by Carrie Adams

photo (8)When news of the impending landfall of Hurricane Irene began to circulate, Spartan HQ worked diligently to keep race doors open for the weekend.  When the State of Massachusetts shut down the site and the venue for Sunday’s August 28th day of racing, and declared a state of emergency we were forced to cancel the heats.  Amidst the disappointed racers and staffers, no one was more upset than our own owner, Joe DeSena and the crews, course designers, and builders ready to race in Amesbury. 

Plans for possible Sunday heats evaporated when we were notified that streets would be shut down and the Sunday permit would no longer be valid.  A new plan was necessary.  Phone calls, site visits, and last minute adjustments were made and SR staffers managed to negotiate an alternative for a few Spartan athletes brave enough to take on the challenge.  By noon on Friday, an invitation went out to all Sunday racers giving them the chance to try Spartan’s course with a unique twist.  An early morning run through the course led by some of the Founders of Spartan Race.  And just like that, Running with the Founders: The Hurricane Heat was born.

Running in teams with self-determined names like “Team Orange Hat”, “Team Death”, “Team Sandbag”  and without chips at 6 AM, Saturday, August 27th more than 150 people spent nearly 2 1/2 hours with Joe DeSena and other Spartan staff racing the course, doing burpees together, hauling sand bags and getting a taste of what motivates our company of athletes to do what we do with our races. 

The athletes, dubbed the Hurricane Heaters, earned their finisher medals and in their own words, told of their experience out in the woods, in the mud, and in the company of some other amazing runners who took part in the first heat of it’s kind. 

295983_10150268187534094_719939093_7734733_2197212_s“1st Spartan ever! Thanks to “Sandman” team! I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks to the Founders and letting us race with you at 6AM! See you next year!!!” –Elizabeth Leonard

“Couldn’t let Irene get in the way! PROUD member of Team Orange 319538_184409291631773_100001881097696_452202_3039320_sHat! –Stacie Dufour

“Team Orange Hat Forever!! :) – Domenic Fernandes

“Running the Amesbury Race twice in one day was awesome! Hobie is def a damn Beast. Joe once again thanks for taking the 6 am Hurricane Heat and making it worth the 2 1/2 hour drive to the race. Team Disconnected rocked it.” – Nathan Holmes

“Team Green of the Hurricane Division. You all rule!! No questions.” – Jennifer Sullivan

307192_10150273015585866_544365865_8255628_2393416_s“Can’t thank Joe enough for making the Hurricane Heat happen! It was 2.5 hours of torture but we loved every minute of it! Thanks for designing such a challenging course, pushing us to our limits, and running along with us carrying a sandbag! Thanks to Team Orange Hat for killing it! And Mr. Orange Hat himself for dragging that sandbag under the barbed wire for the team!” –Alison Brown

“Thanks, Spartan organizers, for putting together this morning’s Hurricane Heat. Wish Irene would have let us have Sunday, but this was a great and perhaps more memorable alternative. Toughest course I’ve done (so far). Go Team North Shore!” – David Elston-Pollock

“The Amesbury course was awesome this year, even better than the last.. Thanks for lettling the Hurricane division run and Team Death kick axx!” – Jonathan Rheaume

“Thank you to all the organizers for pulling together and making the hurricane heat possible. It was above and beyond the call of duty, and something we all will never forget. For all those people who complained about the situation, I hope you were there to enjoy the heat with us, and recognize how hard they worked to make it happen. Special thanks to Joe for running with us at 6am with a sandbag for the entire race!” – Kevin Andrews

185366_10150267168401861_251061411860_8237135_5236174_nWe were thrilled to give some Spartans a memorable experience in Amesbury Running with the Founders. It should come as no surprise to you that Joe D and few Hurricane Heaters took to the trails on Sunday to get in a training run…

On a more serious note, our thoughts go out to all those still at the mercy of Hurricane Irene.  Our own HQ in Vermont has been hit hard and many people are without homes, power, and have been evacuated with no sure sign of when they can return.  We hope that Irene passes soon and the recovery can soon follow.  Stay safe until we race with you again, Spartans. 

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by Carrie Adams

The Killington Beast proved to be one of the most memorable Spartan battlegrounds to date.  Once people got home (and the swelling went down), the emails flooded into Spartan HQ telling stories of survival on the mountain and how the obstacles and single track trail were some of the toughest our Spartan athletes have faced.  However, some of the most memorable quotes were heard on the mountain by some of our very own Spartan employees.  (You know we run our own races, right?)

Our take-away?  Spartans are not only resilient, they are also quite FUNNY.  Here’s a few (that we could remember.) 

thebeast-161. This is the hardest race I’ve ever done and yet I’m still smiling.  I think I need a Power Bar.  That’s the first sign of being delusional. 

