Spartan Stadium Phoenix Race Review

This past weekend I ran the Spartan Stadium Series event at the University of Phoenix Stadium. I've ran plenty of Spartan races before, but this was a pretty unique experience!

While my friends ran in the Age Group division (those eligible for age group awards), I decided to stick with running in the open wave. I am racing the Spartan Beast in Breckenridge again next month, and my grip strength isn't where it needs to be. So I wanted to use this Stadium Sprint as a test on what I needed to work on for the next few weeks.

The Stadium Sprints are roughly around 3 miles. Everyone's GPS was a little off though, mostly since we all know how our watches can be slightly inaccurate indoors. Mine read 2.7. I think others had over 3 miles. Regardless, it's roughly a 5k with 20+ obstacles.

What I really loved about this event--besides it being indoors and away from the triple digit desert heat--was the constant live coverage of all the obstacles. Cameras placed out on the course would have coverage featured on the "jumbotron" throughout the race. You would periodically see people you knew crushing an obstacle. Or you could just watch in awe as the elites flew through obstacles like they were nothing.

There were a very few small sections where we would be outside for a moment, and the heat was definitely intense. But we were out of it and back inside before it would get to overwhelming. Since most everything was inside, there were lots of places to watch the action and snap photos of friends.

The assault bikes, cargo net, spear throw, and herc hoist were all right there within photo-snapping distance. I was able to cheer friends on as they tackled through these obstacles and Jason was able to snap pics of me in a few spots.

Being indoors also meant lots of restrooms. Which was great because I end up having to pee often before a race (sorry for the TMI)! I like to stay hydrated. Haha. Also, there were 4 water stops as well so I didn't need to take a bladder or hydration pack with me. And there were restrooms available along the course as well. All in all, a much more convenient set up than when you're out on the trails for a normal Spartan.

Another nice change of pace was that at these Spartan Stadium races, they aren't all just obstacles. Many things we encountered were exercises like 15 pushups, box jumps, jump rope, ball slams, etc. Still got your heart rate up there, but something anyone can do.

I did end up failing both the spear throw (kinda expected that) and the multi-rig. The multi-rig was just rings and ropes with the baseballs at the end. But Spartan still likes to challenge us and had the heavy jerry can carry (large water jugs you carry up and down a hill) right before the rig. So my grip was gone by that point. Nevertheless, Spartan Stadium implemented a new rule this year: only 15 burpees if you fail an obstacle. So that helped keep things moving pretty quickly, even if you missed something.

The medal is also unique for the Spartan Stadium events. I liked it! And it does count towards your Spartan Trifecta.

At the finish was plenty of awesome post-race treats. Fit-Aid, bananas, clif bars... and the beer tent was serving up a free Amstel Light with your drink ticket.

My time wasn't what I wanted, but I really enjoyed the Spartan Stadium Sprint overall. I think it's also a great stepping stone for those who are intimated by Spartan events and want to get their feet wet... so to speak. There's no actual water obstacles in this Spartan, so you'll get sweaty... but stay "clean"!

I do want to give a special shoutout to my gal Sheri who finished 3rd in her age group! She's amazing and she really crushed it out there. She's been working hard and it was well earned.

I'll be working on my grip strength more leading into the Spartan Beast in Breckinridge in August. But I definitely want to do the Spartan Stadium University of Phoenix Stadium again. I hope they bring it back next year! I also want to check out the other Spartan Stadium events.

Have a question about the Spartan Stadium Phoenix or any other Spartan event? Drop em in the comments below and I'd be happy to answer them!

Thanks for reading and happy running. CHEERS! 


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