by Carrie Adams

On a cold January evening in 2010, twenty-six year old Gerald Veneziano got in his car at home in Clifton, NJ heading for his night shift with the Fairfield Police Department.  He noticed a car pull in behind him and follow his vehicle for over 15 minutes.  He called into the station to have the car pulled over but no one was in proximity so in an empty parking lot, the brave man identified himself as a police officer to his follower.  Before he could react, the suspect pulled out a handgun and began to fire.  Taking bullets Veneziano exited his car to seek cover.  Three shots ripped into his leg crushing his femur and tearing a major artery wide open.  Another shattered his jaw and broke off several teeth leaving him unable to speak.  He somehow managed to return fire but multiple gunshots later, Veneziano lay alone in the abandoned parking lot bleeding out from the torn artery in his leg. 

His car had rolled away in the fire fight forcing him to seek help despite his horrific injuries.  He managed to drag himself 40 yards to the street where a bystander called 911.  He was airlifted to the hosptial where his his life was saved and a drug-induced coma was necessary to let his injuries heal.  A year and a half later, with five major surgeries and months of rehab behind him he just recently returned to active duty.  The man accused of shooting him was apprehended a month and a half after the incident later in an unrelated incident involving what is reported to the the same handgun used in Veneziano’s case and now sits in a mental hospital awaiting a trial.  To date, he’s never admitted committing the crime or given a reason.    
 
For Veneziano, the damage is lasting.  He will always have nerve damage and he has a rod in his femur to hold it together and screws and a plate in his jaw.  Doctors said he lost so much blood that he should’t be here.  In fact, the cold temperatures may have helped save his life.  Doctors speculate that the 15 degree weather slowed blood loss possibly preventing his death. 
 
Overcoming obstacles has been the theme of Veneziano’s life for a year and a half.  He knows what hard work can accomplish alongside the support and encouragement of family and friends.  He wants others to know what that feels like.  On September 24th and 25th The Spartan Race will head to Staten Island for an eight mile obstacle race of running, jumping, climbing and crawling, and Veneziano will be in the audience.  Unable to participate in this year’s event he looks forward to future races.
 
He says, “I wish I could do it!  It sounds like fun – especially if people from work do it together and build comraderie.”
 
A special  Law Enforcement Challenge has been added to the Staten Island race to which Spartan Race will be donating funds on participating Law Enforcement team’s behalf.  Veneziano is encouraging his co-workers to get signed up for the challenging race saying, “You’d be surprised what your body can do. When I got shot I had to crawl to the road with a broken leg.  As far as long term, I keep working at it.  That kind of hard work will get you far.”

Overcoming obstacles, finding out what’s possible… That’s true Spartan spirit. 

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by Jason Jaksetic and Carrie Adams

utah-85 - CopyLove our WOD’s?  If you aren’t getting them delivered to you sign up here: www.spartanrace.com/wod.  We love the daily WOD’s  too and they go a long way in preparing you for Spartan Race days.  There is another component, recovery and rest, that we want to address.

Recovery and rest days vary based on your level of activity, your upcoming races, and timing of the races.  Overtraining is an issue but so is under-recovering.

Regardless of your level of fitness, make sure you are doing a few things:

1. Drink plenty of water.  3 liters a day is a good rule of thumb.

2. Stretch frequently and invest in a foam roller for helping work lactic acid out of your muscles immediately following exercise and anytime you feel tightness in your muscles.

3. Eat well.  Nutrition is  key component to your training.

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Traditional “rest” days aren’t always absolutely necessary.  In fact, some light cross-training is becoming far more beneficial for your body than true rest is some scenarios.  For example, if you are a runner, sometimes easing into a effortless swim or bike ride around the town  might help heal your body than complete rest.

And sometimes you better barricade yourself in bed with those child-railing-things that keep you from falling on your floor as a kid.  True rest has it’s place.  Know your body.  The choice is always yours and should be based on how your body feels and your experiences with recovery and rest.

If your are new to the training game, you’ll want to defer to rest days until you know your recovery threshold.  But a brisk walk on rest days can be invigorating and always take the time on those days to get in a good long stretch.

For those of you who have been hard training for a while, you have a handle on recovery, but regardless of how superhuman, Sylvester-Stallone-ish you are feeling all the time, you need to have a day where you MUST turn the fitness switch and slow it down.

Here is why that’s important:

If you kill yourself for 3 weeks straight you are getting diminishingly strong as you wear your body down. You’re slowly crashing your system.

You DO get bad-ass strong as your heal and recover from bad-ass training. Then repeat process over and over again. This is why training is call ‘adaptive’.  And why we call it the training cycle.  Also, Burnout is a serious issue as is over training. As is injury and constant fatigue syndrome.

Best defense to get better and stronger is to rest now and again.  You think this would be easy enough but most people burn out and over train. They develop injuries and illnesses.

So, what to do?

Avoid the drama. Give yourself permission 1 day a week to let the lactic drain and your mood improve. And REALLY give yourself permission.  No griping to workout comrades about feeling guilty about ‘not training today’. Drop the pretentions and heal.

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The Spartan Race series starts out with a 5k, you then work your way up through the Olympic distance (Super) then to the Ultra distance (our Spartan Beast). If you finish all 3 distances in the same year you have completed the Spartan Challenge. Step one is signing up. Step two is telling all your friends so you are on the hook, Step three is following our WOD’s and eating healthy!

Here is one Spartan’s way of getting prepared.  Robert Decillis raced with us in Tuxedo, NY is racing in Boston as well as Staten Island in Septebmer.  How are your getting ready for the Spartan Challenge?

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by Khaled Allen

SR-Facebook-2 - CopyBarbed wire.  It conjures images of prison breaks amidst roving spotlights and barking dogs.  It is a simple but formidable obstacle to your escape, requiring agility to avoid entanglement.

No matter where you find it, barbed wire is no joke, especially if it lies between you and where you want to go.  Such is the case on the Spartan Race course, where you’ll have to crawl under a canopy of low-hanging barbed wire to continue the race.

Barbed wire is a cunningly simple obstacle: lines of wire with knotted ends protruding along its length.  Coming into any sort of contact with the barbs leads to entanglement, forcing would-be escapees to reconsider their chosen path or else work their way slowly over the obstacle.  It’s been used for centuries to stop or slow everything from invading armies to herds of cattle, performing both functions admirably.

Like I said, barbed wire is no joke.

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We’ve been racing since everyone else has been ‘Dashing’ and ‘Mudding.’  We were born out of the Death Race in 2005 and strive to throw the most wicked race for the baddest athletes on the planet.  And we want YOU to race with us.  So, what do you need to know?

1) Spartan Race was founded by 8 extraordinary individuals: The Founding Few, comprised of seven ultra-athletes. These people participated and competed in ultra-distance, self-supported races and expeditions for fun, for the challenge and for the primal satisfaction of testing physical limitations.

SR-Facebook-11A few examples: Joe DeSena – Multiple Ironman finisher, Ultra-distance runner and cyclist.  Noel Hanna – World Record holder in mountain climbing, has ascended Everest four times.  Andy Weinberg – Ironman, Double and Triple Ironman finisher, ultra-distance runner and cyclist. Richard Lee – Ironman finisher, and endurance athlete

Why is that relevant?

Because we know rad racing and this a rad race.

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