2. This is harder that child birth and I have had two kids.

3. Maybe I didn’t do enough carb loading?  Carbs are, like, magic… right?  Ugh, now I want pizza.

4. Would you take a picture of my leg bruise?  I got mine at the barbed wire pit, where’dthebeast-53 you get yours? 

5. The Spartan chicks are hot…. I wish the last one would have chicked me slightly more slowly. 

6. You started at 9?   I started at 10:30, why am I beating you?  I bet Hobie Call is already home napping. 

7. The people at work are NEVER going to believe what I did this weekend. 

thebeast-508. Just breathe.  There’s just a rope ladder to climb, another rope to traverse, a slippery wall, and a spear to throw left…oh yeah, and the three huge Spartan Gladiators with pugil sticks to get passed.  (With a quarter mile to go.)

9. I don’t need to be able to walk when we get done, do I?  I mean, the volunteers will carry us back to our cars, right?  That’s part of their job, right?

10. So, what you’re saying is that we are running up double black diamond slopes thatthebeast-59 are equipped with a fully functional ski lift?  Okay, just checking.

11. Girl One: You think they have port-a-potties out here? 

Girl Two: Just go.  I did. 

Girl One: Like, just now you did?

Girl Two: I think so. 

12. If that dude throws me over this eight foot wall right now, I’ll buy him an entire keg ofthebeast-71 beer at the after party tonight. 

13. I hear music, I think that means we’re close… or I’m now hearing things.  Either way, it’s catchy so I am going with it.

14. That’s not mud, it’s mushy banana.  I had it in my bra but it got squashed when I did the barbed wire crawl.   I’ll still eat it though. 

15. That was the craziest thing I’ve ever done… I can’t wait for the next one. 

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Watch our Beast Recap on Spartan Race TV

What do you most remember (or not) about your Spartan experience?  Post pictures and one liners to our wall, there may be a T-shirt in it for you with your quote on it… Want to know what all the buzz is about?  Get signed up for a race today and find out. 

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“Eat to live, don’t live to eat.” – Cicero

Spartans live healthy.  That means training and nutrition.  By now, many people have heard the term “clean eating” and may even know a few things about what that means.  We’ll also cover some basics on Paleo eating in coming posts.

Clean eating isn’t about a radical lifestyle change (well, for some it may be vastly different from the fast food and overly-processed foods we eat all too often out of convenience, habit, and lack of perceived options) its a healthy way to live as individuals, as families and as healthy, connected communities.  It all starts at home.

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by Carrie Adams

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Photo taken by Beat Winner Marc-Andre Bedard

What does a race day mean to Spartan Athletes?  On August 6, 2011 at 9 A.M. the hotly anticipated Spartan Beast began with a boom!  The competitive heat set off across the start line through rising pillars of smoke and raging rows of fire to tackle 12 then unknown and brutalizing miles in the Vermont mountains.  By 8:45 that night, the final racer would cross the finish line.

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Racers taking a break on the mountain

For nearly 12 hours, waves of racers battled the single track trails, the steep elevation, the challenging obstacles, the voices in their heads telling them to quit, and their own physical limitations that left them panting and sweating.  It was common to see athletes bloodied, soaked, dirty, hurt, exhausted in their efforts and lying on the side of the mountain.  Lungs screaming, and legs shaking, they’d rise and forge ahead, ultimately overcoming all the obstacles they faced that day.

Beast Champion Marc-Andre Bedard

The first racer would cross the line at 2:56:09, but on this day, it wasn’t Hobie Call who would claim victory.  In an unexpected outcome of events, it would be 25-year old Quebec biathlete Marc-Andre Bedard, 2010 Olympian who would take the top prize at the Beast. The soft-spoken and humble French Canadian was unknown to race organizers when the race began.  He is known now.  Bedard has vowed to return.

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by Carrie Adams

Spartan racers are amazing athletes.  Regardless of personal goals, they show up and continue to prove what it takes to get the job done!

At our first ever Spartan Beast, we got flooded with pictures, stories, blogs, and videos about racer experiences that we knew we had to share.  Through blogs, photos, and videos these Spartans manage to tell their tales that are unique, personal, and inspiring.

Here’s just a few insights from our first ever Spartan Beast racers in Killington, Vermont.

Race Blogs:

Alex Matthews:

spartan-finish-beer_thumbTwo days after the Spartan Beast Race, a 13-mile trail and obstacle course challenge in Killington, Vt., I think I have the brainpower to reflect on the 6 hours and 15 minutes my younger brother, Will, and I spent out on the mountain.

Before the start, we watched a couple hundred in the elite crew head out at 9 a.m. We were in the 10 a.m. wave and happy to have them go first, break the trail and show us what we were in for. Read more Mission Complete Here at Anything Active.

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