The 12 Hour Hurricane Heat (HH12HR), and how to beat it.

By Danielle Rieck

The HH12HR. It’s brutal. It’s scary. You may not finish. Even if you’ve finished three already. And it really sucks to get cut. I know. And even when you do get to stay, it sucks watching your friends get cut. I know.

But I still think you should do it.

Danielle Rieck — the world’s first Spartan Delta recipient.

The HH12HR is essentially two different events rolled into one, then back. You work as a team for a while and you do team things and have a cute team name. Then, just as you’re starting to get comfortable being a super awesome team, the individual portion starts. And that’s when cuts get made and people go home sometimes crying and swearing and maybe not handling it quite as gracefully as she pictured she would if it happened to her. Then, what’s left of the team gets back together and finishes the event.

That’s the biggest difference between the HH and the HH12HR.

You. May. Not. Finish.

I’ve finished HH12HRs that stronger, tougher, better people have failed. I’ve DNFd HH12HR where I was definitely stronger, tougher, better than some of the people that finished. Sometimes one run of bad luck, one wrong turn, one miscount of steps, and you’re out.

Failing a HH12HR doesn’t make you a bad human, it doesn’t make you unworthy of love, it doesn’t make you less of a Spartan. It just means you don’t get a piece of metal at the end. This time.

The more you get into Endurance, the more you expose yourself to failure. But failure doesn’t have to mean the end of your story. It’s part of the journey.

There’s a group called the 11th Hour Family on the east coast. These people came together after getting cut at a HH12HR during the 11th hour, and decided to take that “failure” and make the most of it. They’ve developed a friendship outside of that moment that pushes each other into training harder, working stronger, being more. I’m not a part of this group, but I have witnessed so many triumphs that this group has done. It’s beautiful.

So, if you get cut, be that kind of cut. The kind that makes yourself better because of it.

Now, onto happier thoughts…

How to lessen the chances of getting cut:

Prepare for anything. Keep moving. Don’t get in your head. Don’t quit.

Prepare for anything.

I have people messaging me all the time about what, specifically, they can do to finish the HH12HR. The answer? All the things. Work out. Cardio, weights, carry shit a lot. Get your brain in order. Learn to use a compass. Learn to solve puzzles. Learn how to memorize letters and numbers. Learn to read a map. Learn to work in the dark and cold and wet.

Keep moving

Unless something is absolutely slowing you down and needs to be changed. Don’t stop moving. Ripped your pants? Just be ass out until you are safe. It’ll be funny, I swear. Got mud in your hair? People pay big money for that. Love it. Don’t. Stop. Moving.

Don’t get in your head

At some point, you may feel like you’re done for. All the big guys have passed you and are probably all enjoying hot cocoa by the fire right now while you are our searching for a little sticker on a tree. But you never know when your luck is going to happen. You never know when an olive branch may be extended your way. Also, you don’t know what other people’s individual time hack is looking like. They may be lost in another part of the woods too.

Don’t quit

This one is my second biggest peeve (I’ll talk about my biggest peeve momentarily). Until the Krypteia tells you to go home, you stay and you work hard. I get frustrated when people quit, because I can only imagine two possibilities that come from it. Possibility #1- they leave and five minutes later regret it. Possibility #2- that’s how they go through life. When the going gets tough, they quit. And that is the worst possibility ever. Because there may come a time in life when that is not an option and you haven’t prepared yourself for anything else.

The most important thing I can bring up about the HH12HR is regarding integrity. Whether you get cut, or you go home with a medal, if you race with integrity you win. That sounds super after-school special-y. But I really do mean it.

I’ve said it before, Endurance events prepare you for life. How you handle them is practice for how you will handle life’s other events.

Don’t try to get by on less than your best. Carry the weight you are supposed to be carrying. Find the codes yourself, using the skills you were asked of. Don’t cheat. You may not get caught, but you’ll know and you shouldn’t be proud of your success if it wasn’t fully earned.

I bring this up not because I want to blog about negative stuff. I bring it up because HH12HR is the first event that you may encounter where integrity really does matter. And as you go further into the series of Endurance, you’ll see that it matters more and more. And as you go further into life, you’ll see that it matters even more that that.

Who you become because of these events is what they are about. All of the missions and challenges put before you are not there to make you a better burpee-er, or a better flutter kicker. It’s about being a better you, and discovering what that means. You aren’t wearing a bucket on your head because Spartan Krypteia want you to be able to be successful if you’re ever in a situation where you need to wear a bucket helmet. You aren’t carrying buckets of water on your shoulders for miles because Spartan wants to make sure you can save a village in need of water.

All of these things are done to teach you to try new skills, work past your limits, find new betters.

Use this opportunity. Become better.

Also, smile. Be happy. You chose to do this. A shitty attitude is your worst enemy. In life. Make today your best day ever. Every day.

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