I wish I’d had the idea for Spartan Races

I got suckered into doing one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done earlier this month. But the whole time I was doing it, I was thinking, man, I wish I had thought of this.

There are a bunch of exercise programs out there that are essentially brilliant scams. They will get you in shape, yes. That’s not what they’re scamming you on. But they find a way to do it that makes you think you’re having fun, even if it’s some twisted, masochistic version of fun. And they charge you tons of money to be able to do it. That’s where the scam comes in.

A couple weekends ago, I got suckered. It was for a Spartan Race. We had to do the 21K version, because it was clear up in northern Montana, and the 5K and 10K races were on Sunday. We had to be back to work on Monday, so we had to do what they offered on Saturday. That was the 21K race, which in English is 13 miles and change. It’s a half-marathon. But with the added loveliness of 30 obstacles thrown in to either kill you quicker or make you wish you were already dead.

I got to thinking I wished I’d had this idea first. Whoever came up with it has to be a zillionaire by now. There were thousands of other morons out there with me, suffering through this 13-mile idiocy. And we all paid $170 each for the opportunity. And at the end, there’s a big tent where you can go buy hats, shirts, socks, or just about anything else you can think of with the Spartan logo on it.

I wish I’d had this idea. I would have called it the Elk Chase or something like that, and I’d have set it up to make you feel like you were climbing over deadfall, sneaking through bogs, or packing out quarters on an elk hunt. It would have been a hit, too, I’m sure, because as hunters, we do all that stuff every year, and we think it’s fun. I think it would have been just as successful – and just as stupid – as a Spartan Race.

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