a year of stories - 32 of 52 / by Carey Pace

*This post is part of a collaborative project - a year of stories shared by a group of 15 photographers every Tuesday in 2016.  Please visit Sonja Stich after you read this post to continue the circle.*


My family has a thing for Spartan Races.  On August 6th, Shawn ran the Asheville, NC (Black Mountain) Spartan Super Race. It was just shy of 10 miles up and down the grueling mountain with 27 obstacles. Once he completed that, the kids ran the one mile Spartan Kids race at the site.  

They have a two mile that would be more The Boy's level and style, but unfortunately the rules say the age is 11-14.  I'm not sure how strict they are with the age limits and whether those are recommendations for the average kid or set in stone rules.  At any rate, the 2 mile race times have never jived with when Shawn was running his own course.  Regardless, the kids LOVE doing these races.  A large part of someone's enjoyment of an activity is in SHARING it with those they love.  Shawn getting to share his love of athleticism and pushing your body to its limits with the kids is so huge. 

I will share the kids' photos first and then the ones I took of Shawn's race first thing in the morning. The course was laid out such that seeing more of the course was impossible.  I wish I'd been able to photograph more, but I'm happy with what I got. 

The Boy finished his one mile course in 11:45.  They did the race in heats and he went in the second one, but he was the third kid to cross the finish line, total, and was just a handful of seconds behind those two kids. I know one started in the first heat because I chatted with her mother while we waited for Shawn to come through his obstacles and I saw her out at the first heat. All of that to say, we strongly suspect the Boy had the fastest outright time of his noon racetime! 

I loved seeing all the muddy kiddos and their mud sodden shoes, so I grabbed those last two shots.  Well, the "official" Spartan photographer liked my idea and used it!  Here is a photo of him getting his shot and then the official result! 

It had rained and rained and rained the week prior and the entire spectator area was a MUD SLIDE.  We were all covered in mud before Shawn even started his race at 815am.  I felt just as nasty myself as when I'd ran a Spartan last September! This was the first race that Shawn entered in the Competitive Heat instead of the general Open race. 

And lastly, I managed to get the worst sunburn I have had in more than a decade on the backs of my legs.  I sunscreened my face, neck, arms... but I didn't do my legs.  Normally when you're just standing there, that isn't necessary!  We stood waiting for Shawn at the end for much, much longer than we'd expected.  The course was very different than last year's and it just took him (and from what we can tell, most other runners) longer to go straight up and straight down the mountain.  Oh. My. This. Hurt.  Left and top right are the day of.  The bottom right photo is SEVEN DAYS later.  I now look like I'm wearing permanent knee socks.  SCORE. 


*This post is part of a collaborative project - a year of stories shared by a group of 15 photographers every Tuesday in 2016.  Please visit Sonja Stich after you read this post to continue the circle.*