By: Casey Eischen

This past weekend we took part in the first ever Spartan Race 12 Hour Hurricane Heat. Honestly, had Joe Di Stefano not invited me I would not have considered it but who am I to pass up that opportunity? I had never done a Hurricane Heat so I had no expectations, but being a SGX Coach and finding out this was a Death Race qualifier I knew one thing, they would do everything they could to try to break us.

The nerves set in a week before when we get this ominous email from Tony Matesi saying they have been watching us and then proceeded to name a bizarre mandatory supply list each athlete must take. The list included a golf ball, flotation device, and Hooters poker chip to keep in our backpack that would carry enough food and hydration for 12 hours. Oh, and we will be in the desert so why not make us wear all black while we are at it!

Morning of, 32 of us HH12HR athletes met at 5:15am with the rest of the regular HH crew of 60, but we we’re distinguished by our reflective vests. We didn’t actually start til 6am and of course we kicked it all off with burpees. We did them together counting as a team until told to stop at 103. Next came the first of what would be MANY dunks in the ice bath. At first we were told to just sit in there and recite the Spartan Warrior Ethos and then we all had to cross over the other side by submerging our heads under a wall. This would be my biggest Achilles heel of the day.

After that, we had to duck walk up a mountain to where there start line was and of course, do more burpees. From there, we had to lay on the ground and roll about 100 yards to where we would build a “tunnel of love”. First person to arrives goes to plank, next person army crawls under to plank, and so on. I was third to fall in line which meant I had to hold a downward dog/plank for about 10 minutes while 90 people crawl under. Not so bad but your pack is on your head crunching your neck. Then we proceeded to some obstacles. First was the under/over where I was chosen as the person to not touch the ground. I would bear hug the hurdle and swing under which was most affective while I saw other groups lay down and pass someone on top. After climbing another hill we then proceeded to some more obstacles: cargo net, wall, and then to the rope climb where we all had to wait til every athlete hit the bell at the top. I hopped right to it nailing it and then watched as a bunch of men tried to get a larger fellow up without success. Finally someone grabbed the bell from the top and brought it down to him to ring.

By this time, athletes and spectators were filling in so why not parade us in front of them? So we had to do about 30 minutes of different exercises which included more burpees, push ups, lateral gorilla, planks, and kid n play. At this point, 3 hours was up and we went back to the dunk tank to chant the ethos, ran out jumping the fire that just kicked off near the finish line, and said goodbye to the HH crew. 3 hours was already up?! Easy, peasy I thought!

Then the tone of the game changed and things got real. Tony shows us a map and says, “you are no longer a team, it’s individual challenges”. So, our first mission was to run to a destination in the desert that’s off course, grab a tire, and meet back at the start line in x amount of time. I was the first girl to the tire graveyard picking what seemed smaller than others, little did I know the smallest ones were buried under to be revealed to the slower runners.

It’s about 10am and Tony says, “now do the whole 9+ mile obstacle race with the tire”. I was more than happy to oblige and excited to do all the obstacles in a 4 hour window. “Piece of cake”, I thought! Although time was on my side, it quickly became apparent we had entered the suck. Maneuvering up and down gravel hills was quite dangerous! Sometimes I chose to bear crawl because I couldn’t keep my footing with the weight of the tire. The whole time I kept thanking God I was not racing this at full speed. It would be all too easy to miss a step and injure yourself.

So through cargo nets, walls, the Hercules hoist, multiple carries, tire flips, crawls, and many other obstacles, I made it through with ease of my tire. I was lucky to be small enough to fit inside my tire where I could position it to rest on top of my pack so it actually helped in the gravel carry because I was able to use the tire to place the weight vs using strength.  But still, holding anything for that long burns your shoulders. If we missed an obstacle it was a 50 burpee penalty vs the usual 30. Rope climb and monkey bars with a tire? Not a chance!

So me and my new buddy Kristine stayed together through the entire course helping each other and laughing while we would nonchalantly take a pee break while chatting to people passing by. I really want to thank everyone who passed us that day. Everyone was so encouraging shouting words of praise. That’s the best part of the Spartan events, we all want to see the other succeed and hearing cheers from fellow racers made our will that much stronger that day.

