Spartan Races are SASSY AF!
Have you ever watched American Ninja Warrior and thought… Damn! Those athletes are strong AF! How do they do that?
It’s even more incredible when you find out they are moms and working women and not a whole lot different than you.
When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits and tested your strength? Are you intrigued by seeing other women excel physically and wonder if you have the same perseverance and endurance?
We are so lucky to have had the opportunity to speak with Amirra Besh, a Spartan athlete, about her experience doing Spartan races. In Part 1 of this series, you will learn about Amirra’s personal journey with Spartan racing. In Part 2, she will talk about what’s needed to train for a Spartan.
In Demand Women are bad ass, strong and sassy AF! Spartan is an awesome example of a way to live your sassiest life.
[Interview with Amirra Besh]
What is a Spartan Race?
A Spartan Race is an obstacle course race of various distances and difficulty levels. Think trail run with a variety of obstacles along the way! Race courses can be found around the world. They are in rugged outdoor destinations with various terrain. I find all the different landscapes to be beautiful and adventurous. The obstacles vary in degree and difficulty ranging from climbing over walls, bear crawling under barbed wire, carrying sandbags and heavy buckets full of rocks, rope climbing, monkey bars and more! Oh, and if you don’t overcome the obstacle, there is a 30 burpee penalty.
Are there different levels? What are they?
Yes! There are various distances. The Sprint is approximately 3 miles and 20 obstacles. The Super is about 8 miles and 25 obstacles. The Beast is 13 miles and 30 obstacles. There is also a Stadion series and Mountain series. There are even marathon distance races including the Ultra and the Hurricane Heat which test extreme endurance.
In addition to different race lengths, there is a place for athletes of all levels to participate. There are Spartan pros who may choose to run in the “elite” heat. Competitive athletes looking to rank among the best in their age group often select “age group”. There is the “open” heat which includes athletes of all ability levels. You can even run with a team of friends! In the open team heats, the burpee penalty can be split among friends.
When was your first Spartan and what motivated you to sign up? How many have you done total?
My first Spartan race was in June 2018. A friend of mine is a Spartan enthusiast and he had shared that he was putting together a team with a group of friends. He thought I might enjoy the race so he encouraged me to join them. One night I decided to go for it! It was an impulsive decision and I signed up just two weeks before the race. After that first race I was hooked. I signed up for the next race before I left the race festival grounds. Since then I have done another three, so four total.
[My first race] was an impulsive decision and I signed up just two weeks before the race. After that first race I was hooked.
Tell us about your best Spartan experience
My best Spartan experience was at the Las Vegas Super this past March . I was already in the area for conference so I signed up to run the Super. The course was in the desert foothills of Arizona about 80 miles outside of Las Vegas. The mountains were still a bit snow-capped when I arrived at 6:30 AM and I couldn’t wait to take on the course. The course was much more sandy than I expected, think of running at the beach, and there were at least three waist high water mud crossings! Luckily my shoes and leggings drained well. I had the goal of finishing top 10 in my age group, completing the race in under two hours and running a perfect race, ie. burpee free. Although I only missed one obstacle, which jeopardized the perfect race, I finished a few minutes under two hours and in fourth place in my age group! I was pleased with my performance and motivated that the goal setting and hard work had paid off!
Tell us about your worst Spartan experience.
My worst Spartan experience was actually during my first race. About a half a mile from the end of the course, as I was attempting to climb over an 8 foot wall, I used improper foot placement and sprained both metatarsal joints in my feet. I slowly ran the rest of the race concerned about the severity of the injury. It took the rest of the summer to heal. But I still signed up for another and was determined to overcome those walls with skill and toughness!
Now that you have done several Spartans, what is your next challenge and how are you prepping for it?
I’ve challenged myself to complete a Trifecta this year, which is completing a Sprint, Super and Beast, all in one year. I have a few races coming up in the fall and may actually complete a double Trifecta. To prepare, this summer I’ve enjoyed more 10+ mile trail runs with friends. That’s certainly challenging me and helping with the endurance. In addition to the long trail runs, I’ve also added more hill interval training once a week. Lastly, I’ve spent a little more time learning about the techniques of overcoming the obstacles so that I can overcome them more quickly and efficiently to shave some minutes off my time.
Are you as fired up about the idea of Spartan races as we were after talking to Amirra? Make sure you read Part 2 to find out if a Spartan race is for you!
Amirra Besh is a wife, mom & boss. As a busy mother of five and healthcare administrator, she finds her energy in fitness and philanthropy. In addition to enjoying time being active outdoors, traveling and growing a small business, Amirra loves volunteering with friends and family.
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