JACKSONVILLE – Sharon Hawley waited in the finish line chute of her second SPARTAN race in two days with her husband John’s finishing medal about 10 minutes before she was able to put his medal …
JACKSONVILLE – Sharon Hawley waited in the finish line chute of her second SPARTAN race in two days with her husband John’s finishing medal about 10 minutes before she was able to put his medal on him after a history of John putting the medal on Sharon.
“I lost time falling off one of the last obstacles,” said John Hawley, 33, of Fleming Island. “We both fell on the same obstacle. This is the first time she has put the medal on me.”
The Hawleys had completed the grueling SPARTAN sprint race in Jacksonville that featured a 3.5 mile cross country course with 10 obstacles and a lot of mud.
“It rained crazy yesterday and last night and the course was a slop,” said Sharon Hawley, 31. “I chew gum and, during the race, with all the sand and mud, it can get crunchy.”
On Saturday, the Hawleys added to the drama by competing in the Super Race which features 10 miles of trekking with 29 obstacles to loosen up the legs and cardiovascular systems.
John Hawley took two hours, three minutes, 50 seconds to finish and earn a 53rd place in his age group. On Sunday, John Hawley took 58:22 to do the sprint race to finish 223 overall, 37th in age group.
“The legs were a little heavy from Saturday,” said John Hawley.
Sharon Hawley finished sixth in her age group in the sprint race in 52:27 to get 22nd female and 156th overall. In the Super race on Sunday, Hawley won her age group with a 1:56:43 split that was good for 197th overall out of 669 females.
“My marathon running was a big advantage,” said
The race was staged at the WW Motorcross Ranch near Baldwin. Obstacles include water traps, sand hill climbs, rope climbs, staff throws, burpees, giant tire flips, monkey bar crawls and sack runs.
Both Hawleys are veteran road runners in the area with membership in the Pavement Killers run club in Fleming Island, but took to the SPARTAN races recently. Both recently completed the Donna Marathons with times of 3:21.32 and 3:40.55, respectively, with Sharon winning her age group.
“I don’t have good upper body strength, but can run,” said Sharon Hawley. “The big difference is that marathons you try to get to a steady pace and heart rate, but SPARTANS are up and down heart rates and you have to learn to settle down before you hit the obstacles. Some are brutal and the heart rate goes crazy, then you have to run in mud and do another one.”
The Hawleys train at the Gett Itt Core Fitness gym in Jacksonville run by Orange Park veteran racer Joe Rivera, also a U.S. Marine.
“One of the advantages we have is that the Gett Itt gym has the obstacles to train on,” said John Hawley. “It’s hard to just run or lift weights to be ready for this because the obstacles are all so different.”