You decided to run as hard as you could for those last 200 yards.
The terrain was a lot smoother than it had been for the previous two or three miles, so you made the most of it. The finish line, the medal — all that good stuff at the end — was a blur. Now, all you know is you are sucking in air, laying flat on your back in a space you found out of the way and off to the side, and you are looking at the clouds. One cloud in particular looks like a broccoli stalk. You giggle at the notion of broccoli clouds.
That’s the Trifecta. It’s finished now. You made a promise to yourself that you’d do one and, BOOM, you’ve done it. It’s OK to feel proud. It’s even OK to shed a little tear of joy. No one is looking and even if they were, they understand. That was all hard work and you’ve done what you set out to do.
What follows is a flurry of more blurs consisting of visuals, conversations, high-fives and getting back to your car. On the way home, you consider what you have done. You said you would do the Trifecta, regardless of what Carl in Accounting said. You’re going to wave that last medal right in his smug face. “Don’t doubt me,” you said. And when he laughed that fire under you intensified.
As you drive home, you consider your options. What now? Where do you go from here?
Later in the week, you lazily scroll through Facebook or Instagram and you happen to see a picture of the Spartan course you were on that past weekend — you know, the one you left a part of your soul splay out on. However, the people you are looking at are dressed differently. They are all in black. They have headlamps on. They seem to be working together. They are on the same hill you were on, but look at them; they’re carrying what looks like a log. Did you miss an obstacle? Where was the log carrying obstacle? You missed that! Oh no!
Relax. What you are looking at is the Hurricane Heat. You make the face and the head movement your dog makes when it hears another canine on TV. What’s the Hurricane Heat?
Simply put — it’s the next step. You know about the inevitable void you’d be looking to fill after the Trifecta, right? That extra little something to tackle…well,this is it.
But what, precisely, is it?
The Hurricane Heat is an event with no timing chips, no finish line and it’s absolutely not a race. The Hurricane Heat doesn’t care what you can squat, how fast you can run or what your deadlift PR is. It doesn’t care how many burpees you can do in a minute and it certainly doesn’t care if you are afraid of the unknown. It absolutely, steadfastly doesn’t care if you are “holding back the team” if you consider yourself “too slow”. The Hurricane Heat only wants to know one thing — can you work well as a member of a team and be a supportive team player?
At a Hurricane Heat, you will find a group of like-minded people, albeit strangers to one another. They will have been instructed to bring a certain gear list and to meet at a certain location. After that, it’s all about the unknown. You’ll then see some instructors in grey shirts with “Krypteia” on the back. They’ll issue a challenge that could be anything from to arrange yourselves in a formation of five rows of ten people and give you 60 seconds to figure it out, or to pick up a log that is laying close by and to meet them at the top of a nearby hill. No fanfare, no explanations, just “here’s the problem, now figure it out….as a team”.
Welcome to Spartan Endurance. The no frills, no fireworks, no shiny-shiny side of Spartan where souls are tempered like steel over and over again.
How long does a Hurricane Heat last for? Until every challenge and task designed by the Krypteia is met. It could be anything from four to six hours. How far will you go? As far as they tell you. What will you do? What is asked of you and your team. You frown at the ambiguity and shake your head.
“I can’t get into something where I don’t know what I’ll be doing”, you retort. Isn’t that the fun of it all, though? Riding that danger and fear of the unknown is what makes the Hurricane Heat exciting. You might be carrying logs. You may be figuring out problems like how to get across rivers without getting wet. You may be tasked with making sure the person next to you gets to that tree over there without touching the ground. How do you do that? Figure it out.
The Hurricane Heat is for people that like a challenge. It’s an event that will not lay everything out for you. It wants you to tackle problems on your own. Ask any of the thousands of people that cherish their Hurricane Heat medal and dog tag and they’ll all tell you the same. The Hurricane Heat is something different. It’s not like a Super. It’s not like a Sprint. It’s an event where friendships are forged harder than any race and bonds are built tougher than before.
The Hurricane Heat is your next challenge. Your Trifecta should be applauded. It wasn’t easy to do. But now the next step is beckoning you in with a mischievous smile. Spartan Endurance is ready for you, but are you ready for it?
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