How not to lose your shoes during an obstacle course race 

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October 14, 2015 by pecanbutter

The recently held Spartan Race in Kuala Lumpur was an absolutely amazing experience. None of the races I have done is like what I experienced on Saturday, 10 October 2015.

Although nothing can really prepare you for what you’re going to go through, I am sharing what I’ve experienced in hope that those who are going for the coming race in November are more confident of their training and those who are still pondering, stop pondering and go look for a slot now!

Ten things you can do 

1.Tie your shoes laces tight and secure. 

I met a few shoes left along the way by their owners. Double knot them. Ditches and mud are shoe traps. Losing your shoes mid of the race can be painful, both physically and financially.

2. Wear an old pair of shoes and socks. 

My shoes and socks were so deeply crusted in mud I could still smell the mud even after two washes. Don your new shoes only if you want them to be harshly initiated into your sporting madness.

3. Bring a fuel pack. 

I initially did not intend to bring one because I was thinking “Come on, it’s only 6 km plus a few obstacles. How energy sapping can it be?” I couldn’t be more wrong.

4. Keep your centre of gravity low when you’re ascending ditches and slopes. 

Slide down the slopes using hands behind you on the ground as ‘brakes’. High CG high may cause you to move too forcefully and hurt your ankles and knees upon landing. You will need your legs to finish the course.

5. Learn the Crossfit rope climb technique. 

You will need this to get up the rope. I thank my coach and box training for the weekly gruelling sessions of WOD.

6. Keep your hands as dry as possible. 

This is an almost impossible task given there is so much mud and water but try. Grips on bar become more difficult with wet hands. There were no dry bodies to wipe my hands on.

7. Keep your butts and heads down Low during the barb wire crossing.

I recommend the lizard walk position – inner thigh flat on the ground, palms on the ground, chin touching the ground. Uncomfortable, yes and VERY dirty but it helps. I started with my butt too high and got part of my shorts torn and my head scratched by the barb wire.

8. Keep small but rapid steps up hilly slopes. 

Go with the flow. Don’t over exert fighting the slopes. Be one with the hills and they will guide you through to the finishing line.

9. Work hard on your burpees.

Train for them. You must be equipped to do at least 30 burpees at one go.

10. Have the right attitude.

Your mind will make everything work. Recognise that there will never be a better time and place right now and right here to become the champion in your own game.

11. Train well, enter the race arena with gusto and have lots of awesome fun.

At the end of the race, I had so much mud on me. Mud was everywhere – in my hair, in my ears, all over my face, inside my shorts and tee shirt. But nothing could hide the inner glow satisfaction of completing a Spartan Race in one piece and the rights to roar “Aroo! Aroo! Aroo!”

“The destiny of (w0)man is in his(her) soul.” – Herodotus 

Spartan Women Elite 3rd place trophy block. Race medal. Mud destroyed shoes and socks. 25 obstacles. Pride and glory.

I met this lady at the Spartan Race KL. she was always running in front of me. Whenever I turned after completing an obstacle, there she was, running off to the next obstacle. Truly grateful for her presence throughout the race. She kept me going through my mud soaked shoes and tired legs. Very honoured she mentioned in her Instagram account she saw me as her motivation to keep pushing her limits.

The first and second place winners

My dear friends who went up KL with me and took care of me during the trip. I feel so loved.

Breakfast over roti canai with the host Ken and his family, Jacky and the little one, on the morning of our departure back to Singapore.

Photo credit: Run Society  


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