When 11 individuals signed up as members of the New City Gladiators under the auspices of New City Chiropractic Center to participate in a ‘Spartan Sprint,’ for charity they had some idea of what they had gotten themselves into but none of them truly realized the extent of the challenges they would be facing on a very hot June 2. Spartan Race was designed by seven “insane ultra athletes and a Royal Marine” according to the company’s website which also states their goal is simple, “…to get you off your couch, throw you in the mud and trails, and feed you one tough endurance event day that will be the adrenalin rush of your life.”
“The race itself and the obstacles were much harder than we anticipated but nothing compared to the challenges faced each and every day by those afflicted with MS,” stated Dr. Michael Cocilovo, organizer of the Gladiators. Dr. Cocilovo’s older brother Vincent was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over 25 years ago and so the cause is one that is close to his heart. In addition, his practice treats many individuals who suffer from MS including Richard Fernandez whose wife Nancy was part of the Gladiator team and raised over $4,400. The team together raised a total of $8,000 by race day but the total donation is currently $9,267.
The obstacles included dragging 25 pound sand bags up hill, climbing spider web type ropes, pulling cement blocks by metal chains, scaling numerous walls ranging from four feet high to eight feet high, balancing and walking across thin tree stumps placed in the ground, throwing javelins, climbing a 20 foot rope after wading through hip deep mud, flipping giant tractor trailer tires, crawling and rolling in mud uphill underneath barbed wire, traversing a fire pit, and just when you think you’re done, there are men at the end of the race with giant, albeit somewhat cushioned, clubs waiting to give you a whack just before you cross the finish line!
For every obstacle that the athletes didn’t accomplish successfully, they had to execute 30 burpees which is a full body exercise akin to a jumping jack combined with a plank and a squat thrust! More than 12,000 people participated over the course of the weekend with the fastest finisher coming in at 1.14 minutes and with the average time at 2.5 hours. The New City Gladiators were in the middle range with a very respectable team finish of approximately 400 out of 750 teams. They each received a Spartan Race “I finished – can you?” t-shirt along with a medal for their efforts.