 3rd and it is motivation to continue on this journey.
Compared to the Welch Village, MN Spartan race this race was much easier. It was shorter by 2 miles and there was no mud or water and most of the obstacles seemed to be less challenging – but still difficult don’t get me wrong! Both races test your athletic ability and that is a major reason I fell in love with Spartan races. I will definitely do another stadium race! Now, I am already planning my next Spartan adventure because I am absolutely hooked! I am thinking AZ in February!
The rest of the trip we explored and did touristy things like visiting and climbing the Rocky stairs and taking a cheesey picture with his statue. We also did the Eastern State Penitentiary tour which was so cool! I am not a history buff nor do I generally enjoy that sort of thing, but I was in awe the entire tour. I even got to take a peak at Al Capones jail cell which come on, was basically my living room. If you follow me on snapchat (kissbybrooke) you got to see a lot of the Penitentiary. We then went back that same night because they had a haunted house! I opted in for the “more intense” experience which meant they could grab, touch and drag me away from our group. It.was.awesome.