by Carrie Adams

Your 2011 Spartan Race Rankings click HERE!  The top 5,000 males and top 5,000 females are live, check them out!

374691_10150389185026861_251061411860_8883400_172098013_nSpartan Race is pleased to announce a new partnership for the 2012 season with Athlinks.com – the largest results database for competitive endurance athletes in the world.  Adding to this partnership, Spartan Race will be including Age Group as well as Gender specific results each week in order to give you more ways to measure the successes and improvements for Spartan Race finishers throughout the year. 

Athlinks, the leader in results tracking and rankings  will be managing the improved Spartan Rankings by based on overall finish time, Gender and Age Group placement, multi-race participation, as well as other Secret-Spartan conditions that take weather, course difficulty, altitude and other factors into consideration.

In order to get the most out your 2012 season, we encourage you to claim your 2011 Spartan Race results history and be sure to check the Spartan Calendar for upcoming races near you and get signed up! 

1. Go to Athlinks.com

2. Enter your name to locate your results

3. Create a profile and claim your race history.

We’ll see you on the course in 2012!

by Alec Blenis

393595_10150389196771861_251061411860_8883561_1155940080_nAt times running over 100 miles per week in freezing temperatures, he takes endurance to a whole new extreme. Placing third in the Spartan Race World Championship, he won the World’s Toughest Mudder competition just two weeks later. Mechanical engineer by day, hardcore endurance athlete by night, he often doesn’t finish his grueling workouts until after midnight. This extraordinary gentlemen is known by some as Pak-man.

Sparta, meet Junyong Pak.

Junyong, 34, was born to a loving family in Korea. To survive the harsh winters in his homeland, extra body fat was sometimes a necessity. Always slender however, Junyong was actually considered unhealthy by his family. Now living in Boston, perhaps it is this background which helped him win the World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24 hour test of endurance in which icy waters and harsh weather kept all but ten of the initial competitors from even finishing the event. With a 2:33 Boston Marathon finish previously this year, it’s no surprise that he did well. Second place was more than four hours behind. “I could have run farther,” he says, “but I didn’t want to get hurt.” Junyong has other big races coming up…

Junyong started racing in middle school when a friend convinced him to join the cross14641_590787849279_2811400_34885900_7814527_n country team. Never one to disappoint, Junyong ran hard for his high school coach but, regrettably, he didn’t run in college. He had always wanted to run an obstacle course competitively, but “there was nothing like [Spartan Race] when I was growing up,” he says. When he saw an ad for Spartan Race a few years ago, he jumped on the opportunity. An inspiring athlete, Junyong always places well at Spartan Races. With another successful racing season behind him, Junyong has big plans for 2012. He’ll be running in multiple Spartan Races: the infamous Spartan Death Race and the Spartan Race Championship to be held in Killington, Vermont.

So how does he balance a full time job and personal life with his rigorous training? Admittedly, he is not a morning person. He does all of his workouts when he gets home from work around 10:00pm, tired and hungry. It’s not always easy though. “Not working out is simply not an option. The rest of life starts when you’re done training. I just make it happen.” Junyong has no secrets. In fact, his training log is available for all to see online. What separates him for his competition is his grit, work ethic, and passion to succeed. He envisions each workout as the one that will make him a better and stronger athlete than the rest.

This year at the Spartan Race World Championships in Glen Rose, Texas, Junyong briefly overtook Hobie Call at the spear throw, only to be passed again at the herculean hoist. Never too far behind Hobie, the reigning champion, many wonder if Junyong has what it takes to claim the title next year. “Hobie’s on top,” says Junyong. “I don’t think anyone can beat him right now. I’ve gotten to be such good friends [with Hobie], I don’t think I would want to beat him even if I could.”

190201_194462037254114_126442634056055_566080_1122835_nI asked Junyong what new obstacle he would like to see in an upcoming Spartan Race. “A peg-wall… It would only be feasible for the top athletes, but it would be great to see at a championship level event.” This obstacle would be a wooden wall filled with holes. Athletes would climb the wall by hanging from two pegs which would would be moved from hole to hole.

Along with his World’s Toughest Mudder victory, Junyong took home a $10,000 prize.
“I’m giving it all to my dad,” he says. “The sacrifices he has made for our family are so great. He really needs to retire, and I want to help make that happen.”

It’s easy to see why everyone loves Junyong Pak.  We’ll be seeing a lot of Pak Man in 2012. 

Editor’s Note: Alec Blenis is an accomplished endurance athlete and Spartan competitor.  Finishing in the top three at several Spartan events and top five in the Spartan World Championships he was the youngest competitor in the field at 17 years of age. 

