Toronto Spartan Race 2012


Nursing Shoes

Nursing Shoes

This weekend was the Spartan Race in Toronto, which Alain and I did with Pickles and with a bunch of old friends. The Spartan Race is a 5k obstacle course that actually happened in Barrie on the 24th. To measure your personal performance, the organisers tagged each participant with a little microchip attached to the shoe. That way, it’s easier to identify the body/foot afterward, in case it gets lost, I guess?

In preparation, I took my old nursing shoes and cut grooves into the soles (they were completely smooth before) and wore those for the race. I’m glad I did this, because one of the obstacles was wading through 200m of waist-deep mud with barbed wire overhead. By the end of the race, I (and my shoes) were filthy, of course. I threw them out once we got back. I paid $25 for those shoes last September, and they were worth only $25. This is the most honourable death they could have had.

A wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow

The actual race wasn’t so hard. I even did the climbing-up-a-rope thing (which I had never done before). In fact, I did all the obstacles correctly without having to do the penalty (20 burpees). Pictured to the right is me carrying a wheelbarrow with concrete and sandbags.

Murph over flames

Murph over flames

What was difficult was waiting for the bus at the end. We got in line for the bus and waited. And waited. And then the clouds came in and the sky got dark and it started to rain, and the temperature went down. Alain and I went under the towel that we brought to try to conserve our body heat, since we were wet and cold and stationary (being in line for the bus). It took an hour for the bus to arrive. They probably could have thought that through a bit better.

Now it's Alain!

Now it’s Alain!

The day after, we were informed by the Spartan Race that due to an electrical problem, about 1000 participants’ times were lost (including my time and the times of everyone I knew). I’ll never know how I did! That might be for the best, because I stopped for about 10 minutes at the beginning of the race to help a poor woman who broke her leg on the very first turn of the course. I felt so bad for her!

Hay bales!

Hay bales!

Weird thing to think about: my friends and I are now in the background of dozens of people’s Spartan Race photos on Facebook, and we have no idea.


    title = {Toronto Spartan Race 2012},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2012-06-28,
    url = {}


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Toronto Spartan Race 2012" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 28 Jun 2012. Web. 20 Oct 2017. <>


Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2012, Jun 28). Toronto Spartan Race 2012 [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A word from our sponsors

Tag bag

Recent comments

Old posts

All content © Benjamin Carlisle