I do feel I was well prepared for this event. I had all kinds of electrolytes, salt packets, and snacks to help carry me through such a long day in the desert. I even helped a few of the other athletes including some that were not in HH12HR but were desperately seeking salt for cramps. Not once did I have a physical limitation. Despite only being back in the game for 6 months after a year off from total knee recon and 4 surgeries to replace toxic breasts, I never experienced a twinge of pain or cramp. For me, it was the mental part of dealing with the environment. As previously mentioned, the terrain was incredibly wicked with multiple climbs on gravel and rock. And of course, it was blazing hot and I was surprised I was one of few to wear sunglasses (mine are prescription) to help block the sun. Another tool that helped me greatly that day was the dry fit handkerchief I tied around my neck. I used it to cool myself, pick dust globs out of my nose, to cover my mouth when crawling, to wipe things off, and to occasionally cover my whole face while some wicked sand storm would blast through. The weirdest thing about the desert is how quick the temp changes. You would be incredibly hot with dry mouth and burnt skin but then a cloud would come in creating a rapid chill, especially after you enter those dang ice baths!

So after another dunk in the ice bath, Kristine and I crossed the finish line just in time for the cut off. While waiting for everyone else to finish and trying to get warm, we were awarded a break to refuel and collect our finisher medals and shirts. All of us were delighted about having something warm to put on. However, only 19 of us successfully completed that mission. While the others were able to rejoin us, they were not eligible to receive the HH12HR patch.

Only 4 more hours to go and feeling great at this point! They decided to parade us again in front of everyone with our hands interlocked to each other between our legs and then back into the damn ice bath!!!! Really?!! Get us warm and then make us crawl under barb wire while freezing water sprays us only to fully submerge us in the ice bath again?! At this point, I was pissed! We get out and they say go make sand angels. My head was angry as I stared up at the sky flailing around arms and legs. The clouds rolled in and even though I cloud see the sun I was shivering so badly all I could do was pray the clouds would move. Just to mess with us a little more, they had us flip over face down to make sand angels while they kicked up dirt.

After another series of torturous exercises that included group sit ups, more rolling, fire man carries, reverse bear crawl down hill and crab walks back up hill, we were sent on another mission….after another trip to the ice bath of course. We partnered up and were told to retrieve our poker chips from the tunnel under the freeway off course. Lucky I’m only 5’1 because the first tunnel we had to cross was tiny, dark, and laced with spider webs. Then we met one of our slave drivers under the freeway where he demanded 100 push ups for the chip. We did them together in sets of 10 because our shoulders were absolutely destroyed at this point. After running back to hand in the chip, we were greeted with yet another damn ice bath!

Only 2 hours left and we were dragged to a car where we had to retrieve logs to carry. Once we reached our next destination it was exercise roulette drawing from a deck of cards that would determine what and how many of each exercise we would do together as a team. Finally, the golf ball and sharpie came into play writing our names on them only to have them chucked into the desert. After all, Easter is coming so why not celebrate with a hunt? Still not sure why we had to bring a floatation device to the desert, perhaps to slow us down as we crossed under water in the ice bath….?

Back to the logs and on to another destination of freezing water where we did more burpees. At this point I was so cold and the sand storms were so bad that I began coughing uncontrollably feeling like I had pneumonia. One more hour!!  Well, the sand storms got so incredibly dangerous that parts of the Spartan festival started flying around so they put us to work helping break down set ups and grab sand bags to reinforce tents. Thank god because I was praying for no more ice baths. I honestly could not wait to run out of there and get dry clothes after one last task, Indian run the festival while carrying a heavy ass tractor tire.

Finally, our day was done. We earned our shirts, and while only half of us earned the badge, we all earned honor! Some people must have quit along the way as well because the group pic does not have 33 athletes in it. Either way, it was a complete head trip and I totally cried at the end knowing that I can do anything as long as I keep a strong will. I would definitely do this event again, any day. As far as the Death Race goes, I think I may have to pass on that for now so that I can take on the Ultra Beast later this year.

Thank you to all my teammates, slave drivers, and everyone who encouraged our journey. Every bit of the suck was worth it. AROO!!!!

 

Do you think you have what it takes to do the HH12HR? Sign up today! 

