Exhilarating. Refreshing. Fulfilling.
These are the words used to describe this year’s Spartan Race. And indeed, it was all these words and more! After all, the Spartan Race was created to test our physical limits, strengthen our bonds, and allow us to have lots of fun in the process. Akin to the spirit of ancient Spartans from 2500 years ago, our Eunoians were pitted against each other as well as themselves, as each student strove to do their best to make their house proud.
An annual tradition, this year’s Spartan Race was no different from the ones organised in previous years. Our J2s were pushed to their maximum capacities as they sprinted, jumped, threw, lifted, and even shimmied to the finish line. What was different, however, was the intensity of the stations from last year. The 17 stations from Spartan’21 were reduced to 15; however, Eunoians were provided with a greater variety of challenges to take part in!
But how did all of this start? Surely the operation of these stations and the organisation process wasn’t a well-oiled machine from the beginning? Well, let’s take a trip down memory lane to catch a behind-the-scenes picture of one of this year’s most exciting events.
The preparation for this level-wide event started way back in August 2021, when the three OICs (Overall-In-Charge) of the Exco Team were elected. Endless planning and dry runs ensued all through November and December, as the Spartan Team strived to create an enjoyable event for all.
As with any major project, the Spartan Team faced countless challenges along the way. The team constituted ODAC (Outdoor Adventure Club) members as well as Sports Representatives.
This was an initial challenge for one of the OICs, Yeo Yi Xuan. “With so many unfamiliar faces taking up the majority of the EXCO team, it definitely took a long time trying to understand the different working styles and personalities of every team member,” the ODAC member and Spartan OIC explained. It was a daunting start, but after some time, the EXCOo were able to work well with one another, and the team found itself conquering setbacks after setbacks.
Ella Zhang, one of the OICs, recalled their final dry run. Several problems had surfaced only a few days from the actual event, sending her into a panic. “Thinking back at [the challenges that suddenly surfaced], they were definitely a blessing in disguise, as [this] made me work even harder to prepare for the actual event,” she reflected.
When the long-anticipated day finally came, it did not disappoint. The J2s geared up and donned their house T-shirts, proudly filling the school with their bright colours. Everyone was a bundle of nerves as they prepared to conquer the 12 stations that awaited them. These stations tested a range of skills such as strength, agility, balance and teamwork.
A notable station was the ‘Featured Obstacle’. Participants had to climb up a wooden block before crawling through and descending from a supporting net. This posed a challenge to many who struggled to face their fear of heights. With the support and encouragement from their peers however, they managed to overcome the daunting obstacle.
The ‘Red Light Green Light’ station was also another memorable obstacle. “It was the station where all my group mates had to work together to complete the challenge and it was quite challenging as we were required to coordinate our movements while having our ankles tied together”, Ishika Suresh, a Spartan participant reflects. Despite the arduous task, her group managed to pass the station as they forged forward together in step.
The day ended with a livestream of the finale where 2 participants from each class competed in a relay on behalf of their respective houses. These teams even included teachers who bravely volunteered themselves to represent their houses. It was a close call, but it was none other than the house of Uzuri that eventually emerged victorious, with Ora and Isami treading not far behind. These houses not only dominated in the finale, but also emerged as the overall champions of Spartan 2022!
In the face of the endless challenges of Spartan’22, many passed the majority of the stations, and are now able to call themselves Spartans. The spirit of Spartan truly shone through on the day itself, as everyone cheered everyone else on, all the while putting their physical stamina and endurance to the test.
The takeaways from Spartan were especially heart-warming to hear, too. Ong Enyee, who emerged first after clocking the fastest timing for KOH (Girls), reveals that she had not expected to win first place due to her muscle aches from training the previous day. She adds that “I really do have to thank my friends for their continual support and encouragement; they helped me believe that I could do it, and then, along with my own drive, I actually did it!” When interviewed, many participants also revealed that despite their initial wariness and reluctance to put in their absolute best effort for Spartan, they found themselves motivating each other and pushing themselves to do even better during the event itself.
Even in the face of failure, Eunoians learnt to take things in their stride, and try harder next time. “Despite being disappointed at failing at some stations, I think everyone learnt to let go of their mistakes, and instead focus on picking themselves up and moving forward”, notes Benjamin Lai, one of the finale participants for Ora.
As this school tradition carries on for future batches of J2s, we hope that it will continue to be as “exhilarating, refreshing and fulfilling” as this year’s, and give everyone the chance to see just how much they are capable of!