Spartan Race vs Warrior Dash

Spartan Race vs Warrior Dash

Yesterday, my wife and I ran the Warrior Dash in Huntersville, North Carolina. The reason? I needed something to train for and it was a good entry-level race that she could run… it would be her first run of any kind off-road since cross country in high school (she’s likes to run on the road).  We registered and ran the race… had fun doing so… and will definitely do it again in the future.

Now, you may be wondering why I titled this post as I did.

Well, I am a veteran Spartan racer with four races under my belt including the 2013 Trifecta. For the trifecta I ran the Sprint in Atlanta, the Super in Virginia and the Beast in my home state of South Carolina. In total, for non-Spartan fans, I ran around 24+ miles of obstacle courses in three states.

Websites for reference: Spartan Race Warrior Dash

Now, the comparisons/differences:

Length: about the same. The Warrior Dash was 3.08 miles and the Sprint-level Spartan is 3-4.

Registration: about the same. Warrior is now utilizing iPad checkins and, in the future, will allow you to sign liability waivers on the iPad.

Timing: Spartan is ahead here… you get the timing chip to attach to your shoe. Warrior does not – they have clocks at the start and at various points along the trail (about every mile). The clocks are actual clocks noting the time of day – not elapsed time. Bring a watch (they tell you to do so on their website).

Obstacles: easier on Warrior Dash. For starters, Warrior tells you all of the obstacles in advance (not that you can really train for them). You can view videos and photos of each obstacle so you know what you will encounter in advance. Spartan, on the other hand, does not. After the Spartan pledge and three loud AROOs, you’re off. Literally.

(One note: since Reebok has begun sponsoring the Spartan races, I have noticed there are mile markers on the course. Prior to this the volunteers at water stations couldn’t accurately tell you where you were.)

Level of fitness required for Warrior:  Warrior is entry-level plus (you can get by with a minimal level of fitness – many of the participants were walking from the start). Most of the obstacles were climbing-oriented… walls with boards to assist, inclines with ropes, cargo nets. I didn’t see any real strength obstacles that had to be mastered.  You do need to be able to climb and crawl on your hands and knees, at times.  The course in North Carolina was rolling but there were some places where you had to traverse the wooded areas (with mud).

Level of fitness required for Spartan:  Spartan takes a little more training. In this series you have penalties when you do not complete an obstacle or choose not to attempt one (30 burpees per obstacle). In addition, you may be required to carry objects (atlas stones, logs, sand bags), flip articles (logs, tires), pull objects behind you (concrete blocks on chains), pull objects up (5 gallon bucket of concrete) and climb a 20-30 foot knotted rope.

(side note – on some Spartan Races there is a Biggest Loser heat where anyone of any fitness level can run a shortened version of the race.  No burpee penalties if you decide to skip an obstacle as well).

I will definitely run the Warrior Dash again. We had a blast running the race and actually running a race together! I would like to give you some advice – raise money for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (information is on the Warrior Dash site)… if you raise the minimum amount you get a hot shower, food, drinks and a separate area to leave your goods during the race! The alternative is the hose… sticking out of a water truck… spraying everyone underneath!

Based on my personality, the Spartan race fits my profile… I really don’t want to know what is next.  I want to know that I have to come up with the ways to make it happen – whether that is me climbing a wall on my own or working with others to build a base for each of us to us as we make the ascent.  I feel Spartan models the challenges we face in life.

OCR – obstacle course racing – is taking off and more and more groups are getting in on the action. I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods and saw where Under Armour is sponsoring Tough Mudder races. I REALLY hope people are not buying new clothes to run these races! There is advice part 2 – where old, comfortable shoes. You get a chance to donate them at the end of the run!

Whatever you do, get out there and get out of your comfort zone! It is no fun being normal.

For those of you that have run OCR, add your thoughts below…

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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Motivation, Running, Writing


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Change your circumstances

“Successful people are 100% convinced that they are masters of their own destiny , they’re not creatures of circumstance, they create circumstance, if the circumstances around them suck they change them.” – Jordan Belfort

The decisions you make today are the defining factor in what your circumstances will be down the road. Even though it is not easy, no one is going to do it except YOU.

