This weekend was the Citi Field Stadium Sprint. This is my 3rd year doing it and I always look forward to it because it’s the location of the first Spartan race I have ever done. My OCR career started there in 2016 so it always feels good to come back.
Stadium Sprints are always more congested then outdoor races for obvious reasons. Lots of steps and running through seats so it makes it hard to pass. Also, most of the hallways aren’t wide to begin with. Most of the “obstacles” are actually exercises like slam balls and box jumps. You won’t see any big obstacles like Olympus or Twister at a Stadium race. But they’re fun because they’re fast, you get to run through cool parts of the stadium, and they always have a unique medal for these races.
This year they changed the burpee penalty at stadium races from 30 to 15 to keep the flow of people moving. Was an interesting change and I think it also makes the race more entry level.
I was running Age Group at 730 so I was up by 3. Got my stuff packed, had a big breakfast, then made the haul up to the stadium. Had to pack layers cause it was 30 degrees when I got outside and it didn’t appear to be getting any warmer. The wind at the stadium made it even colder. I wore pants for the race and my cold gear long sleeve shirt underneath my LegendBorne jersey.
I won’t describe the race in detail since again there isn’t many obstacles. The biggest ones where probably the rope climb and the multi rig. I didn’t have a problem with either one even though the rig had baseballs on the end. I’ve been working on my rig and grip work and it’s probably one of the strongest parts of my racing game.
Assault bikes where a new “obstacle”. Basically you got on a stationary bike, hit start, and rode it till the screen told you you had burned off 15 calories. Sounds easy but it wasn’t. Took me about a minute and a half. My body was wiped after that. Then we had to go up the concourse to the top! Definitely had me walking in parts of it and my heart rate was jumping.
Herc Hoist was outside and it had the fence frame so that made it easier to lift to the top since I could use the fence for leverage. At previous stadium races some of them didn’t have that at all so I was glad to see that.
No monkey bars at this race. That was kinda disappointing. One of my favorite obstacles. Ended up not failing any obstacles this race so I was pumped about that!
Ended up finishing in 51 minutes, almost 2 mins faster than last year. Finished 54th out of 134 in my age group 30-39. That I’m not too happy with. I finished 26th last year but my age group was only 35-39 so I’m not sure if I did better or worse. Plus since the penalty burpees were lower this year, it didn’t make it as easy to catch people in front of you if they failed an obstacle.
Overall I had a great time. The weather was not fun, it was way too cold. That wind made it even worse. I thought about doing a 2nd lap for fun, but the cold weather made me have no interest.
So this year I decided to do something new that I have never done before: I volunteered! I wanted to kinda give back to the OCR community. I don’t need the free race, I have a season pass. Just thought it would be fun to help out. I signed up for the 12-9 shift since I raced in the morning. Met with the other volunteers and grabbed some snacks and sandwiches. Lots of grub which was cool.
The Spartan staff member came and grabbed our group. We got lucky, we were in the outfield zone so we were manning all the outfield obstacles: walls, Hurdles, slam balls, and box jumps. I picked the Hurdles since they were the first obstacle the racers faced coming from inside the stadium so it gave me a great view. Plus there wasn’t much to monitor, since I was only there for the Open racers they could choose to do the obstacle or just walk around it.
It was fun cheering people on and getting them going. Did lots of clapping and yelling trying to get the racers fired up. Can’t assist them in any way, but when they struggled to get over I’d give them a “you got this” to help them. Most of the racers seemed really appreciate, I got many thank you’s, and since my obstacle was near the end, that drive to finish pushed a lot of them. There was many cramps from racers trying to get over, and a few spills and cuts, but no serious injuries luckily.
Honestly at the end of it when the last racers where coming through, my hands hurt from so much clapping and my throat was sore. But it was well worth it, I had a ton of fun with every racer!
After the race finished we began breaking down the course. It felt like building Legos: every wall and hurdle had its pieces and they all stacked together one by one. The group I was in had an awesome Spartan Staff member named Terry. He was good at instructing us first timers how to handle tear down and he was all over the place helping us. Lots of teamwork required to get that stuff done and it was actually kinda fun. Manual labor isn’t something I do, I work in an office and sit at a desk most days, so this was kind of a cool change of pace. Seeing the behind the scenes of an OCR really made me appreciate just how much work goes into setting up these courses. Plus being inside a Stadium with the lights off and barely anyone there made it feel very surreal!
Time flew by and before I knew it it was 9pm. Time had flown by. We went back inside, I grabbed another sandwich, and then checked out. The end to a really great day!
Thanks again for ready! If you have comments or questions, leave them below. As always thank you so much for your support! It means a ton!! 🤡👍🏽👍🏽
Congrats.. you made me think about volunteering at my att Sprint later this year. Stay 💪
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Do it! It’s a fun time and it helps make the sport better! Cheering people on for hours never got old!