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The rolling, endless hills. That glorious scent of the trees that plays on the nostrils evoking an urge to be at one with nature. Those seemingly infinite trees that seem to wave at you as you negotiate the trails. Where better than to hold the 2014 Founder’s Race than in the welcoming arms on Montana? 

Expect around 4+ miles of inclines, mud and fiendishly designed obstacles to test your mettle. The terrain may be rugged and it may be metaphorically slapping you with one hand, but it’ll be rubbing you better with the other. You won’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Your reward? How about the rare and coveted Founder’s Race medal and a t-shirt, not to mention the kudos and bragging rights that go along with it?

That’s right – Spartan Race is going “old school” style in Montana. Will you have what it takes to accept this challenge? Do you have it in you?

Sign up here and you’ll know at the finish line…

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By Brakken Kraker

Spartan Race returns to Miami this weekend, ready to break in a new and exciting venue. Oleta River State Park will host it’s first iteration of the Super Spartan, featuring 8+ miles of hot, humid racing. For the first time, Miami Spartans will be able to enjoy Spartan Race staples such as the spear throw and fire jump. Unlike past years, the new locale will allow such obstacles on the premises! The course is rumored to traverse through a mix of wide dirt fire roads, beaches, deep canals, technical single track mountain bike trails, and lots of swamp. The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-70s for the first heat, with possibility of low 80s by the time the final heat takes off. The humidity isn’t going to be taking it easy either, so the promise of frequent water crossings may be a life-saver for anyone descending from above the Mason-Dixon for this race. Three aid stations are to be provided, but this may be a race worth carrying extra water.

With two Spartan Races this weekend (Citi Field once again plays host to a Stadium Sprint), competitive racers have a decision to make as to which location they will be attending. As of press time, both the men’s and women’s fields are wide open. There is rumor that Shawn Feiock, Joey Patrolia, and Isaiah Vidal will be joining me at the starting line, but whether or not any other big names will throw their hat into the ring remains to be seen.

The women’s race has the potential for a big throwdown, as both April Dee and Amelia Boone may show up to resume one of the best rivalries in the sport today. Amelia is coming off a tough 2nd place finish via Spear Throw in Las Vegas, while April is looking for her first victory of the year. Which women will show up to challenge these two champions remains to be seen. There is always fast, homegrown talent in Florida, so it would surprise no one if some local speed materializes come race day.

As always, the can’t miss event of the weekend will be the Kids’ Race. With 6 different race times and both a 1-mile and ½-mile version, there is sure to be race perfect for the future Spartans in attendance. If you are 13 or under, don’t miss this chance to run a race with Spartan Pro Team members!

Make sure to show up extra early for the Miami event, as parking is located off-site. There will be a shuttle service ferrying racers to and from the course, but it is first-come first-serve. Allowing extra time for this will ensure a stress-free check-in process on the day of the race.

See you at the finish line!!

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By Miguel Medina

Reebok Spartan Race Preview:  Citi Field the modern day Coliseum

The time has come Spartans! On April 12th and 13thSpartan Race is stepping off the trails and storming the gates at Citi Field, home of the Mets in beautiful New York City, not to mention that the weather for the weekend is looking great, with a slight chance of showers on Saturday. This year’s Stadium Sprint will include a vast array of obstacles that we’ve seen both on and off the trails, with a few surprises tossed in courtesy of Race Director Dann LG, racers will be able to run through the team locker rooms, among the bleachers and dug outs attacking obstacle after obstacle. Spectators and participants alike will be able to get a full scope of the action via Jumbotron throughout the entire weekend along with enjoying the battles to ensue within the men’s and women’s elite heats.

Miguel Medina is no stranger to rocking it.

Hunter “The Sheriff” McIntyre will be returning to the big apple after a phenomenal 3rd place finish in the Las Vegas Super Spartan and to continue his winning streak in stadiums. He won’t be met unchallenged as several of the Spartan Pro’s and elites are looking to end that streak. Fort Drum’s favorite Elliot Megquier is looking to get a shot at the Sheriff, along with Colorado’s Cody Wright. Tossing his trooper hat aside and leaving the mountains of Vermont is Miguel Medina along with a new addition to the Pony Barn and Boston Native, Dennis Smith.  The women’s elite heat is shaping up to be fierce in Competition as Karlee Whipple is looking to best her last performance, an impressive 3rd place finish at Aloha Stadium but she won’t be alone as Shaun Provost, Laura Messner and several other of Sparta’s finest are looking to conquer Citi Field as well. 

