Spartan Race Challenges Part 2

So I finally found the Spartan Rules Book and realised that there are a number of other obstacles that I missed when I did my first round of Spartan research.

Why am I obsessing over the obstacles? Well, I’m your proverbial Asian girl and before an exam, I try to make sure I can answer as many of the questions as possible. This is me doing the equivalent for the Spartan Race. I need to know what I might face so I can figure out how many obstacles I will nail, how many I may or may not be able to complete, and how many I will outright fail.

Before you go off at me for being so negative, I think I should state that there is a difference between having a delusional positive attitude and being realistic about your abilities. I believe that the latter will definitely help you get further on race day. And based on what I’ve recently read in Top Dog by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, the research supports that premise.

So here we go…

Pole Traverse

Like it says – traverse a pole sideways using your arms only.

Rope Ladder

Climb a rope ladder and ring the bell. Sounds simple enough, but this is how it can get tricky:

Image Source: Where and Wander

It’s a rope ladder so it doesn’t stay vertical. Depending on the tilt, that could be quite taxing on the arms. It’s also a vertical challenge meaning you can’t let go at the top or you’ll fall quite a damaging distance. I think this one’s going to affect my mind as much as my body.

Monkey Net

Like the monkey bars, but instead of bars, you have a net. It looks like this:

Image Source: ORM

Tarzan Swing

According to the instructions, it says swing from rope to rope and ring the bell. What I found looks like you just have to swing across a channel. The former will be the end of me, the latter sounds do-able.

Log Hop

This is one of the few challenges that doesn’t actually require any physical strength. Unfortunately, it does require balance – something I’m not particularly good at either. D’oh!

Tractor Pull

This is just a drag exercise where you have to pull a chain attached to a cement block that weighs about 23kg. Now I’m pretty sure I can do this so let’s hope it’s there on race day.

Hobie Hop

With a band connecting both ankles together, you have to hop along a designated course. Not too difficult as long as you make sure both feet leave the ground together.

Tyre Drag

Drag the tyre away until the rope is taut. Go back to the end of the rope and pull the tyre back to you. I think this should be okay unless they make you drag it up an incline.

Image Source: Flashpacker Headquarters

Water Moats

Another straightforward obstacle that should be fail-proof. Wade through the muddy water and climb out the other side. As long as you stay within the width of the obstacle, there should be no disqualification. If I fail this, then I really deserve those burpees.

Over Under Through

This was the best picture I could find to explain how this works. I think this should be another burpee-free obstacle. The “over” wall doesn’t look anything as high as the 8 Foot Wall, so I shouldn’t have too much trouble getting over it. I think.

Image Source: Dirty Miles

Sandbag/Log/Heavy Carry

Carry something heavy along a prescribed route. I’ve been training for this one, so I think it won’t be too bad. Unless it’s a log. I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to balance that one. I guess it also depends how heavy it is. In the recent Spartan Workshop, I managed to carry 20 kgs up and down two flights of stairs. At The Playground, I’m pretty sure I carried heavier than that.

Slip and Slide

Slide down a plastic sheet. Looks and sounds easy enough.

Image Source: Spartan

Slippery Wall

Using a rope, climb up a slippery wall. I haven’t had a chance to try this one out so I have no idea how hard or easy this is going to be. Hopefully, there will be no penalty here either.

In some pictures, I’ve seen water before the wall and in others, just grass. Given our hot weather, I’m hoping that means the wall will dry out quickly.


Like it says – swim. Now I didn’t know there would be something like this or I would have practiced swimming. I don’t think I will drown, but swimming is not my forte. The up-side of it is that this is not open water. Swimming out to sea – now that is what I’m terrified of.


The instructions just say “navigate the trenches”. Based on these pictures, it doesn’t look that hard so I’m going to say that this should be a burpee-free obstacle.

Image Source: Muddy Race

Under Over Under

Just like Over Under Through, but there’s not “through”.

Spider Web

Navigate the tangle of cord, rope, or barbed wire. Should be okay, unless they use barbed wire, which could get nasty.

Image Source: Pinterest

Balance Beam

I practiced this at The Playground, so I think I’ll be okay. There’s balancing involved, but I don’t think it will be as tricky as the Log Hop.

Image Source: Mommy Adventures

Cargo Net

I found a few versions of this:

  • Vertical net – where you climb up the net and down the other side.
  • A-Frame net – which is like climbing up and down the two diagonal sides of an “A”.
  • Cargo Bridge – which involves climbing up one side, then horizontally across the top, then down the other side.

Dunk Wall

Get in the muddy water, submerge your head to get under the wall, then emerge on the other side. Pretty straight forward – just another obstacles designed to get you wet and muddy. This should be fail-proof, too.


According to the instructions, it just says “navigate over the bridge”. What sort of bridge? Well, this is what I found and I thought it looked fairly straight forward.

Image Source: It’s Not a Trick, It’s an Illusion

Memorisation Test

Now this, I can do. Just as long as I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m so tired that my brain has stopped working.

The Gamble

Choose a route based on the information you’re given, i.e. take a gamble. Couldn’t find any pictures on this one so I have no idea how hard or easy the task is.

Two New Obstacles

Now this is the scary part. The Spartan organisers have announced that there will be two new obstacles in this race. I’m assuming the fact that they’re “new” means they have never been seen before in any race. Which means I can’t do any research on them to figure out how I’m going to get through them. Given that I’m not a “wing-it” kind of person, I suspect I’m going to struggle with these two.

Given that these are “new” obstacles, I reckon they will pose quite a challenge. Why? Because they’re “new” and “new” means extra interest, but who wants to see a boring obstacle that everyone can do? So yeah, I’m sure they’ll be hard.

And that’s it. I guess it’s safe to say that I won’t be doing burpee penalties all the way through because I’m pretty certain I can do some of these.

#bringiton! #spartanrace #3daystogo

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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