A group of five male employees participated in this year’s Spartan Sprint in Conyers, Ga.
Youth Service Officer Nathan Ross described the event as “five and a half miles of tough road.”
“This was a huge challenge,” Ross said.
Participants had to run, climb muddy ropes, hurdle walls, complete a lateral rock wall, crawl under barbed wire, traverse creeks and overcome other obstacles.
YSO Scooter Hayworth said there was an obstacle about every quarter mile. There were about 15 obstacles in all.
Some obstacles proved to be too much for the local participants resulting in penalties of completing squat thrusts at the end of the race.
“There were times where some of us just had to give up and take the penalty,” Ross said.
The five Juvenile Court officers that participated were joined by Ross’ son Hunter and administrative assistant Malita Cornett’s son Colin. Both boys are 15 years old.
“It surprised me how well the younger kids did with it,” Ross said. “It was fun for me and my son to actually do something together.”
The local participants focused on staying together and finishing safely rather than trying to win.
They completed the course in one hour and 59 minutes.
“After we all came back in the office, we all had our medals and all the war stories... there was a glow in the office,” Ross said.
The event served as a way for the already tight knit group to grow closer.
“I feel like this is a family more than a work place,” participant YSO Steven Rogers said.
Ross was the ringleader in forming the group.
“Here at Juvenile (court) Judge Daniel Swafford and Terry Gallaher, the director — they are real adamant about us staying fit. They are very supportive of that,” Ross said.
As part of this support, the court has provided a workout area for employees to use during breaks.
Ross first discovered Spartan Races with his son while looking at physical challenge races on YouTube.
“I showed it to the guys here and next thing you know we are getting a group together,” Ross said.
Ross and Rogers spent six months training for the event.
Rogers said running was a major component of training for the race. Weight training was also important.
The officers also became more conscious of what they were eating to get healthier in preparation for the race.
Rogers said the most difficult obstacle for him was climbing the rope. Participants had to climb a rope, over a pit of mud, up to a bell. Ross said he was unable to complete the challenge.
Hayworth said the lateral rock climb was the most difficult obstacle for him.
In true Spartan style, the trail ended with participants running past people trying to hit them with gladiator sticks. The local participants used a “Flying V formation” to keep everyone from getting hit, Rogers said
“It was fun and painful all in one trip,” Rogers said of the course.
The participants had to sign numerous waivers and purchase social insurance in order to participate.
“The first aid tent was packed the whole time we were there,” Hayworth said.
After the group finished the course, they still had a two-mile trek back to their car.
Ross said he hopes to take a group again next year.