A couple of the obstacles in the Spartan Race that I saw involved getting yourself across a series of ropes and hoops or using grab handles that moved while you hung on. These obstacles would be tough if you were fresh but they were in the latter portion of the race when tiredness was already very apparent. It was fascinating to see the different techniques people used and the success or otherwise. Dropping off was very common given how tired people were and the resultant 30 burpees will not have helped.
The physiques of people didn’t seem to have any indication of the probability of success. Some people looked like they would struggle as they set up to start and would then surge across. Others would look good and then drop off quickly. Knowing how I would have fared, I was very sympathetic. A few were in fantastic shape and just flew through. Others got so close to the cowbell at the end that signified success and would drop when almost in reach. You were willing people on.
One of the toughest to watch was one of the elite female competitors. She was in third place coming to the last obstacle and nearly made it across before slipping. She headed off to do her burpees and, while she was doing them, the person in fourth approached. She got onto the test and made it across cleanly jumping into third place. The other competitor had to finish her burpees which must have been so hard having just seen your podium position slip away.