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by Carrie Adams

What would you do if you were alone in the middle of the densest woods in Maine and the battery on your headlamp died? In the midst of a competitive adventure race (involving paddling across lakes and towing canoes through the woods), you bushwhacked off-trail to find the next checkpoint, which had eluded your team.  You left your teammates behind on the trail, with a heavy cargo of canoes—and your spare batteries.

It happened to Brian Duncanson, Spartan Race CEO.  During one memorable adventure race, he and his teammates paddled across seven lakes, carrying their canoes with them as they walked through the woods that separated each lake from the next.  They searched unsuccessfully for the next checkpoint, until they were too burdened by the canoes to go further.  So Duncanson set out on his own to find it.

He was alone in the woods without a light or a friend or hope of contacting his team, who were out of earshot–when a member of an opposing team stepped in to help out. Using the light of his opponent’s headlamp, the two men managed to locate the next checkpoint and make it back to the trail, where Duncanson replaced his batteries.

Adventure races, like Spartan Races, are all about cooperation–not only between team members, but also between opposing teams. “There are many times during a race when it becomes advantageous to temporarily cooperate with another team,” Duncanson says.  ”Whenever we’ve found things and not told other teams, it always came back to bite us, because we may need their help down the road.”

Despite close calls like these, Duncanson stays passionate about adventure racing.  “I really like doing different things, and I love being outdoors,” he says.  But “the most interesting thing is the fact that there’s navigation involved.  It’s a mental challenge as well as a physical one, like solving a puzzle.” Adventure racers use only a map and compass to determine their path through wilderness and swampland.  In this way, adventure races are quite similar to Spartan Races: competitors’ creativity and ingenuity are tested, as well as their physical strength and endurance.

For Duncanson, life and career are no different from the extreme challenges and team mentality of adventure races.  He’s been competing in adventure races for the past ten years, and his team was even sponsored by Guinness.  Adventure racing led him to his job at Spartan Race, since he met co-founder Joe DeSena at a race event.  Duncanson’s chosen career, athletic event organization, reflects his commitment to adventure racing as well.

“You’re on a team, and working together,” Duncanson says, whether it’s out in the woods or in the office.  “Different people have different personalities and different strengths.  I see my job as not only organizing race events, but also blending different personalities together.”

Do Spartan Races have anything in common with adventure races?
Duncanson says yes.  ”Number one, it’s about having a new experience and doing something out of the ordinary.  I think that’s what attracts a lot of people to come out and do the events.  You sign up for a 10K and you know what you’re getting into.  Spartan races are something totally different and a little mysterious.”

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[Editor’s Note: Selica is director of Quebec and Ontario Spartan Race Markets. Richard is the director of the UK Markets.]

If you want to know how exactly Spartan Races came into existence, you have to look to the story of Selica Sevigny and Richard Lee, the British-Canadian couple that literally stumbled into Pittsfield, VT in spring 2009.

Montreal native Sevigny, 26, was working for Global television in Montreal in 2008 when she met the Iron Man finisher, and endurance athlete Richard Lee, 29.  He was on vacation and it was love at first sight.

In spring 2009, the pair was hiking south on the Appalachian trail to help Richard recover from a broken leg.  After 2000 miles, they hit Pittsfield, VT only a few days before the start of the Death Race, Joe De Sena’s brutal 48+ hour test of mental and physical endurance.  Richard was confident he was up to the challenge of the Death Race, and he dared Selica to do it with him.  She agreed, although she had never competed in an endurance race before.  But, she said in a recent interview, “I’m just a very determined individual.  When I set a goal, I try to stick with it and get through.”

Remarkably, despite his lack of preparation, Richard finished first in the race.  He said though he found the Death Race psychologically more difficult than the military training he received before sustaining military career-ending injuries.  Selica, who said the race was “by far the hardest challenge I’ve ever experienced in my life,” developed hypothermia during the race and was unable to finish.  She said, “Many times during the race, I could only put one foot in front of the other, but I thought, as long as I’m moving, I’m still in the game.”  Her determination and persistence led her to return for the winter Death Race  in December 2009, where she placed third.

Needless to say, the race made an impression on both.  “It’s so unpredictable that you can’t really train for it, and we really liked the idea of not knowing what’s coming,” Selica said.  “In a marathon or triathlon, you know exactly what’s coming.  In the Death Race, you don’t know the obstacles and you don’t know how to react.”

