Today was about heading out to watch my cousin Marta and some Alien team mates run the Spartan Race. Yesterday I was like sure I’ll go watch. I’ll go early hang out for a bit and then get home to get some stuff done and maybe hit the South Miami Art Show. My cousin was so excited that I was going so I had to go. Well this race is intense as it is. It is 30 obstacles with and 8 mile trail run. Its hard for the athletes and you expect that. As a spectator it was crazy. I went on line to get details late last night. Besides the logistics to get to the race it costs money to get in. At this point I could not back out. So the adventure began. First it was free parking at FIU North Campus. Then you had to get on a bus (you know one of the yellow ones from grade school-that was cool) $5.00 for that. So much for free parking. Then once you got there it was $25.00 to get in. Best part we had to sign a waiver. Yes spectators could get hurt. I am thinking what I have gotten myself into but went in with great expectations. Literally in about 3 minutes of me being inside I almost went down 3 times. Turns out we were in a BMX ride course. Now I get the waiver.
Once inside I found a map (they only gave it to me if I proved I was not running-apparetnly they do not show it to the athletes).
I looked at it and laughed. The end is a bitch. Four obstacles right in a row. I then found a spot and started setting up my new camera. Well you need a college degree to work it so I could not use it so I went for the iPhone.
The Alien group took off at 8:30 and they were expected to finish in 2 hours. After I saw the map I was like no way. These guys are in shape but that is a lot of obstacles that we do not normally do. I knew they could do them but it was gonna take some time. So I sat down just before the last 4 and waited. They finally started coming. Hans saw me first and let me know the rest were right behind him. Mike, JC and Maalo passed by with Hans. I waited for Magui and Carolina which were just a few minutes behind. I think they were so happy to see me. I gave them some pointers from what I had seen other people do. Off to the ropes they went. So I ran to the other side to see them finish. So The ropes first then a wall that you had to scale sideways, then the mud pit, then the slippery wall and last getting smacked by the Spartans. I took pictures, videos and yelled like a maniac.
Then they finished.
So then it was off to see my cousin. It was great to see the Aliens finish but my cousin Marta was more impressive to watch. She has never run or lifted weights. She has always exercised but mainly aerobic type classes. For the last couple of months she was telling me about here training. She told me about her first run. I think it was 1 mile and she almost died. but she along with her team kept going. They did all sorts of stuff to prepare like climbing trees, jumping over stuff climbing walls and lots of running. The fact that she was doing this was impressive. The thought of her going through the mud made me go. This is my cousin who is always dressed to perfection and can not stand to be dirty. I had to see her in the mud.
I was impressed she kept moving until the end. I have never laughed so hard while she was looking at the mud pit. She did not want to go in but eventually she did. Then I thought what the hell, look at her pearl earrings. Only Marta could pull that off.
Once she past the mud pit she was good to finish. She was overcome by emotion but you could tell she was glad she did it.
It was fun being out there supporting but as usual I wish I had been participating. Next year for sure.
What I learned today is that it is a pleasure watching people overcoming their challenges. Today was one of those days as this was a challenging race. I also learned that even though it is February the Miami sun is brutal. The last thing I learned is that hats really do protect you from the sun. I used the same sunscreen as always but forgot my cap. And this is what happened.