Dirt in your skirt blog

Racing in Amesbury

Posted on August 14, 2012 by Margaret Schlachter

This weekend I was off in Amesbury, MA for the most recent race. This one was a Spartan Race Sprint and this race’s distance was about 3.5 miles. I think this is officially the shortest race I have done this year and ended up running it three times during the weekend and had three completely different experiences!

Racing in Amesbury

My first time to Amesbury, MA for a Spartan Race was 2010. That day I finished 99th for women and 96th in my age group. This time around I would do a little bit better.

As I arrived at the race, I had a secret goal I had set for myself after the PA Sprint. I had told no one what I wanted to do but it burned deep within me. I had not been on the podium since the Tuxedo Sprint in June and knew I had a chance going into this race.

As we lined up at the starting line a few familiar faces shuffled in along with many I had never seen before. I have learned one thing never underestimate the athletes in and around Boston! At the starting line I stood between two familiar faces Rose-Marie Jarry and Juliana Sproles. We joked around but I still had a goal. After the “I am a Spartan!” speech we were off.

The pack took off up the steep incline a few women seemed to pass me and I felt like I as in the top ten which is a comfortable position for me to start in. Through the first obstacles I made my way with ease. The under overs, and the over under throughs. Then came the log hop. I surveyed the area, many people seemed to be doing burpees and falling off the obstacle left and right. I looked for the open path and the most even logs and for the first time ever my foot slipped on a slippery log and I found myself doing burpees. It felt like the world passed me in this obstacle and I was sure I was way out of the running for anything!

I motored on through more obstacles and a lot of single track travels through the fields and woods. It was not until over half way through the race I remembered seeing another female, as she passed me she said “You’re Margaret, you write Dirt in Your Skirt! I read your blog” then she was off. It was not until the sandbag carry which was in the last third of the course I saw Chris Davis and asked how many were ahead of Rose-Marie, he replied “Margaret you are in 3rd.” I had been running most of the race defeated feeling like I was so far out of top ten it was silly only to find out I was in 3rd!

As I approached the last part of the course the obstacles stacked up. I climbed the rope, crawled over eight-foot walls, missed the spear throw (it’s getting funny at this point as I hit it every time at home), then came the tractor pull and that’s when I saw Juliana, she passed me in the tractor pull and I tried to keep up. As I made my way to the tire flip she was about to enter the barbed wire.

As I entered the barbed wire I saw her ahead of me rolling, I knew I only have one option to catch up and pass her. This was my opportunity. I low crawled the fastest I have ever low crawled, as we got into the second set of barbed wire I knew I had only one chance left or finish in the dreaded 4th place position. I surged forward emerging first. As I jumped over the fire and ran down the hill my head was on a swivel hoping I had distanced myself just enough. I climbed the slippery wall dodged some gladiators and crossed holding onto 3rd and achieving my second individual podium of the year. Never had someone been so happy for 3rd place! Juliana crossed less than 30 seconds behind me we hugged and congratulated each other on an epic battle.

I learned one thing from this race, it’s not over until you cross the finish line! These races have ways of equalizing themselves. A little less self doubt could have propelled me even further. I great reminder, to run your own race! My race was over but I still had two more go around on that course in Amesbury before the weekend would be over.