Spartan ‘warriors’ are set to invade Winton House – one of Scotland’s most historic castles – as a special training session gets under way this week.
A Spartan Race training camp will be held in the grounds on Wednesday.
Its purpose is to prepare racers for one of the toughest sporting events staged annually in Scotland, the Spartan Sprint, on Sunday, September 21, a challenging 5km cross-country obstacle course race.
Spartan races are designed to bring out the “inner warrior” in racers. Huge crowds will watch competitors of all age groups, from beginners to hardcore warriors and endurance athletes, grapple with fearsome, military-style obstacles that test their physical stamina and mental toughness. Obstacles are kept top secret on purpose to surprise racers, but they may tackle 15ft rope climbs, slippery 7ft ramp scaling, spear target-throwing, carrying sandbags up steep hills and barbed-wire mud crawls. Would-be Spartans may also have to scale 25ft-high cargo nets, leap through fire and endure plunging into sub-zero ice-pits.
Time penalties are common, punishable by a compulsory set of 30 burpees, meted out irrespective of gender. And, contrary to some people’s expectations that Spartan Race events are all just about male testosterone, in fact more than 45 per cent of Spartan racers are women.