Sacramento Spartan Sprint with Active 20-30 #100 for Girls on the Run NS trained by NorCal Strength and Conditioning.
*Guest post by Emerald Carroll, Program Coordinator for Girls on the Run NS*
Wow, what a mouth full! And yes, we did that!!
Our team was compiled of four people with varying fitness levels from Crystal, a seasoned Spartan, who has run several Spartan Races over the past calendar year and also happens to hold the nickname “the beast” because of this, to Emerald, an avid rollerblader, whose only form of recreation is rollerblading in over 90 degree weather.
I’ll let Chico Active 20-30 #100’s president, Jason Coates, start our story with his journey starting at NorCal Strength and Conditioning-
“I joined NorCal Strength and Conditioning about 4 months ago after a friend of mine from the Chico Active 20-30 Club (Crystal- The Beast) invited me to join her at NorCal and challenged me to run a Spartan race with her. I was looking for a gym that would help me push myself and see what I was capable of. NorCal has a friendly and motivating atmosphere and a nice variety of classes throughout the day. The trainers are very knowledgeable and the workouts are well designed. One of my favorite classes has been the Spartan training on Tues/Thurs with NorCal Coach Kristen Meyer. These workouts add emphasis on critical skills like grip strength and heavy carries. They also give you an opportunity to learn and practice techniques on a lot of the obstacles you will encounter in a race. Matt Brown (owner/manager in Chico) has also hosted Spartan workshops for small and large groups that were very challenging and fun.”
Crystal was also able to enlist a couple more people from our club to run the Sacramento Spartan Sprint with us. Our team had a lot of fun training and the actual race was an amazing experience! We were able to push ourselves individually while helping and motivating each other along the way. Three out of four of the people on our team had never run a Spartan race before, but we felt confident and prepared because of the training and advice we had received at NorCal. I was incredibly proud to cross the finish line with my teammates and our time wasn’t too shabby either. 🙂 I never thought I would be able to do a Spartan race and now I am setting my sights on a Trifecta (Trifecta is completing a Sprint, Super, and Beast distances within a calendar year) next year (hopefully with the same team). I am very grateful for the training and support we received in the gym and at the race.”
We’ll go ahead and give Crystal title of team captain for this race. Here is her input on running Spartan Races, working with a team and training at NorCal Strength and Conditioning-
“Here are some lessons I learned after running with this amazing team after completing a brutal season of training and racing.
- Never underestimate the drive and ability of your team.
- No matter how much you train, if your nutrition is not on point it WILL affect your performance.
- Emerald’s ass always looks amazing, even covered in mud… wait.. can I say that in a blog??
- Crossing the finish line with a team member will ALWAYS be more fulfilling that doing it solo.
We had the AMAZING opportunity to have a 1 on 4 Spartan Training class with the owner, manager and awesome coach Matt Brown of NorCal Strength and Conditioning! His patience and ability to walk us through some of the obstacles and techniques proved to be invaluable! #atlasstones #ropeclimb #monkeybars #wtfdidigetmyselfinto
For our team of four, we only racked up a total of 150 burpees which we split between the team, so about 38 burpees each. That’s amazing!!!
I would attribute the glaring success of our team to the coaching and support from Matt Brown and the NorCal coaching staff. Thank you SO much!!”
Now it’s my turn to chime in. I’m the rollerblader who hates the cold.
I was very excited when Crystal mentioned doing this race as a team. I’ve been wanting to sign up for some sort of athletic event, but I simply don’t enjoy running, so a running event just wasn’t going to cut it for me. I like variety and challenging my body with different, fast paced movements. When Crystal described what a Spartan Sprint was, I knew if would be hard, but I wanted to do this!
As the days got closer to the race, I was definitely anxious and questioning whether I should have signed up in the first place or not, but looking back, I am so glad I did! Matt and Kristen from NorCal Strength and Conditioning were super knowledgeable, friendly and motivating. In one class, Kristen saw that I was struggling with a particular workout and helped me modify it so it was still challenging, yet doable for my fitness level. Her one Spartan class I attended was super helpful in preparing me for the race because she combines various cardio and weight exercises that help prepare you for the real thing. She did a great job checking for understanding, as she knew I was new.
As for the owner and manager, Matt Brown, did he come right out of the womb just giving people workouts?? This guy was definitely born to train. He’s friendly, yet serious about what he’s doing, he is motivating and encouraging, yet knows how to strike some fear in you about the upcoming race. He’s definitely knowledgeable and super welcoming. I am so thankful Matt offered us multiple Spartan training sessions, because he knows exactly what he’s talking about and was full of tips for the obstacles in the sprint, which I used all of! A huge thank you to you, Matt!
So why would four people sign up to get covered in mud, run four miles and lift a bunch of heavy stuff on our Saturday morning??
Back to our president, Jason, with that answer for you-
“As members of the Chico Active 20-30 club, our team is passionate about community service. We thought it would be fun to run for a good cause and raise money for Girls on the Run. GOTR is an awesome non-profit organization that teaches girls confidence, healthy habits and life skills through an experience-based curriculum which integrates running. 100% of the money raised will help subsidize the cost of this program for girls from Chapman and Citrus Elementary, schools that would not be able to afford the program otherwise. We have been sharing our progress and story on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/chico2030spartans2017. The page also includes links to our fundraising pages if you are interested in helping us meet our goal of raising $1,000 by Dec 11th. ”
Thank you NorCal Strength and Conditioning for helping train and motivate us throughout this journey. We would not (now) be Spartans without you! Thank you for helping us recognize our strength (physical and mental) to push ourselves to accomplish things we never thought we could!