Running at Amesbury – Lap’s Two & Three
As I mentioned yesterday, my first lap at the Spartan Sprint in Amesbury was only the beginning. The race director had said this would be a fun little race. After one lap I hadn’t had enough of this course and would head out two more times before the weekend was over. Both of these times my role would change from a racer to a pacer.
LAP 2 – Chicked Heat
Saturday afternoon the first ever Spartan Chicked heat went off at 1:30 in the afternoon. Being one of the original members of the group I got up before the start of the heat said a few words then jumped into the crowd. I had wanted help someone get through their first race and had convinced (not that she needed it) Juliana Sproles to go with me. She was working with a camera crew from Vibram’s and needed to go back out so it all worked out.
As we headed up the first hill we saw a women behind the rest of the heat. She was wearing and Oscar the Grouch t-shirt and was struggling. Juliana and I started talking to her and helped her get up the first hill. This was when we met Sally Shabbott and we would stick with her for the whole race.
Sally had signed up with a team to race and they were far ahead of her, she said it was fine and she wouldn’t want to hold them back. Juliana and I knew sticking with Sally was the right decision. Sally told us her struggles with her weight and how she has lost and gained it back before. She told us she wanted to get healthy because she is a nurse and quote, “”I am continuing my training. I want to be healthy because I’m a nurse. It’s my job to help people.” Sally definitely motivated many as a photo was taken of us on the course and got over 2,000 likes on the Spartan Race page and over 200 comments.
I can honestly say Sally pushed hard through the race, she conquered some fears and motivated Juliana and I to help push her further along the way. She met my friend Danny (the one who snuck pizza into WTM) and they laughed for part of the course. I can honestly say after spending the time on the course with Sally, she has a tremendous heart and pushed beyond herself to finish the race. As we crossed the finish line all together we gave each other hugs and emotions ran high. Her accomplishment was palpable and one not to be understated. Congratulations to Sally Shabbott for completing her first Spartan Race. I was happy to be able to help in some small way. Sally definitely embodies what it means to be a Spartan Chick!
LAP 3 – Sunday Morning
After two laps on the course on Saturday, I was a little slow getting up Sunday morning. I had convinced Chris Davis to do the course on Sunday morning as we did in PA two weeks earlier. We lined up with the competitive heat and stuck to the back. As we headed off up the mountain this would be my third time as a pacer and my second official time as a pacer at a Spartan Race. No we weren’t looking for a Boston Qualifier or anything like that but being a pacer in a Spartan Race is something different.
A Spartan Race pacer helps an athlete or athlete complete obstacles, keep them moving up challenging terrain and above all help motivate them to continue to move forward and push beyond their limits. This was my role on Sunday with Chris.
The thing that struck me most was Chris has made progress in the last two weeks. He was able to get over some of the walls himself and was able to climb the cargo rope and conquer many of his fears. He crossed the finish line in 2:21 and wasn’t the last in our heat two other competitors were behind him. He has a lot of work to do in the next few weeks before the Ultra Beast but is making progress each day.
Overall, my second and third laps gave me a chance to give back to a race organization that has given me so much. I am happy each time I have the opportunity and look forward to continuing this tradition at more races to come. Most likely at Sprint races!
At the end of the weekend I walked home with a new sword to be added to the other two, three medals, new friends and many memories. Now this weekend going back to just a trail race. It will be weird without the obstacles in the way.