The day after the Death Race in 2009, Richard broke his foot, effectively stranding the couple in Pittsfield for a month.  In that month, they spent some time hanging out with Joe, and the idea for Spartan Races was born.  Selica and Richard, both inspired by the sense of accomplishment and confidence they felt after competing in the Death Race, wanted to offer that feeling to a much wider audience.  Due to its extreme nature, the Death Race is open only to the most elite athletes—those who have the time to train extensively.  “We wanted to invite just anybody, regardless of fitness level, to give it a try,” said Selica.

Why Spartan?  “We brainstormed to come up with iconic images of strength, bravery, and ingenuity.  Spartans were a small group, but they overcame so much adversity.”  Plus, the fact that the Spartans were an ancient people offers an appealing alternative to the questionable values of our modern society.  “The essence of what we’re doing is encouraging people to return to their ancient roots,” said Selica.  “Our ancestors lived in the woods, hunting and gathering as a daily lifestyle.  Now we depend so much on technology that people use a GPS system just to go for a walk.  Not only are we living a pampered life—we live a life where people get stressed by little things like having to wait for an elevator or being stuck in traffic.  We want to encourage people to return to the days of running in the woods, getting lost, challenging themselves, getting dirty.  Even just getting in contact with that for a day is fantastic.

“If the race inspires people to just get out of their comfort zone for a day, or if it inspires lasting change, then we’ve done our job.”

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by Carrie Adams

mike-morris“Anyone can get off the couch tomorrow and do a Spartan race,” says Spartan Race Director Mike Morris. “Sure, you might suffer, but the feeling you get when you cross the finish line is going to bring you back again and again.”

Morris, who selects venues and designs Spartan Race’s unique courses, knows what it feels like to cross the finish line after an arduous race. He’s a competitive adventure racer who has competed in multi-day races around the world. Adventure racing, for those who don’t know, is a sport in which teams of two to four people hike, run, mountain bike, and paddle for upwards of nine days across hundreds of miles. They navigate their own way through forest and wilderness, from checkpoint to checkpoint, eating and sleeping when necessary.

Since 2003, Morris has competed in Adventure Races in Vermont, Florida, Missouri, California, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Canada, Georgia, and Costa Rica, and has raced in the yearly United States Adventure Racing Championships three times. He’s no stranger to adversity on the trail. In one memorable instance, he developed knee tendonitis eight hours into a three-day race through the mountainous terrain of Vermont and New Hampshire. Every time he bent his leg, pain shot through his body.

Did he consider quitting?

“Of course,” he says. “The pain was really bad. But I knew I couldn’t let my team down, even though we had to go a lot slower because of my injury.”

Adventure racing can involve getting soaked in 40-degree pouring rainstorms, meeting up with alligators while paddling through Florida swamps, and at times even falling asleep while hiking or biking due to sheer exhaustion. You rely utterly on your teammates for support and guidance, which is why it’s important to compete with people you know well, according to Morris.

Morris knows that not everyone can afford the commitment of thousands of dollars it takes to buy a mountain bike and travel to compete in adventure races. He sees Spartan Race as an alternative that is accessible to everyone. “Spartan Races are an opportunity for people to experience something different that might intimidate them, but ultimately will be that much more rewarding if they finish,” he says.

Morris believes that absolutely everyone can benefit from racing. “I enjoy the challenges of endurance racing,” he says. “It all comes down to mindset, which in more challenging and longer races is equally, if not more important than physical abilities. I always say, ‘If I can do it, anyone can do it.’”

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by Carrie Adams

Why build a Spartan Race Team in 2012? 

When it comes to Spartan Races… size matters.

clip_image002The bigger the better… teams that is. And YOURS can win big in 2012!

You can run a Spartan Race alone, but how else will your tales of scaling walls, leaping fire and dispatching Spartan gladiators wielding giant pugil sticks be told unless your friends are by your side? (Those same friends will know you started crying under the barbed wire, but that’s another story.) clip_image004

Running as a team makes it an incredible experience for everyone involved and there are obstacles you will want friends by your side.  You’ve seen our walls, right?  You will also enjoy having someone to hug and/or carry you off at the finish line.

DSC_7425Spartan is rewarding the biggest teams with some sweet prizes.

Here’s how it’s going down:

The Biggest Team at Each 2012 Event is eligible to win our Grand Prize and race for free in 2013. No special codes or complications required. Just sign up as a team when you register.

Grand Prize

The Team Captain of the biggest Team in 2012 gets travel expenses (airfare/ hotel) and race entry to EVERY Spartan Event in 2013.* That’s right. EVERY EVENT.

Don’t worry we’re spreading the love at each race. The biggest team at EACH race is winning big too.

