Thoughts from a Little Giant

Corey Raymo

(Editor’s note: Corey Raymo of Greencastle is a member of the Little Giants, one of 24 teams selected to compete in Season 2 of the “Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge” that is airing this summer at 10 p.m. Mondays on NBC. It debuted on June 12.)

The “Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge” season premiere is over, and America now knows who the Little Giants are after winning their first heat and advancing to Round 2. There are eight weeks total for the series, and we are only beginning.

Six of the total 24 teams competed in the premiere episode, so we have more teams to compete in Round 1 before moving on to the next round.

The Little Giants had a solid performance in the first race, and we couldn’t be any happier with the outcome. However, after going through the course for the first time, we also had a deeper understanding of how one obstacle or one slip up can make the difference in winning or losing. The heat just before us was a perfect example of that, with just a fraction of a second separating the winners and second place. Fortunately, we didn’t have any of those major hang-ups or mishaps in our first heat and we executed nearly flawlessly for the win. We knew those obstacles are some of the toughest obstacles in the world, and there is no room for error, so our preparation and strategizing were key to our victory in Round 1.

Our team gelled on the course like no other I’ve ever been a part of. Our collective strengths and weaknesses within our team complemented perfectly and played out fantastic for us. We excelled where we thought we would with speed, agility and endurance, but we also confirmed our fears of where we’d struggle on the heavy strength obstacles like the barrel roll and the car crank. Thankfully in Round 1, the obstacles we excelled on were enough to keep us ahead to make up for the ones we struggled on.

Will the same good fortune carry over for us into Round 2? This remains to be seen in a few weeks when the Little Giants square off against the other remaining 11 teams. The competition gets stiffer, and some new obstacles will be presented to us. The Little Giants have over 300 Spartan Races combined under their belts, so adapting and reacting to new things is in our wheelhouse, however it’s a new set of unknowns for us and a new set of risks in Round 2. We did fantastic in Round 1, but these new unknowns of Round 2 leave us throwing any overconfidence from Round 1 out the door.

This is Spartan Racing, nothing is given, there are always unknowns, and anything can happen. The only thing we know and can guarantee going into our next race is that we cannot, and will not stop, until we cross the finish line and that we will once again leave every ounce of what we have on the course, win, lose or draw. Expect to see the Little Giants race again in Round 2 somewhere after the the other teams compete in Round 1, most likely around episode five of the eight-episode series.