On the weekend of 7th and 8th July 2018, The annual Spartan race came to Morzine, and what a weekend it was!
Morzine really is a fantastic town to host the Spartan race, The 650km of ski area offers great opportunities for the Spartan Race staff to develop picturesque and unusual routes: Crossing high altitude lakes, climbing slopes, jumping in natural cascades, running through beautiful mountain meadows and swimming in cold rivers.
Over 8000 Spartas came to the town of Morzine, to take on this epic obstacle race. Hideout Hostel’s Charlotte has written her personal account of her first Spartan race experience:
Summer 2016 was my first summer in Morzine (after being here for many winters it was a new and exciting opportunity to experience the summer in the mountains)
One of the first events of the summer was the 2016 Spartan Race. I had not really heard of it before/ hadn’t given it a second thought as I thought it was for total badasses, so obviously I didn’t register, but as the weekend came around, and I watched the various obstacles, I remember thinking, that looks fun, how hard could it be? Next year i’ll register…
Fast forward to 2017… the winter was over, I was so incredibly unfit and July just seemed to come round in a flash, alas, no training, no registration. Maybe next year i’ll do the Spartan.
Fast forward again to June 2018. My good friend Amy, messaged me and said, “Ive just registered for Spartan, heres the link. Sign up.” In a moment of regret/excitement, I was signed up for the Spartan Super. (Thats the middle distance, Sprint being the smaller one, beast being the big one.) Uh oh. We recruited Wendy and Beth, and where now in a team (Team Wolfpack) and had a month to train for this gnarly obstacle course. Panic set in.
Runs, hikes, swims, weights and probably too much drinking, a month was over way to quickly, and there was no more time for training. A week of early nights, getting my head in the game, i realised that i was incredibly nervous. In the run up to the race, the town of Morzine was converted into a Spartas playground, with ridiculous looking obstacles popping up all around the town. I remember thinking, how on earth am i going to get over that stupidly high wall??!!!! Morzine really is a fantastic town to host the Spartan race, The 650km of ski area offers great opportunities for the Spartan Race staff to develop picturesque and unusual routes: Crossing high altitude lakes, climbing slopes, jumping in natural cascades, running through beautiful mountain meadows and swimming in cold rivers.
On the Saturday, the “Beast” takes place. The town was filled with aroo aroo aroo chants, and plenty of muscle in tight shorts covered in mud. We go to the registration office, and get our head bands. We are actually doing this! An early night for our team.
Sunday 8th July. Race day! Up early, big breakfast, (poached eggs and avocados on toast, bananas, and lashings of coffee) The team gets together. Hair scraped back into tight plaits, headbands on, lycra on. A quick video tutorial of how to climb a rope 20 minutes before our start time, and we are ready!!
First obstacle. getting over a tiny wall into the starting pit. My legs where shaking so much I could hardly get over it. Good start… Some chants, and a warm up, the countdown was on, and we are off! First hurdle, one of the team completely gets the footing wrong and trips over. Its going well so far.
We run up through the town and down the Rue Du Bourg, where most of our friends are sitting outside Satellite Coffee cheering us on. I wonder if anyone will notice if I just slip in to get a take away coffee? No, bad idea, keep going.
We start running up the path to Nyon waterfall. A couple of cargo nets, and walls to get over, it’s amazing how quickly and easily you navigate these obstacles in a team of hyped up girls! Arooo.
Next obstacle is a quick plunge into the waterfall at Nyon, scramble up a cargo net, and up a steep slippy muddy mountain side.
Now our youtube video tutorial of climbing up a rope comes into play. Smashed it. (with the help of my team mates…) So far, no burpees (did I mention if you can’t complete an obstacle, you have to do 30 burpees) Onwards and upwards, literally, to the Nyon plateaux where there is a number of obstacles including an uphill crawl under barbed wire and monkeys bars. There was no sign to say that we couldn’t help each other, and the volunteer agreed, so monkey bars where completed, rather too easily and laughing (rather than grimacing) on each others shoulders.
Some more running up and down mountains and obstacles, we then get to the “carry a sandbag up pleney” obstacle. It was so hard. Thats all i have to say about that, mostly because I want to forget it ever happened. Luckily one of our friends was cheering us on and had SWEETS!!!! to keep us going. After a mini breakdown, snot, sweat and tears, the race continues.
Before we know it, we are back down into Morzine. This is the super fun and exciting bit. Lots of spectators and friends lining the streets and cheering us on was a much needed boost. Massive smiles on our faces as we completed the town’s obstacles. Still no burpees!! We then get to the Javelin throw. Well turns out we wouldn’t be able to catch our dinner with a javelin if we needed to. Failed! This was our first and only set of burpees.
Next up we head to the river. We couldn’t wait to get in to the cold water to cool off, as it was genuinely one of the hottest days of the summer, but as we had just ran 8 miles, as soon as we got into the cold water every muscle in my legs and feet cramped up. Keep pushing forward. Then I see our friend Will Nangle (a videographer) lurking in the waters filming us. He definitely captured some entertaining shots. Some would say my best bits
After running/crawling through the river, it’s out and onto the home straight. A few tall walls that I never knew we would be able to get over, but the adrenaline pushes us over, and then we all cross the finish line, with the biggest smiles on our faces, in 4 hours and 29 minutes. We came 1556th out of 2214 Spartas. The emotions where running high, and we proudly wore our medals, before heading to Bar Robinsons for a well earned Mutzig.
It was a fantastic experience and even though it was hard, I am definitely signing up for next summer, but doing a lot more training!!
5 GOOD REASONS TO TAKE PART IN THE MORZINE AVORIAZ SPARTAN RACE
The only Trifecta weekend of the summer. (trifecta is doing all three races in one weekend! Not for the faint hearted.)
Mid-trail courses with D + 1000m guaranteed.
The most demanding course of the French series
Spend a good weekend with family or friends, taking part in the race and all other activities in the area.
The return of the ULTRA BEAST that made Morzine famous in the Spartan
If you are reading this Spartan Race post, and would like to come to Morzine and need somewhere to stay, Book now here, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +33768634821
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We look forward to welcoming you to Hideout Hostel soon.