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” – George Bernard Shaw

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Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Motivation, Writing


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You are powerful beyond measure!

You are powerful beyond measure. You have the power in you to accomplish anything you truly want… read that again – TRULY want. First off, you have to figure what you truly want… do you want a million dollars? Do you want ten million dollars? Do you want to finish college after being out for a number of years?

Find out what you truly want. You can say all day long, “I want ______.” But is it what you truly want? Is it something that will change your life? Will the newest 60″ flat screen make you a better person or help you to succeed?

I’ve written many times about needs versus wants… We live in a wanting society. We want what our friend – neighbor – family member has. We want their tangibles. We want their lifestyle. We want their happiness.

I guarantee you even the most important person in your life – whether it is the one that is truly important or the one you want to be like – has problems you don’t know about. What is wrong with setting your own course and achieving YOUR goals?

We are not talking about being complacent or stagnant. We are talking about making a plan and working that plan. Steps one to infinity… however many steps it takes to get there. Reward yourself along the way. No one said it had to be a boot camp… celebrate the goals as they are met. Mark them off the list and start making progress to the next one on the list.

No one can stop you except you. Look in the mirror and you will see what is holding you back. When you stop blaming others and start boosting yourself you will see change!

Make it happen!

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Just Me, Motivation


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Comfort Zone? HA… CrossFit here I come!

Ok, last year I vowed to complete the Spartan Race Trifecta… this entailed running a Sprint, Super and Beast all within the 12 month window of opportunity.  Well… I did it, starting with the 2012 Spartan Beast (all 13+ miles of it in South Carolina), followed by the Georgia Spartan Sprint (3+ miles) and ending with the Super Spartan at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia.

This year I am stepping WAY out of the comfort zone and heading for the CrossFit Open beginning in February… it is going to take a LOT of work and a lot of dedication to make up for some of the exercises I have not completed yet.  You know, double unders, muscle ups and many pull-ups.

This is my goal this year… for a glimpse of the 2013 Open workouts click here.  Here’s the deal – we don’t know what is coming!  Just like the Spartan Race courses, there is no roadmap.  You get the workout at 5:00 pm PST on Thursday and you have until Monday at 5:00 PST to complete it to your liking (oh yeah, and videotape it!).

Oh the fun I get myself into!  You can’t stand on the sidelines and Monday morning quarterback everything… 

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the cornfield.”  Dwight D Eisenhower




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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Writing


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Two presentation faux pas and how to fix them

I viewed some very lackluster presenters at a conference this morning. Many of them were trying to sell their business to potential customers, meaning they were giving a 15-20 minute “this is why you should love us” talk.

The reason I say lackluster is based on the presenter and not the information being presented. Actually, the information being presented could have been honed down in a few of them. But that is secondary.

Two things I noticed… don’t talk to the screen and don’t read your notes.

Issue #1 – PowerPoint type shows – Talk. To. The. Audience.

One presenter used a PowerPoint presentation with slides about new innovations on their web platform. All well and good as many of us present with PowerPoint, Prezi or Keynote. But even if you rely on this type of presentation you should always learn to mirror your computer screen and the information on the screen. It is very annoying when you are talking to the screen instead of your audience.

One exception – if you are standing in the audience and you turn to laser point a graph, photo or fact.

Practice your presentation. This means you don’t slap 25 slides together and hope for the best. The slides WILL NOT save you! You will look ill prepared and will lose the attention of the audience very quickly. Also – obnoxious fly-ins, fly outs, dissolves and other magician-worthy animations are distracting. Stick to the mouse click to appear your bullet points… it’s all you need to effectively make your point.

Issue #2

Don’t read your notes verbatim. Know. Your. Material.

If you are an expert in your product – which you dang-well should be – go from your memory. Use the notes sparingly as a backup in the event you lose your place or have a mental faux pas and need a crutch. Every speaker worth his or her weight has a backup plan… look at newscasters – if the TelePrompTer goes out, they have the notes on the desk as a backup… and they aren’t even looking their audience in the eye!

Ok, since I am on a roll, I’ll give you another piece of advice. Know. Your. Time.