In addition to the Elite and Open waves, Citi Field will hold the first Special Needs Spartan Race course within a stadium. This course is designed for Spartans with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (IDD).  In paving new ground for increased collaboration and awareness within the Spartan community, these racers along with their guardians will test their strength, stamina and resilience in overcoming adversity and continuing to encourage people from all walks of life to be more active, fit, and healthy. Also throughout the day there will be food and refreshments, festival challenges for prizes and bragging rights as well as The Jr. Varsity Spartan and Varsity Spartan races for children 4-13 years of age.

All Spectators and Participants are encouraged to arrive at least an hour before their start time and to bring their ID for registration. If necessary you may carry personal hydration and nutrition but there will be 1-2 aid stations along the way. Waves start at 7am Saturday and 8am on Sunday, and every 15 minutes after commencing with the Elites, Confirmed, Morning, Afternoon, and Late Afternoon. Don’t forget to enjoy the sights, sounds, and entertainment that New York City has to offer.

Will you know at the finish line?

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On the Las Vegas Strip, opulent waterfalls, sky scraping hotels and lush retreats abound.  On The Strip, you could almost forget that this bustling city began simply as a dream in a desert.

Yes, a desert.

This Saturday, thousands of Spartans will invade the infamous Sin City for the second-ever Las Vegas Super, which make no mistake, while conveniently located, is taking place on the outskirts of the metropolis, away from the ringing bells of casinos, the air conditioned biomes of pink clouds the billboards of lights, lights and more lights.

Spartan Racers should expect nearly nine miles and nearly two dozen obstacles in the dry, dusty plains of the Nevada desert.

With a new locale from last year aptly called the “Gravel Pit,” course designers are promising all the Spartan staples — spears, ropes, walls, pits, tires — amid both the natural, rocky topography and new, man-made terrain.  There will be muddy portions, but true to the setting, very little water, except for the planned three stations and one at the finish. If last year is any indication, participants should also expect some down and uphill climbs. At last check, the weather predictions called for sun with highs in the 70s and a slight wind.

The Racer Athlete Guide suggests everyone bringing an ID for check in (and any post-race drinks), arriving at least an hour before the wave start, carrying personal hydration and nutrition. If starting at 2:00pm or later, it’s also advised to carry a headlamp. Click here for the Las Vegas Athlete Guide.

Just like the desert itself, the elite heats will be scorching, with athletes from the around the nation all vying for spots on the podium and top ranking in the 2014 World Points Series, especially since this is a one-day event.

In the men’s elite, look for 2013 top-ranked Brian Hoover and the Spartan Pro Teamers Elliott Megquier, Chris Rutz, David Magida, current points leader, Hunter Mcintyre and Charlotte’s first place winner, Matt Novakovich.

Last year’s Vegas 2nd place winner TyAnn Clark and Spartan World Champion Amelia Boone are both expected to take the start line in the women’s heat, as are Leslie St. Louis, making her first 2014 return from injury, and Pro Teamers Andi Hardy, Juliana Sproles and Tiffanie Novakovich.

Beyond the Super Spartan, there are other events taking place on Saturday: the not-to-be-missed Kids’ Races, the 6:00 am Hurricane Heat and the 12-hour Hurricane Heat (HH12HR), which serves as one of the qualifying events for the Peak Death Race.

While all of the events promise to challenge racers, the festival area will offer some Spartan-Style entertainment and fun, including food and refreshments, an SGX Warm up every hour starting at 7:30am, an SGX tutorial on rope climbing every hour starting at 9:00 am and Pull-up, Traverse Wall, Slosh Pipe and Tire Flip challenges happening throughout at the day starting around 10:00 am.

Amid obstacles, sweeping desert views and rousing “Aroos!” racers at the Spartan Super this weekend will likely discover something new to remember about Las Vegas, a city founded on dreams and a desert.

Click here for more information.

