I’ve Never… been a Spartan

Call me Spartan Martin. This past Sunday my friend Rob and I participated in the Spartan Sprint race at Kelso Quarry in Milton, Ontario. A five kilometre obstacle course of mud, blood and barbed wire, the Spartan Sprint brought together more than 1,500 participants. Here’s a little taste of the fun:

The course was jam-packed with great obstacles like,

  • Running through walls of thick smoke
  • Up and down several steep bluffs (and even carrying a tire up one)
  • Tramping through the muddy lake carrying buckets of water
  • Crawling on our bellies through mud under low-hanging barbed wire
  • Climbing over walls and up ropes
  • Hurling Spartan spears at targets
  • Dragging rocks on the end of chains
  • And running. Lots and lots of running.

The last few obstacles deserve particular mention. One involved crawling beneath yet another stretch of barbed wire. However, instead of mud, this pit was filled with ice. As you shimmied your way through the frigid obstacle, volunteers surrounding the pit encouraged you by dumping shovelfuls of ice on your head. Invigorating.

The final wall before the finish line might have been a challenge had it not been for the beautiful Spartan Maiden sitting on the top of it. As I said before in my post about acupuncture, a beautiful woman is a great motivator. Especially one with a cape.

You better BELIEVE I'm making it up that wall.

Although I would have preferred to just stay at the top of the wall with the Spartan Maiden, the finish line beckoned.

Waiting for us at the finish line were two burly Spartans carrying giant padded jousting sticks (the type you see in American Gladiators). These sadistic volunteers spent the entire day beating the crap out of racers. It was awesome. I managed to slip by unscathed but many did not.

Rob finished well before I did so I didn’t see his finish but he told me how it went. He got by the two Spartans and was just about to cross the finish line. The disappointed Spartans and a blood-thirsty crowd booed Rob for getting by. Like a true warrior and sucker for peer pressure, Rob turned back. “FOR SPARTA!” he bellowed, rushing toward them.

Apparently the Spartans had better luck with Rob the second time around and gave him a good beat down. Still, you gotta respect a move like that.

I finished the race in 525th. I was covered in mud. The arm I used to pull myself through the barbed wire pits is still all scratched up. My back’s been killing me all week. And yes, I’ll definitely be doing it again. It was awesome.


The Spartan Race website (www.spartanrace.com) encourages people to “get off the couch and start living.” A great message. Because life is short and it’s filled with a whole lot of awesome. When I’m on my deathbed I’m not going to be looking back wishing I’d spent more time on the couch.

Becoming a muddied and bloodied Spartan may not be your thing but whatever it is, get out there and live it up!

Become a Spartan? AROO!!!


Funny stories. Good advice. Josh Martin is the author of the book “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” Click here to learn more and to purchase a copy.

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One Response to I’ve Never… been a Spartan

  1. Pingback: Buying Nothing New Challenge: Finding clothes for a wedding | Josh Martin Ink

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