It is particularly annoying when you are listening to a speaker and they start speeding up their voice. Then they say something like, “for the sake of time we are going to skip these two slides”. How do you know those aren’t the two slides I came to hear about? How do you pick and choose which material to present and what to exclude?

You are cheating your audience by not being prepared. If you have 30 minutes, stop at 23-25 and allow time for audience interaction. Unless, that is, you have not prepared and are afraid of what they may ask.

But, that is another subject for another day!

Five Ps of success: prior preparation prevents pisspoor performance.

Tell me your thoughts on this…. leave your comments below

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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in Writing


Circumstances v. opportunites

To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.
— Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was a martial artist, instructor and filmmaker… he was also the founder of Jeet Kune Do.  In other words, one of the most influential martial artists of all time.  He always trained, always adapted and made his craft better.  He created opportunities and did not settle for circumstances or surroundings.

One of my favorite quotes exemplifies this…

A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract; and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, “I” do not hit, “it” hits all by itself.

In life, you have to be fluid… like water.  Water moves around obstacles and, over time, wears down the obstacle.  Your circumstances may not be exactly what you WANT right now, but they may be what you NEED to make you focus your energy toward your goals.  It has been said that God does not give tests to those that can’t handle them… maybe those circumstances are opportunities in disguise.

Think about it… then leave your comments below.


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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Writing


Planning > Convenience… a rant

So we were eating lunch at Panera today and I noticed a sign on the door that read:

Independence Day
This cafe will be open from 6 am to 6 pm

Yep… that’s right.  Panera is joining Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Sears and of course, JC Penney (they are still trying to recover from their Reverse-Pricing gimmick). 

Where in the world did holidays and celebrating the BIRTH OF OUR COUNTRY go?  Sort of funny that us cutting the umbilical cord from the King of England has fallen by the wayside of sales and merchandise!

Anyhow… ranting aside.  What happened to ‘planning’?  Yes, I put the air quotes in since you can’t actually see me making the “air quotes” through this blog.  At one time you had to actually plan prior to a holiday because the store would be CLOSED!  Buy your food for 4th of July parties, buy your clothes for school, buy your 52″ flat screen… all so we, as a country, could enjoy whatever holiday is in front of us.

Because, of course, you don’t break away from the King, birth a Messiah, rise from the tomb or celebrate dead presidents everyday!  

When did buying a flat screen TV for 20% off take precedence over these MAJOR events?!?

Convenience stores were started for that – convenience.  You stop in for a loaf of bread, gallon of milk, case of beer or pack of condoms – and you get to skip the big store searching and checkout lines.  This DOES NOT equate to commerce taking a first-place seat to major events of history.

For the record… we went to the grocery store today (Sunday) and will be hanging out by the pool on the 4th as we reflect on our freedom.

And no, freedom is not convenience taking the place of planning.  Or 20% off.

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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Writing


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Goal setting? NO. Goal achieving!

Where do you set your goals? Are they achievable or just a “level” set to make you feel good when it is met?

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
— Michelangelo

When you are setting the goal, you need to have a little pain… there has to be some type of struggle involved for you to truly be rewarded for meeting the goal. This could be exercise, money or time spent to achieve the goal – you have to have buy in to make it a true reward.

Your attitude determines your altitude — Donald Trump

Goal setting, in itself, is easy. Goal achieving is not meant to be easy. If it were easy, it would not be a goal… it would be a part of your daily life already. Achieving the goal has huge benefits for you – internally and externally. YOU are the one to make it happen.

Here’s how… answer the following questions:

1. What do you want today?
2. What are you willing to give up to achieve it?
3. What is your accountability plan to stay on track?
4. Do you have an accountability partner that can help guide you?
5. What is your timeline to achieving this goal?

In all of these questions, you HAVE to be realistic… Setting unrealistic goals is the fastest way to failure. Remember… The easiest way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!

And finally…

Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time! –Zig Ziglar

Make it happen!

So, tell me how you feel about this post… If you are on Twitter, send me your thoughts to @scbidcaller and tag your results with #successneversleeps!

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Posted by on June 30, 2013 in Motivation


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The first 30 days… Isagenix

Today is June 5, 2013… thirty days down and the rest of my life to go!

