Hardcore outdoor endurance events are taking over. It’s happening around the world, and especially in the UK, where it seems people love throwing themselves around wet and muddy obstacle courses in the great British countryside.
The upward trend in these types of events is most likely down to the fact people are increasingly wanting to push their limits, prove their worth, and challenge themselves in ways they’ve never done before. The bottom line is, these obstacle courses are addictive, and the masses just can’t get enough of them.
One of the most popular is Spartan Race, an endurance event that is perhaps more famed over in the states after it launched there in 2010. And while it made its way over to the UK six years ago, it wasn’t officially incorporated until 2015, so is only just starting to gain some proper traction here, taking on the almighty Tough Mudder.
In what started as a spin-off of the “Death Race”, a 48-hour endurance event founded in 2004, Spartan was founded by De Sena, intended as a more manageable endurance race for a wider audience. The event has since grown exponentially, gathering die-hard regulars and newbies alike along the way as it snowballs in popularity.
If you’re reading this, it probably means you’re about to do an outdoor endurance event of some kind. Whether you regrettably gave into a friend’s pleads to join their Spartan clang while at the pub, or you signed yourself up in a bid to get fit but now you wish you hadn’t – or perhaps you’re a seasoned mud runner addicted to the thrill of pushing yourself to the limit. Whatever the reason, if you’re planning on doing an extreme obstacle event such as Spartan, it’s always good to prepare yourself.
The good news is, there are plenty of gadgets out there to help you make it past the finish line. Kitted out with some of the most innovative yet rugged tech available, I recently endured the 14km of relentless winding trail that is Spartan in Nass, just outside Dublin in Ireland, with one of my pals. In a bid to see what tech was tough enough, I’ve compiled a list of the tried-and-tested kit that survived the hellish event, and what I can recommend to use in preparation for anyone else crazy enough to do the same.
Fitbit Versa smartwatch
This smartwatch is not only an ideal wearable for tracking all your vitals during any type of exercise, but because it’s able to withstand any extremities thrown at it, it’s perfect for endurance events like the Spartan Race.
The device tracks activity including every sprint, stroll and step as well as letting you see the total time, distance and the calories burned no matter how deep you’re submerged in mud or water. The battery easily lasts long enough to get you through the longest Spartan event, such as the Beast race, if you were crazy enough to do so, and it easily cleans up afterward.