THE STRATHCONA SPARTANS
By Cpl Sullivan, Cpl Monge, Cpl Dupuis, and Cpl Partington
On 30 June 13, four soldiers from B Squadron dared to call themselves Spartans. It was on this day that Edmonton held its first ever Spartan Sprint Race. The day was hot but was filled with much anticipation and excitement for the young, brave souls who were faced with the daunting task ahead. The challenge stood before them - a 5km race with in excess of 15 obstacles to overcome before the finish line.
Our Strathcona team, consisting of Cpl Sullivan, Cpl Monge, Cpl Dupuis, and Cpl Partington, were slated to commence the race at the 1100 hours. From our vantage point at the start line, we were able to see two sea cans with a cargo net strewn between them at the bottom was a formidable 6-foot mud pit. This pit would consume all but the most committed racers. Further down the course to the far left was a 10 foot rope-climb with a bell at the top. The rope was suspended over a 4 foot pool filled with cold, muddy water. The finish line was visible, and we witnessed a wave of tired contestants trying to navigate their way past two vigilant guards wielding padded pugil sticks. These guards were the last challenge of the race, ensuring that contestants earned their title as Spartan Challenge finalists.
Having conducted our initial reconnaissance of the course, we were set for the challenge. The race kicked off with a steep ascent of 700m, which immediately separated the mighty from the pack. This climb was one of four such ascents we would conquer. After a brief descent, which we used to catch our breaths while leaping hurdles, we encountered our first of many physical obstacles. These obstacles included leopard crawling under barbed wire, traversing mud pits, climbing up and down hills burdened with sandbags or cinder blocks, and our favorite obstacle, the 25m Javelin throw. Failure to complete any of these obstacles resulted in the participant having to complete 30 burpees as a penalty.
After jumping over a large bonfire and dominating the two guards armed with pugil sticks, we reached the end of our ordeal and completed the race. Awarded our Spartan Sprint medals from a woman dressed in traditional Spartan garb, we celebrated with well deserved beer in our new Spartan Race T-shirts. Happy to have represented Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) on this daunting day, we look forward for more challenges and participating in this daunting race once again in the years to come.