A few months back my wife and I were talking about hitting the reset button.  We had dropped to a level where we were not functioning up to our best and needed to flip the switch and start over.  We both work out at Performance QSA in Greenville, South Carolina but we also made excuses for poor diet and not going to the gym as we should.  So, we tried a lackluster “cleanse” from a company in Texas… it didn’t work.  Nothing changed.  We may have lost 8 pounds collectively.  Weight loss was not what we needed – we literally needed a change of lifestyle.

A friend introduced us to Isagenix and the rest is history… I just finished the first thirty days and my life has changed.  I am down 16 pounds and around 5% body fat which, on the surface, is success in and of itself.  However, again, that is not my goal… my goal was to get the junk out of my body.  I was a habitual (yes, habitual) Diet Coke drinker and when I had coffee it was loaded with sucralose (Splenda)… those are two synthetics I know of.  I am sure there were many more in the food we ate.

Now I am drinking purified water from a PUR filter on our faucet at home or bottled water when I am out traveling.  I’m not getting into the “it’s all tap water” argument… this is my choice and the Isagenix suggested routine.  I haven’t had coffee, tea, soft drinks or alcohol for these thirty days and I do not miss any of it.  Am I restricted from any of those?  No.  It is a choice I have made as an investment to my body.

I am 41 years old and I have an 8 year-old son.  That is my motivation to changing the lifestyle and dropping the excuses.  My family is the most important aspect of my life which is why my wife and I are both using Isagenix now… she sees the benefit of the program and has seen physical and mental results as well.  We are now cleaning our blood and allowing our body to run as it was intended.  That is Isagenix.

Is it easy?  No way.  But nothing easy is worth doing.  The hardest part was the lifestyle change… seeing the soft drinks and making a conscious decision to avoid.  Seeing McDonalds but deciding on a shake instead.  Traveling in the Delta Sky Club and choosing still water and not choosing a seat at the bar.  You HAVE to make the mental decision to change by taking it one step at a time!

Today I have more energy and strength than I ever had.  My body is running on all cylinders instead of trying to function with junk flowing in the fuel.

If you’re interested and want more information, send in a comment.

Follow me on Twitter @scbidcaller and make sure to use the hash tag #successneversleeps.

Make it happen!


Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Just Me, Motivation, Writing


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Perrier Blues… thanks Jimmy!

One of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs is Perrier Blues.  I’m a huge fan of Perrier and other bottled waters now that I have given up soft drinks and other “fluids”, so this song fits perfectly.  In addition, I travel a lot and conduct auctions and speaking engagements where I am the show – much like Buffett says he “has a thing for applause” and a “thing for the show”.  

Sometimes you just have to sit back, relax and recharge…

Here are the lyrics… thanks Jimmy for putting pen to paper!

Ridin’ high atop the main mast 
Harbor stretched out below 
All day I’ve been feelin’ kind of half-assed 
So I asked the boy to lower me slow 
Lower me slow 

Sat down and drank me some Perrier 
Watched the seaplane disappear out of sight 
Confused in my head well I jumped back in bed 
Wondering who’s at the fronton tonight 
Shinin’ bright 

I know the night and I miss it 
I’ve got this thing for applause 
But like a cat on my rockin’ chair cushion 
I’ve got to stretch my claws 
Move my jaw 

I know I’ve got the best of both worlds 
Though that sounds like a TV. show 
When that anchor goes down and the sails are all furled 
Well it’s back on the road I go 
Back I go 

Well I bitch about the food and the weather 
Wondering why the hell I ever came back 
But knowing deep down I love this merry-go-round 
And I can’t wait to lay down this track 
When I get back 

Yeah, I know the night and I love it 
I’ve got this thing for a show 
If the ball’s hit my way I’m going to glove it 
‘Cause that’s the only thing I know 
All I know 

Yeah, I know the night and I miss it 
I’ve got this thing for applause 
But like a cat on my rockin’ chair cushion 
I’ve got to stretch my claws 
Move my jaw 
Move my jaw 

Can’t seem to lose those Perrier Blues 
Can’t seem to lose those Perrier Blues 
Can’t seem to lose those Perrier Blues

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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Writing