On Nov. 16 and 17, Spartan Race comes to Van Vleck Ranch for the Sacramento Super and Sprint Weekend. In anticipation of the race, we crowdsourced those who have run it for tips and advice. What are the hardest obstacles? What should you wear? What is the level of difficulty? What should you be on the lookout for? Spartans were happy to provide invaluable information.
On Nov. 16, the Spartan masses will converge on Van Vleck Ranch in Sacramento. If you think that pastureland poses no threat, prepare to be served: Treacherous terrain and technical rolling climbs await even the most experienced racers. The Super on Saturday offers nearly six-and-a-half miles of strength-sapping trail, 25-plus obstacles, and epic vistas where the wind will be sure to bear down on you no matter the direction you’re headed.
If the Sprint is more your style, the intensity increases and the margin for error drops. You versus nature versus the best in California, covering 5,000 meters over 12,000 acres. And that’s only if the weather stays mild. For the best and worst of what to expect, Spartan turned to social media to ask fellow racers what Sacramento might devise.
“This will be my first Spartan!" one racer on Facebook wrote. "I am a little worried about the course and wanted to get ankle wraps. Which ones do you all recommend?” While it’s never a bad idea to come prepared, it’s a telling sign that Spartans are fearing the course before even stepping foot on it.
If you're planning to run Sacramento, keep these important points in mind.
- “The most challenging is finding a groove to run in before the ‘groove’ takes you out. Wrap up those ankles because this course is an ankle breaker!”
- “150 burpees last year with five failed obstacles. Looking forward to crushing this course better and stronger!”
- “For Sacramento I highly recommend being able to run long distance. It’s not really a mountain incline type of course … [it’s] very flat.”
- “I really like it; it feels very much like a 'hometown' Spartan. Have to agree with a lot of other folks on the terrain ... It's not very hilly, but keep a sharp eye on the ground for the hoof prints.”
- “Beautiful venue but [a] bit unstable [on the] trails.”
- “It’s fun and local so I’m excited to go back for the Super! I loved the side of the mountain rope climb.”
- “Sacramento will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was where I ran my very first Spartan. I’m running Sprint AG elite for 2x Trifecta, then watching my son run his race for a kids Trifecta…” (It’s a kid-friendly course for sure!)
- “My only burpee-free race last year.”
- “People complained about potholes and cow patties but I didn't see them on the Sprint ... but I assume I will see them this year, as I'm doing both.”
- “I twisted my ankles last year ... failed Hercules Hoist, Spear Throw, and Tire Flip. Finished, but very difficult for me ... but [I’m] back in two weeks.”
Maybe Spartans are gluttons for punishment, or maybe they are getting wise to the fact that the best rewards come from the hardest efforts. We’ll see on November 16!