News: Modern warriors participate in Spartan Race
Story by Sgt. Stephanie Woodson
FORT HOOD, Texas - Sgt. Desmond Matthews, a mission support order clerk, from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a team of soldiers from 4th Special Troop Battalion participated in the Spartan Race, May 19, 2012, in Burnet, Texas.
“I normally run 5k where we just run on the road. I wanted to participate in a race more challenging than a 5k. So, I got online and started researching races in Texas,” said Matthews. “I began to ask around if anyone was interested and a few soldiers from the 4th Special Troops Battalion responded.”
“We began training in mid-May. I was so nervous while I was training because I knew people had started training for this race months ago and I just started running six months ago when I joined the Army,” said Pfc. Andrea Santos, a human resource specialist awards clerk, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion.
“Spartan race is all over the world. The race is in London, Canada and two weeks ago they had a race at Fort Carson,” explained Matthews. “I’ve been participating in races for over a year. Preparing for races gives me something to do on the weekend and at the same time I stay fit,” said Matthews.
“Being an non-commissioned officer I do not want to be out of shape, overweight, or tell my soldiers to do something physical and I’m not be able to do ”, said Matthews.
There was a race that started at 9 a.m. where people were competing, but he insisted that the race he has entered was just for fun, explained Matthews.
Spartan Race is designed to test resilience, strength, stamina, quick decision making skills and the ability to face adversity. Participants are required to create a team of minimum of four people. Team members are timed individually and are not required to cross the finish line together, according to the Spartan Race website.
The fastest four times of the team is used to calculate the team’s finishing time. Prizes are awarded to the team who finishes top. This race is for adults only but they do have junior Spartan race for youths.
The first mile in a half was straight running uphill and rocky. There were over 15 obstacles throughout the whole course, explained Santos. They raced through natural terrain obstacles, rivers, rocks, climbed walls, navigated underwater barriers, pulled cement blocks on chains, pulled cement blocks on ropes, and carried weights, she said.
The most memorable moment was towards the end when they came to an obstacle and they had to climb a rope with knots in it, explained Santos. Everyone under estimated her group because some people in her group had on pink tutus.
“I felt good after the race. I never did anything like this before and I was glad I didn’t pass on the opportunity,” said Santos.
It was a memorable experience and given the opportunity, they would definitely do it again, said Matthews and Santos.
They are already preparing for ‘Warrior Dash’ in November and plan to race in the ‘Run for your Life’ in December, Santos said.