Monday, 15 May 2017

Our Spartan Junior Race!

06 May - The Spartan Junior Race!

Being adventurous was not quite a definition of us, when our friends nudged us about joining the Spartan Junior Race, I was ready to conveniently let it pass. That was the usual parenting protocol of sifting out kids' decision. But wait, they might be keen. And they were!

With much excitement and anticipation, the day arrived. We arrived about an hour earlier than our race time to familiar ourselves with the ground. We were welcomed by the Muddy ground after a morning rain. Having pre-collected our race packs, we skipped registration and headed straight to the junior race area.

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Little Spartans!

Jazz and Jare were registered in the same race slot, mixed 5 to 10 years old, 1km race. Parents may run in the race lane with your child if he is between 5 to 7 years old. So yeap, I was official allowed in race lane. Be around the start point 15 minutes before race time. If you miss your race time, no worries, the kind organisers will put your child on the next race.

So here's what Js did during their 1km adventure obstacle, as much as I can remember, in chronological order. There were a total of 11 obstacles for the kids to hurdle through, but apparently, they did more. It looked like they did a discourse and followed whatever the herd did. No complains because it was fun! Some were height challenging and some were strength challenging.

  
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1. A WALL
Get up and slide or jump down. Easy!

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2. SANDBAG CARRY
This bag weighed quite a load! We spotted how different kids use various methods to carry their bag. Some dragged, some did it over their shoulders and some cradled it. Whatever that worked, was a good idea! All they had needed to do was to carry it across a short distance, deposit it and run to the next station.


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3. GUNNY SACK HOP
Another short distance of putting their whole self into the gunny sack and hop. Her smile tells that it was all fun.


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4. OUT
Leap over an approximately 1m high barrier. An easy peasy task for Jare, who has the moves of a monkey in him.

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5. TUNNEL AND A FRAME
Crawl through the yellow tunnel, go up and down that high A frame. This is a big challenge on height! I'm not sure about the kids, but I will definitely get shaky legs up there.

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6. HERCULES HOIST
Another station for the test of strength. This was tough, so said the kids!

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7. SHOCK CORD
All they had need to do was to crawl, duck, roll or maneuver in whatever manner that gets them across without standing higher than the cord.

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8. TIRE SCAMBLE
A test of how fast those little feet can react.


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9. SPEAR KIDS
This was really easy. A well thought station for little ones to catch their breath. Simply throw the spear and aim that Spartan.

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10. TIRE FLIP
The tire is heavy! And when you can't do it alone, you do the teamwork. Get help from a friend. You go, Girls! 


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11. SLIP WALL
This is where they put their trust in that rope.

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12. 4FT WALL
Invent your own way of getting over! 

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13. CATERPILLAR CRAWL
Crawl like a caterpillar under the black sheet, and emerge gloriously like a butterfly!

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14. BALANCE BEAM
That's where they see the finishing line with medal awaiting for them!

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These were more or less what the kids did. I may have gotten some station names wrong, but I did my best in matching the closest.

Are these too looking easy or tough for your child? It was our first time attempt and we thought it was a very good experience for the kids. It wasn't a mere race on the different levels of challenges, but a race of perseverance and endurance. A race about an attitude that determines where the finish line is.

Js are not exactly outdoor individuals, and I thought it was very commendable that they completed the race. I saw determination in every step they took! Giving up can be a choice, but I'm glad no one did. Though I witnessed some very young kids wanting to give up at various stations, I was heartened to watched them running on, as their families and friends cheered on them. The power of encouragement is real! 

Spartan race is series of obstacles, it is a race of its kind. It mimics the obstacles we face in real life and we learn to conquer them with confidence like whatever life throws in our way.  It is not about a competition or taking it too seriously. It is an opportunity to teach our kids the valuable traits of determination and perseverance. It is not the outcome of the race, but how it was played.

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It was a race well fought for us! They were extremely happy to bag home a medal each. The medal which tells a series of success and marks a memorable event. I've honestly never seen Js sink their clean knees and hands in mud. I mean how often will we want to be this closely associated with mud?! All these only in the name of Spartan.

Our princess and prince turned warriors!

Here are some tips if you are new to the race:
  1. Don't take too long to register your race slots. Good time slots get sell out fast!
  2. Long bottoms are good. There's at least a layer of protection against scrapes and scratches.
  3. Use shoes that's not on the child's favourite list. There's a high chance of un-washable dirt.
  4. Slap on good amount of sunscreen.
  5. Bring new set of clothes for change after race.
  6. Load up a good breakfast and stay hydrated. 
  7. Arrive early at venue. Parking may be at a distance and walking takes time.
  8. Take part with friends! It makes the race more enjoyable.
  9. Wear covered shoes, even if you are just the photographer. Untrimmed grass blades and short wild plants can cut.
  10. Get your child to wear bright bottom or bright shoes. Makes it easy to spot if you lose sight of your child. That explained Jare in orange shorts!
  11. Since this was organised by Mediacorp, look out for celebrities. We spotted Unlce Ben. We were Star struck! 

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    And Yes! We will want to do it again next year. Get your child in too, Aroo! Aroo is a calling for the crowds and the Spartans to work themselves up! It is to be used liberally at the race.



    Disclaimer: Race slots were given for the purpose of this review. All opinions and photos are solely ours.  


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