 

Leslie St. Louis is a trail runner, obstacle racer and mom of two mud-loving girls in Morrison, Colorado. She is currently ranked 9th in the Spartan World Points Series and the founder of a local obstacle group, resource and blog, Colorado Obstacle Racers, http://coloradoobstacleracers.com/.

 

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By: Tony Matesi

CITI FIELD

Welcome to the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, the Queens borough of New York City. With a population of over 2.2 million people in Queens alone, the borough represents over 100 nations and speaks over 138 different languages. Don’t worry you won’t need a translator, English is still the most commonly spoken language.

Citi Field is the home to Major League Baseball’s New York Mets and is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, adjacent to the previous team home, Shea Stadium, which is now the Citi Field parking lot. Citi Field has the capacity for 41,922 Spartans! This stadium is no stranger to hosting events other than baseball either, on July 17, 18 and 21, 2009, Paul McCartney performed a series of three sold-out concerts at Citi Field. On top of that, Citi Field hosted its first soccer game between the national teams of Ecuador and Greece on June 7, 2011. They tied, 1-1. Now, Citi Field will be invaded by Spartans. You will conquer the course while spectators watch you fight through the modern day colosseum. Become part of Citi Field’s history.

What’s the weather like?

Normally the weather is quite perfect for a Spartan Stadium Sprint with an average low of 41° and high of 60°. Don’t let those comfortable temperatures fool you though, New York has a way of playing tricks. You’ll want to bring clothes for any situation. With a record low of 25° and a record high of 88° and all this talk of the Polar Vortex, we suggest coming prepared for anything. You know how it is, shorts weather one day and the next you are bundled up like an eskimo. Pack accordingly.

The Course:

The Stadium Race series provides a unique look at stadiums. Come to Citi Field to experience the standard Spartan Race obstacles along with some unique Stadium Only obstacles as you tear through the stands. Run across the baseline, climb into the dugout, navigate in and out of the bleachers, and catch a quick glimpse of the locker rooms. Conquer the Citi Field Stadium. Become a Spartan.

Where to sleep?

With Citi Field being so close to LaGuardia Airport the options for a place to crash are plentiful. There’s the Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn LaGuardia, Corona Hotel, Sheraton LaGaurdia East Hotel, the Flushing Grand Hotel, and the Fairfield Inn New York LaGuardia Airport/Flushing all within a very close radius to the ballpark. Book one of these nearby locations before they fill up! Trust us this is a race you won’t want to miss.

Tonight we dine in

After doing some extensive research there were a few select spots that kept popping up as must see spots in Queens, NY where Cit Field is located. First up is the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. As you’d guess its a beer garden, they offer up barbecue and Czech recipes. If you’re feeling up to something a little more fancy there’s the Water’s Edge Restaurant. Yes it’s located on the water’s edge and provides a magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline. No matter where you decide to dine the one place you must go to is the Lemon Ice King of Corona. Delicious flavored ice to celebrate a Spartan victory sounds delightful.

Nightlife:

If you’re looking to get out and shake your tail feathers after conquering the course – be smart, don’t get toasted the night before – we found some killer spots to check out while you spend your weekend in Queens. Soak in  some live entertainment, craft beers, burgers, sausages, and soulvaki at the German beer garden, Studio Square. Alternatively you have an opportunity to  transport yourself back to the 1890s with the speakeasy feel of Dutch Kills. Stop in and enjoy live jazz and ragtime music and the impressive hand-cut ice that is served in all their signature drinks. Are the European nightclubs more your scene? Check out the Central Lounge where the DJs spin hip-hop and dance music while you’re served sushi under the twinkling candlelight.

Family Destinations:

If you plan on bringing the whole family and want to offer them some options that expand their cultural knowledge be sure to check out the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Park. This giant globe is the symbol of Queens and is an excellent place for outdoor activities. Nearby, you can check out the Queens Museum of of Art where you can view the Panorama of New York City, an extremely detailed scaled model of the city.

Dabble in a little theater action and catch some improv by checking out the Secret Theatre. During the weekend of April 11-13 you can catch the following shows, A Full-ish Deck, Pirate Pete’s Parrot, and A Sunday Smile.

There will also be a few events happening in Queens that area including the Myrtle Avenue Festival taking place on April 13, 2014 on Myrtle Avenue between Forest Avenue and Wyckoff Avenue. Young kids can take part in an egg hunt at the Barnyard East Egg Hunt on April 14, 2014 between 12pm-4pm at the Queens County Farm Museum.

