DISCLOSURE: The Spartan Race registration being given away in this post was provided to me at no cost by Reebok Spartan Race. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own, and not those of Reebok or its affiliates. Click here for more on my policies. You can enter to win the giveaway by scrolling to the end of this post or by clicking here to visit the Rafflecopter entry form.
On my 16th birthday, I spent the day on my friend Anne’s farm in rural Maryland. She took me through the barn where I happily doted on an affectionate barn cat, and then we walked out into the pasture, where I ended up falling and sinking thigh-deep into a trench filled with mud and cow poop while Anne stood next to me laughing so hard that she ended up stumbling hands first into the poop-trench too.
That day, my legs squelched into a pair of knee-high rubber boots, the rubber boots stuck gloppily, but firmly, into a river of wet-dirt-and-manure quicksand, was the dirtiest I’d ever been. To this day, it’s still the dirtiest I’ve ever been. Except for arguably a few weeks ago when Jonathan threw an entire pint of beer on me, but we don’t have to get into that now.
Anne let me borrow a pair of manure-free jeans to wear home, but there was something wild and empowering about the slicks of mud caking dry on my arms. I was tired. I smelled literally like shit. Stringy locks of my frizzy hair were plastered to my neck and face with sweat and dirt. I felt fantastic.
If you’ve ever done a Reebok Spartan Race, you probably know that feeling. Multiplied by a thousand.
Jonathan and I had very different reactions while watching this video; i.e. “Oh. Holy. Shit.” versus “Fuck yeah!” The couple that expletives together stays together.
A Spartan Race is sort of like a tough mudder obstacle race or a warrior dash, except…more insane. The races take place all over the country (there are even some in Canada and the UK), and they come in several varieties: Spartan Sprint (a dirty, obstacle-filled 5k), Super Spartan (an 8-mile “mud fest”), Spartan Beast (“an obstacle race from hell”), and Ultra Beast Marathon (which looks like it might actually be The Hunger Games). According to the Spartan Race website:
Our goal is simple…to get you off your couch, throw you in the mud & trails, and feed you one tough endurance event day that will be the adrenaline rush of your life. An obstacle course race is designed to test your resilience, strength, stamina, quick decision making skills, and ability to laugh in the face of adversity. We want to own obstacle racing and our unique obstacle course trail races will demand every ounce of your strength, ingenuity, and animal instinct.
For army guys, though, a Spartan Race is basically just another day at the office. Let’s go ahead and add “crawling through barbed wire in the mud while angry men in loin cloths knock you down with oversize Q-tips” to the list of reasons why I could never be in the army. (Jonathan tells me the “oversize Q-tips” are called “pugil sticks,” but I’m keeping my description anyway because it sounds less guttural.)
Spartan Race, however, has no problem hanging out with the military. And the military likes to hang out with Spartan Race, too. Spartan Race is the only race of its kind to have been held on a military base, and the Spartan team recently held a satellite race for troops in Afghanistan, during which they were connected to a live stream of their families who ran the race at the same time stateside. (Good. Now I feel totally inadequate for spending Jonathan’s last deployment sending him cookies instead of jumping into fire pits and climbing ropes. Thanks, Spartan Race.)
To show their support for the armed forces, Spartan Race is taking a true step in the military direction through a partnership with GovX—an e-commerce website that offers a variety of discounts to active and retired U.S. military members and government agencies; if you’re military, you might already be familiar with GovX through their discount partnerships with Tactical Assault Gear, Benchmade, Luminox, and other products and events. When you put your life on the line for your country, you’ve pretty well earned that discounted NFL ticket.
Now, verified active, reserve, and retired service members (as well as active first responders) can go through GovX to qualify for a $30 discount on U.S. Spartan Race registrations. It’s the first time Spartan Race has given this level of discount out to any group, so spread the word to your military friends and help them take advantage of the savings, and of the chance to get a little (JK, A LOT) dirty in something other than their everyday camo and PTs. Though if you want to wear camo to the race, I’m sure that would be fine.
If $30 off isn’t a big enough discount for you, one of you has a chance to do one better: I’m giving away a free Spartan Race registration, and you don’t even have to be in the military to win:
Click below to enter to win on Rafflecopter!
Spartan Race Registration Giveaway
The giveaway is open to everyone, and runs from RIGHT NOW!!! through Saturday at 12:00am. The free registration can be applied to any 2013-2014 season Spartan Race open heat in the continental U.S. Hint: you can Tweet once a day through Friday to earn extra points towards the giveaway.
Good luck to those brave enough to enter. On the day of your race, I will ceremoniously rub dirt all over my face while sitting comfortably at home. I know my limits.