  • · One FREE race entry per person for 2013 race
  • · VIP Treatment on Race Day
  • · Free entry into the Hurricane Heat

clip_image006* Captain does not have to attend every race, but can send one athlete in his/her place.  

** To be eligible you MUST be registered as a Team.  You don’t need to be in the same heat, just need to be on the same team roster when we close registration.  

The winning teams will be determined once registration closes and announced on race day. 2012 Grand Prize winner will be announced when registration closes for our final event in 2012.

So hit the gym, your office, your school, or the bar down the street… rip your friends and family off their couches and get signed up!

Discounts still apply, so you get to save some cold hard cash too!

Register as a Team Captain and add Team members, or Join an Existing Team! The more people you can get to join your team, the more money you will get in your pocket! Team rebates are as follows:

  • Teams of 4-15 members each receive a $5 rebate.
  • Teams of 16-29 members each receive a $10 rebate.
  • Teams of 30+ members each receive a $15 rebate.

Note: Rebate will occur at registration’s end and will be applied to the method of payment for that specific registration (i.e. whatever credit card you used).

Visit www.spartanrace.com for registration details.

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by Carrie Adams

All too often we spend our waking hours trying to find and stay comfortable in our own lives. We look for short cuts, gadgets, and processes to make things easier, seeking what we consider personal fulfillment. We believe that there are things we can do and things that we can’t, and we become conditioned to that distinction. It creates our everyday reality and it makes us feel secure, because we think we know what to expect of the world and what to expect of ourselves. Enter Joe DeSena, the man who will turn that world upside down.

Growing up in Queens, Joe’s mother valued healthy eating and living and passed on that value system to Joe.   It’s been well-documented that he worked hard growing up and ultimately got to Wall Street, where he made his mark and made himself a small fortune.  He moved his family to Pittsfield, Vermont and quickly entrenched himself and his family in the local landscape.  Joe moved to Vermont in an attempt to get back to the way things used to be.

It’s also well-documented that Joe turned an interest in endurance racing into a passion.  His racing resume is the stuff of legends – over 50 ultra-events overall and 12 Ironman Events in one year alone.  Most of his races are 100 miles or more with a few traditional marathons in the mix.  (He once told me that my running a 26.2 marathon distance was “adorable.”)

To put it in perspective, he did the Vermont 100, the Lake Placid Ironman and the Badwater Ultra… in one week.  For those that don’t know or just don’t want to hear the gory details, the elevation climb for Badwater is over 8,500 feet up to Mt. Whitney and temperatures soar into the 120’s.   Joe also rode cross-country to the Furnace Creek 508 which has been coined “The Toughest 48 hours in sport.”  It’s no wonder his favorite quote is, “Death is the price we pay for life, so make it worth it.”

Montage of Joe racing

In 2005, Joe decided that the world needed a new race, something that had never been done. And so, together with Peak Races, he created The Death Race, a 24-hour mental and physical test filled with unknown obstacles.  Racers couldn’t and wouldn’t

know what to expect.  The fear of the unknown would either break or motivate, and all they could do was try to survive.  The race waiver consists of three words: “I may die.” It doesn’t get any more real than that.  No way to train, no way to prepare, just show up and make it to the end.  And don’t expect any love from

Joe or the volunteers.  They want to break these people, make them quit.  Joe’s been quoted as saying, “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. We’re basically holding your hand to help you quit. The same way life does, right?”

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By Amy Kubal MS, RD

Here are 12 tips to help you stay healthy, sane and the same size this holiday season:

1.) Deck your appetizer buffet with vegetable and fruit trays, shrimp platters, nuts that are still in the shell (provide nutcrackers), and sparkling water with lemons and limes; instead of cheese and crackers, cookies, candy, and eggnog. Keep you and your loved ones “Merry and Light”!

HolidayWeight2.) Plan your attack. Decide which seasonal treats are worth the indulgence and which ones you can pass up. Go in with a plan to beat the buffet!

3.) Host a Paleo holiday gathering. If your friends and family are on board; this one will be EASY! Assign each guest a “course” – appetizer, entree, side, salad, dessert, drink, etc., to bring to the party. And if you aren’t fortunate enough to have ‘paleo posse’; supply your guests with recipes and/or directions telling them exactly what to bring!

4.) Start a new holiday tradition. Instead of the yearly “cookie swap” try a Paleo “soup swap”. Everyone brings a specified quantity of a soup and let the trading begin! Be sure to have the soup makers provide recipes!!

5.) Sweat! Exercise is important – especially during the holidays!! Make it a family activity – go for a walk, play in the snow, head to the basketball court. Whatever you do, don’t take an extended vacation from all activity, unless you’re making a run for next year’s mall Santa…

6.) Turn out the lights. Sleep!! During this high-stress season it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re getting adequate shuteye.