New York, the Big Apple. There’s a lot of opportunity for a Spartan. It’s a massive city with more to do than we can write about, so go fourth and explore! We’ll see you on the course, Spartans. AROO!!!

Credit: sheratonjfk

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By Brakken Kraker

Spartan Race returned to Hawaii this past weekend, arriving for the Aloha Stadium Sprint in Honolulu. As advertised, the weather was beautiful and the course was excellent! Navy Federal Credit Union continued to show their unbelievably generous support for our sport, providing a $7,500  purse for the top 3 men and women. They also had a wonderful tent set up with lots of free gifts and smiling employees! It was a great experience to have such a committed, supportive partner for Spartan Race. 

The big cash prizes, combined with sunny beaches, brought out some great competitors, both local and mainlanders. We even had some athletes from across the pond show up and compete. On the men’s side Brakken Kraker, Alexander Nicholas, Joey Patrolia, and Christopher Rutz made the trip, while Miguel Medina left his dungeon for a few hours to throw his hat into the ring.  Newcomer McCauley Kraker also showed up, ready to test his running and athleticism against the Spartan veterans on this exciting three mile course.  Several new obstacles made their appearance on this course, including a tire hoist and a bleacher squat series.

The relatively new but already universally despised football throw returned. Preliminary reports indicate that more than two people actually completed the obstacle this time. On the women’s side the pre-race favorites of KK Paul, Oahu’s own Lauren Ho and Karlee Whipple lived up to their hype, as all three finished within 21 seconds of each other. The battle for first came down to the final obstacle, where KK Paul edged out Lauren Ho for a two second victory. The men’s race stayed packed together for the first half of the race, until burpees ultimately broke it open. The Kraker brothers finished 1-2, with Joey Patrolia claiming the 3rd podium spot. 

We’d like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers, and workers at Spartan Race Hawaii, as well as the people of Oahu! Every single person we met was so unbelievably kind and supportive. It made our trip and race fantastic. We can’t wait to head back for the next race!

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THE FITTEST CEO® AT SPARTAN RACE INVITES EXECUTIVES TO COMPETE

 

Event to be hosted at Spartan Race HQ in Vermont, September 18-21, 2014

CHANHASSEN, Minn. (March 18, 2014) CEO Challenges, produced and presented by Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company and the world leader in sport competitions for C-level executives, announced today that in 2014, CEO Challenges and Spartan Race will work together for the first time to host The Fittest CEO® competition and TV show taking place Sept. 18-21, 2014. The annual championship identifies the fittest CEOs and this year the event will take place on the property of Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena in Pittsfield and Killington, Vermont. Spartan Race has redefined the obstacle / mud run category of events with multiple distance timed competitions around the world.

“For the past two years we have hosted our Fittest CEO® event at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee,” stated Ted Kennedy, President of CEO Challenges. “This year we decided to try something different and utilize the incredible endurance playground that Joe De Sena has built in and around Pittsfield. Joe is an expert in testing the endurance and fitness of individuals, and together we came up with an amazing list of events for the CEOs to choose from to see how they stack up. The challenge will culminate in an epic Spartan Sprint race at Killington.”

Fittest CEO participants will choose four endurance tests out of a list of eight offered (see below) and receive a score based on how they perform versus elite athletes in each discipline. Scores for the four events are added to their time over the Spartan Sprint course to see who is the fittest CEO and who will donate the winner’s check to the charity of their choice.

“Ted approached us with the idea of co-hosting The Fittest CEO® on our property,” said Joe De Sena. “Everything we stand for at Spartan Race revolves around increasing fitness and nutrition for the masses. I think it will be a great example to the rest of the country to see CEOs testing themselves over three days of endurance competitions.”

De Sena, author of a new book titled Spartan Up! continues, “If CEOs can fit regular training into their crazy work, travel, meeting, family and social schedules, then why can’t everyone?”

C-level executives of companies with at least $10 million in annual revenue are invited to submit an application to compete in the event. The package includes accommodations for three nights and meals (wine with dinner) for two nights, a professionally organized competition including Spartan Sprint Race, racing uniform, potential feature in the nationally broadcast Fittest CEO® TV show, and opportunity to donate from a prize purse estimated at almost $40,000 to the charity of choice of age group champions.

