Spartan Death Race rears ugly ahead once again - 05/30/14
Well, it is that time of year again. The point on the calendar when ridiculously fit and strong individuals are pushed to the absolute limit. On June 27th, hundreds will put their bodies on the line in Pittsfield, Vermont in the Summer Death Race. Its website bills it as "the ultimate race" and goes on to say that "This race will break you." Needless to say, this isn't your grandma's 5K. If you remember, last year my good friend Stu Klaas took part in this race. He lasted about 48 hours. Yes, that is right, 48 HOURS. With help from The Chalk, he was able to avoid having to dead lift an additional 50,000 pounds over the course of several hours. So, we are hoping to provide the same reprieve again this year. The race is just one aspect though. The amount of charitable giving these runners do is more impressive than their will power and physical strength. When you see photos and videos of these 'Death Racers' doing their thing, everyone takes care of each other and no one is running just for themselves. It is the true definition of a team.
Klaas has been training since last year's race for this year's try. His workouts are ridiculous but I am not sure anything can prepare him for what is ahead in this Death Race. So we were interested to see if Klaas is ready for this latest challenge.
The Chalk - How have you been preparing for this upcoming Death Race?
Stu Klaas - I realized after quitting last years race it was not all about the physical strength and stamina that I thought was needed. It was all about the mental toughness to get through the grueling sleepless nights, grinding work, and constant change of rules. Along with the normal Crossfit training I do I have been hiking and chopping wood. These are two staples of the Death Race that everyone must be proficient at in order to do well. To get the most out of my hikes I need to carry the expected weight of my pack. I carry about 50 pounds of rock/brick to simulate my gear. This year I have also been taking a backseat into looking into the social buzz of it all. I got too caught up in it last year, seeing what people did, what they were saying, their techniques, when in fact this "race" is all about how I approach it.
The Chalk - Having competed last year, does that help you prepare for this year's event?
Stu Klaas - Last year was a great experience, even though not finishing it still gave me great insight as to what needs to be done to finish this year. I know how the "race" is to be looked at and when it is time to really bear down and focus. The sleep deprivation will get to me again, but this year it will all depend on how I overcome it. Each time I have become sleep deprived it has been a different hallucination or string of events so I am still very concerned as to what will happen when it kicks in. It is also vital to not OVERtrain for this event. I am physically ready for this. Mentally prepared. Going into the Death Race with the right attitude is what I need this year.
The Chalk - What is your goal in this year's Death Race?
Stu Klaas - Once again my goal is to finish and receive a skull. Yes you can buy this skull on Amazon for around $2, but it means more to me then that. The hard work and determination that I have put in this past year will come through. I will prove that I learned from my mistakes and rookie behavior to overcome the tasks at hand. This race is meant to break you, and this year I am not going to break.