What Actually Happens During a 24-Hour Hurricane Heat?

What Actually Happens During a 24-Hour Hurricane Heat?
Presented by Spartan Training®

We get asked the question all the time: What the f*** happens during a 24-hour Hurricane Heat? Well, we wish we could answer that question succinctly, but the truth is we cannot. Like the Death Race, every 24-hour Hurricane Heat is different and unique.

You can't truly comprehend what it's like until you do it. Words don't do the transformative experience justice. But to give you some insight into what these soul-crushing 24 hours are like, we've put together a breakdown of the 24-hour Hurricane Heat in Burnet, Texas.

Here are some of the remarkably difficult things the competitors had to do, why they had to do them, and the overall theme of the 24-hour exercise.

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The Basics

Forty-seven people registered for the Hurricane Heat. The event's reputation preceded it, and only 26 ended up showing up. Ultimately, only 21 finished.

The event kicked off at 7 a.m. on August 6, 2022 and proceeded until 7 a.m. the following day. It was hot. And we mean really hot. (It's Texas in August, after all...) It was scorching at 7 a.m. and it only got hotter throughout the day. With the temperature hovering in the mid-to-high 90s (and into the 100s), race director Andi Hardy — known as Lead Krypteia in this event — had to modify some of the tasks in the hopes of preventing heat exhaustion.

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The theme of the day, Hardy explained to the racers, was "Take Flight." What does this mean, exactly? Go after your dreams, let go of what is holding you back, and always be moving onwards and upwards. Every single task of the 24 hours had a connection to the "Take Flight" theme. 

The Gear

Racers were presented with a laundry list of gear to bring, but a few random items, in particular, stood out. They were required to bring an old suitcase, a raw egg, and a set of multi-colored frisbees. 

2,000 Reps, Human Luggage Carriers, and Caterpillar Runs

The event kicked off with 2,000 reps of assorted exercises, including squats, burpees, push-ups, overhead presses, jumping jacks, and more. That took about two-and-a-half hours. Hardy and her team sprayed the racers with water to combat the extreme heat.

The competitors were then broken up into teams and tasked with creating a team flag, using a black pillowcase and silver paint, and it had to feature the Spartan Extreme logo. They then had to create team luggage carriers, using 2x4 pieces of lumber, to transport their suitcases, buckets, gear, and water to the next location. As they moved their belongings, Krypteia Hardy would stop them and order them to perform group exercises with the luggage carrier. 

They unloaded their luggage in a dry creek bed and filled up their sandbags with sand, then transported their hefty belongings — including a water-filled bucket, a sandbag, and the aforementioned frisbee — about 2 miles away. They had to throw and catch a frisbee to progress forward, and failing to do so resulted in 30 burpees for the team. Upon completing this mission, they had to do a caterpillar run with the frisbee. 

Returning to the creek bed, the teams created a conveyor belt with their bodies, moving the sandbags and suitcases back and forth. Each person laid on their back, shoulder to shoulder, and passed the items above their chests. 

A Kite Race, Memorization, and a Backwards 5K

After loading up their luggage carriers, the racers took dunks in barrels of ice water and were sprayed with water, but even that wasn't enough to prevent a few from dropping out due to heat exhaustion. The next task was to put kites together. Krypteia Hardy led an inspirational talk about having a purpose in life, and after further reflection about the meaning of "Take Flight," there was a kite race. The racers had to fly their kites while running around a track, with the goal of getting as many laps in as possible during the allotted time. If the kite hit the ground, there was a 100-burpee penalty.

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As nightfall hit and the temperature mercifully dropped below 100 degrees, the next task was a creek bed crawl, with some memorization exercises thrown into the mix. The remaining participants had to crawl, on their backs, through a loop in the sandy, rocky creek bed while attempting to memorize — and subsequently recite — certain phrases. 

Following that mentally exhausting exercise, the racers embarked on the Red Eye Reverse Run, a 5K run in the dead of the night — backwards

In-the-Dark Puzzles and the Colored Bead Workout

Hurricane Heats are all about teamwork and collaboration, so a scavenger hunt is a natural fit. In this specially-designed one, the teams had to solve riddles to find small wooden puzzle pieces. Once they figured out the clue — or thought they had it figured it out — they notified Krypteia Hardy of where they were heading, but she didn't confirm or deny if they were correct. (Keep in mind that Reveille Peak Ranch is 1,300 acres, so there's a lot of ground to cover. Hardy had to keep tabs on everyone's whereabouts for safety reasons.) After the teams retrieved all of the pieces, they had to put together a 3D model airplane puzzle without a photo or instructions. In the dark.

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After that mental test, a physical challenge was due — and it didn't disappoint. Called the Colored Bead Workout, racers pulled random colored beads from a bag, and each one represented an exercise. A dice was then rolled to indicate the number of reps each racer would have to do. (Oh, and this wasn't your typical six-sided cube. Some sides of the die had numbers as high as 16, 24, and 80. So yeah, this was no joke.)

As the Sun Rises, There's One Final Task

As the sun began to rise and the end was finally near, racers were given a plastic parachute. They were instructed to attach their raw egg to it and launch it from a bridge. The egg had to land safely, or there would be a significant penalty. The racers got creative in building different landing gear to keep them intact, and there ended up being only a few broken eggs. Before the heat was complete, there was one final inspirational talk about letting your goals and your dreams take flight, just as each of the 21 finishers did on this day.