To include your name on the “interest list” for the event, visit CEOChallenges.com, and you will be contacted to find out about your company and athletic background. If accepted you and your company will be featured on the CEO Challenges website, in future press releases, and in a printed program circulated to the media at the event. Register your name today for one of the 15 coveted slots to the race, and for the opportunity to “lead by example” to your employees, your family, and viewers across the USA.

The Fittest CEO Competition Details:

Competitors choose 4 (four) out of the list of 8 (eight) offered endurance tests which will take place in and around Pittsfield, VT on Friday, Sept 19 and Saturday, Sept 20 (i.e. CEOs can choose which events play to their personal strengths. Note, you have the option to do more than four events and take your best 4 scores)

Each of the four elements will account for 15% of the total score awarded – 60% of the total mark after all four are completed

The final event – 3-mile Spartan Sprint on Sunday, Sept 21 – will account for 40% of the total score to name the Fittest CEO®

The 8 fitness tests offered:

1.   Mountain stair run – 1.5 miles, including 1-mile vertical run up a stair ladder

2.    Open water swim – 1-mile lake swim

3.    Mountain Bike – 10-mile single track trail race

4.    Wood chop & drag – Chop wood, load it onto a sled, and drag the sled 100 yards

5.    Kayak – 2-mile lake kayak

6.    Trail run – 5-mile race on mountain trails

7.    PT Test – combination of pull-ups, burpees, crunches, pushups, etc

8.    Road bike – 25-mile road bike race

*subject to minor modifications

Scoring:

Prior to the competition top elite athletes will be timed on each of the 8 fitness tests

The closer you come to the time of the elite athlete the more points you score

The Spartan Sprint race on Sunday morning is worth 40% of the total amount of points, with the winner receiving 100% of eligible points (40) and everyone else receiving less depending on what % they were behind the winner.

The Fittest CEO®:

The Fittest CEO® is the person who accumulates the most points after all events are completed, with the Spartan Sprint being the final event

Each competitor is required to bring a “blank” charity check for $2,000 with the amount split amongst the charity of choice of the winners as follows: 70% to the overall winner, 15% to the over 50 champion, and 15% to the female champion (provided at least 3 competitors in each of the divisions)

Trophies will be awarded to each of the overall, over-50, and female champions

The entire event will be filmed and edited for The Fittest CEO® TV show to air across the USA

About Spartan Race, Inc

Spartan Race, voted Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race, is the world’s leading obstacle racing series and the first of its kind to feature timing and global rankings. In 2013 people participated at 60 events in what for many was a transformational experience. Spartan Race also offers an event for Junior Spartans ages four through thirteen who race on obstacles made just for them.

With over 130 events in 17 countries planned for 2014, Reebok Spartan Race is making obstacle racing one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The global event series features races at three distances, 3+Mile/15+ Obstacle Sprint, 8+ Mile/20+ Obstacle Super and 12+ Mile/ 25+ Obstacle Beast, culminating each year in the Spartan World Championship. With competitive Elite heats and Open heats for all fitness levels, Reebok Spartan Races offer something for everyone. The Spartan lifestyle continues its goal of ripping people off their couches and helping them lead happier, healthier, and more productive lives.

Log onto http://www.spartan.com for more information, a schedule of events, and to register for a race.

About Life Time Fitness, Inc.

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By Jason Jaksetic

Charlotte 101

Enjoy the sunny, southern charm of Charlotte while on a Spartan weekend this March. The Charlotte area is a picturesque backdrop for adventures, both on and off the course at Porter Farms. From NASCAR to art Museums, Charlotte has a diverse landscape of leisure and strenuous activity for you to navigate the weekend of March 23-26.

 

Weather is normally great this time of year. But Charlotte has a way of messing with folk. While the average high does nudge towards the mid 60′s, especially as it accelerates towards April, be aware the the average low can turn around a give you a sharp slap across the face like a scorned lover and have you bear the brunt of chilly 39 – and that’s not even taking into account the wind chill, should there be any. This is why the Spartan Race is Charlotte is always so hotly anticipated. Not only do we not know what the course will have in store, but the weather always plays a part. So the questions remains if the elements are going to make you a little dirty Harry. Do you feel lucky, punk?