7.) Hold it steady – your weight, that is. The holidays are not the time to start working on those ‘last 10’ or first ‘20’ pounds. Just focus on not making the situation worse!

8.) Stay hydrated – with WATER!!! Thirst is often confused with hunger. Dehydration might drive you to the cook jar and also leave you drowsy. Choose water instead of eggnog, cider, alcohol, cocoa, soda, and juices. Save room for the good stuff – the food!!

9.) Enjoy your FAVORITE seasonal treats in moderation. READ: Two dozen cookies is NOT moderation!!

10.) Keep it simple! The holidays don’t have to be epic and elaborate. If Christmas dinner is burgers and brats that’s okay! Think outside the box – it doesn’t have to be traditional to be special!

11.) Say no. If you’ve been invited to every party in town it’s okay to not go to all of them! Remember that your sanity counts and if staying home watching “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” sounds like a little piece of heaven in comparison to the party; there’s your sign! Stay home, relax. There’s always next year…

12.) Lastly, keep in mind the true meaning of the holidays. It’s not about food, presents, decorations, and parties. It’s about being with the people that we care about most. As long as you remember that; you are sure to maintain your health, sanity, and waist size this season.

Happy Holidays!!!

Written by Amy Kubal, MS, RD, LN, Paleo Dietitian – Amy is a Registered “Paleo” Dietitian and the ring leader of Robb Wolf’s RD consulting team. She works with a wide range of clients from competitive athletes to those dealing with complex health problems. Check out her bio and consulting options, and her blog Fuel As Rx to get your Paleo nutrition fix. Email her if you have questions or would like to learn more at: amyk.rd@gmail.com

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by Carrie Adams

SR_ICON_LOGO_186“Never believe that a few people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead

Defining the soul of a race like Spartan took the collected effort of seven extraordinary people.  Inspired by the spirit of the Death Race, expect the unexpected and the brain child of endurance athletes, and mountaineers, the Spartan Race is the toughest series of events on the planet.  These individuals, dubbed the “Founding Few” in the inception of the Spartan Race obstacle racing series, these individuals have blazed new trails in their respective events, broken world records, and traveled the world seeking bigger and better challenges.  They bring that experience, that fire, to each and every Spartan Race around the World.

The people who bring you Spartan Race are the real thing.  They’re tough. They’re daring. They’re bold.  They’ve been out there, pushing themselves physically and mentally further than they thought possible, facing adversity and overcoming it.   Every member of the Spartan Race Team is dedicated and talented, many accomplished athletes, relentlessly pursuing the next level of competition and their own personal best. And each one of them brings this intense enthusiasm to Spartan Race and to its participants.

Here’s your chance to get to know them a little better.  The “Founding Few” who have blazed the trails as epic athletes of their own right, making Spartan Race the toughest obstacle race series in existence and the one and only Spartan Death Race, the World’s Toughest Race, period.   

For the next seven days, we’ll tell their stories and in a follow up series we’ll share the stories of those who hold it down at Spartan Race HQ each and every day. 

Hear their stories, be inspired, come out and race with us… you’ll never be the same. You’ll know at the finish line.

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by Carrie Adams

trifecta-badgeThe Spartan Race schedule in 2011 was a brutal one.  From the mountains of Vermont to the flat grounds of Texas, the foothills of SoCal and the muddy, sticky Midwest all-terrain sites, we put Spartans all over the globe through their paces.  With our trademark colors and unique medals, Spartans traveled far and wide to claim Spartan glory and bring home the hardware and the unforgettable memories.

Out of our schedule that included the three Spartan distances:  Sprint (red), Super (blue), Beast (green) there was but one Beast in Killington, VT and there were fewer than 100 who earned the right to call themselves Trifecta Tribe when the year was said and done.

Spartan Trifecta Tribe members are a rare breed of Spartan Racer that, in just one calendar race year, they completed the short and fast Spartan Sprint, the longer tougher Super Spartan, and the toughest and longest of all… the Spartan Beast.

Check out our new page that highlights the Trifecta Tribe of 2011.  Then step up in 2012 and compete and finish at least one race in all three distances. Then, you will be worthy of being on this list and earn your official patch and tribe membership!  We have Season Passes still available so you can get your Spartan fix and your membership all year long.  Head over to www.spartanrace.com, check out the schedule and commit to make your 2012 memorable.

If you want to get inducted in the Spartan Trifecta Tribe you have to put in the work.  See you in 2012.

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