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Wellington teachers conquer mud, blood and sand in Spartan Race 2017

12 June 2017
A group of Wellington teachers took part in the Spartan Race: the ultimate team challenge recently. Before our training started, we had sent each other pictures of mud-covered participants and had only a vague idea what to expect. However, it was only after we signed the waiver that read: "There is a real possibility YOU MAY DIE” that we properly understood how much danger we had put ourselves in! Having trained for months together in preparation for blood, bruises, sweat and tears, we conquered the twin challenge of running in the heat of the Shanghai sun while tackling a series of physically exhausting obstacles. We climbed 8 feet high and 5 feet wide walls. We carried rock-filled buckets and sandbags meant for actual Spartans from Ancient Greece. We ran through mud pits and squeezed through water-filled holes. We climbed ropes and hoisted 100lb sandbags. We crawled over mud and under barbed wire. Through it all, after all the obligatory mud, scrapes, scratches and physical exhaustion, we took away a number of invaluable lessons: 1. Encouragement is better than competition. Even though the race was being timed, I lost count of the number of times that other competitors helped various members of our team to cross walls and pull themselves up slopes when they needed help. 2. Team performance was more important than individual prowess. 3. No matter how strong you think you are, you will always need help at some point. 4. You really are tougher than you think. When needed, the adrenaline will kick in at some point and you will do things you never thought you would be able to. After ditching the women's 30lbs sand bag and opting for the 50lbs men’s, and running past much stronger men, it was empowering to receive a comment of: "wow you are so strong, you do know that’s the men's sandbag?" We hope that our team effort and lessons learned will inspire the pupils we teach to never give up, to ask for help, to know that they are stronger than they think and to work as a team. It didn't matter how fast we ran or how strong we were, we finished the race as a team and crossed the last hurdle over a fire pit together. And now the training begins for Tough Mudder... Team Spartan 2017 Natalie Bailey (Year 1 class teacher)