Here’s what to look forward to -

THE COURSE 

This course will be fat and fast, and most certainly muddy. This venue is a fully operational farm and we were given free reign with the land, so expect surprises in true Spartan fashion.

NASCAR EPICENTER

If you’re a NASCAR fan, there is no better place in the world to visit than Charlotte. Charlotte is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame – a four-story, 150,000 square foot building operating seven days a week from 10am – 6pm.

There’s also Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is the only race venue where you can visit the team garages. The Speedway offers daily tours that include a trip down pit road and the ability to snap your photo at victory lane. Bonus: camping available.

NIGHTLIFE

Charlotte has dozens of bars and clubs for post race libations and celebrations. Big names include Black Finn American SaloonProhibition, and Bad Dogs Pub. Maybe you want the freshest brew that North Carolina has to offer. Enjoy a newly minted draft at one of the local breweries, such as NoDa Brewing, the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Birdsong Brewing Co, or Heist Brewery. More on breweries here.

Want to get a bit crazy? A listing of local night clubs can be found here.

 FAMILY DESTINATIONS

Expend your cultural, scientific, and athletic horizons at one of these amazing, education, and fun options for the entire family:

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Hours:
Mon, Wed-Sat: 10AM-5PM
Sun: 12-5PM

Discovery Place – Science Museum

Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9AM-4PM
Sat: 10AM-6PM
Sun: 12-5PM

Charlotte Bobcats NBA Game

They are home Saturday March 22, 24, and 26.

U.S. National Whitewater Center – Mountain biking, running trails, climbing center, kayaking, canoeing, and whitewater rafting

SHOPPING

Charlotte offers a full range of opportunities to get some shopping done if you so choose. Whether at the local South Park Mall or Concord Mills (the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in North Carolina) there is something for everyone during your downtime before and after the race. Some of the shops you will find to choose from are Dillard’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus,  Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Frontgate, Cole Haan, St. John, Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer and more.

sources: wiki, Nascar.

 

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Because I have worn exclusively Inov8 Talons for the past 6 years with my mountain running career I will use these as a comparison.  I take pride in seeing if the Reebok “truly” is a better shoe.

First: Fit.  I wear a size 10 and the size 10 was pretty darn close.  If anything I would prefer perhaps a 9 and 3/4 if it was possible because I like a slightly tighter fitting shoe.  Where I noticed this a little was on the traverse wall where I had my feet at a tangent to the wall and I was “edging” my way along.  Overall, not a problem just a thought.

Second:  Weight.  My 10′s came in at 8.7 ounces.  The Reebok has structure and substantiality that dominates any mountain/obstacle shoe I’ve ever worn.  The sole felt solid and exuded confidence as I ran over the rocky and uneven terrain.  The Reebok also, has the rock guard sole, and the rope guard instep that surely have weight associated with them.  In other words, how is the Reebok so light yet more substantial, more structured and overall more of a “real” shoe and not merely a ”slipper” with traction.  So weight:  A+

Third:  Rock Guard.  I really appreciated and know the importance of a shoe that allows me to plunge the down hills without fear of damaging or slowing my pace in fear of stepping on something sharp.  The rock guard was noticed and provides a very confidence boosting advantage.

 Fourth:  Traction.  The lugs were well spaced which allows for great mud-shedding and a stable platform on loose sand.  So much of obstacle racing involves stepping in and out of mud.  Shedding the mud is more important than giant lugs that attract and fill to the level where traction disappears.

Fifth:  Water exiting holes.  Very cool.  As a steeple chaser in college I LOVED my Adidas shoes which had this feature.  Not gimmicky.  Truly was noticed and worked.

Sixth:  Texture and material of shoe.  I like the canvas like durability of the overall shell and outer protection.  It sheds moisture immediately, retains nothing and seems to be durable to the many rocks and barbed wire kicks.

The Reebok All-Terrain series are sweet shoes.  I will be honored to race all obstacle races in them but to also introduce them to the extreme mountain races I do.

 Matt Novakovich “The Bear”

Remember to sign up for your next Spartan Race right here! 

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