By Carrie Adams
Hobie Call is a wanted man and it’s coming down to a game of numbers. Five Spartan Race victories in five cities: Eight miles in 57:51 – Temecula, CA. Eight miles in 51:20- Chandler, AZ. Three miles in 28:13- Smithville, TX. Eight miles in 59:13 – Miami, FL. Three miles in 34:23 – Conyers, GA. The average time between Call and second place: 3.7 minutes. In racing these distances, that’s an eternity. Did we mention there are a dozen or so obstacles dropped into the race like scaling over walls, throwing spears, crawling under barbed wire, crossing deep water, carrying heavy buckets, and avoiding large Spartan Gladiators with pugil sticks?
One goal: 19 wins for $100,000 prize. And one man is in a position to take it home. Call is on a quest to win every domestic Spartan Race to earn the payday. He can lose up to two of the Spartan Races, but he has to win the Death Race in June – that’s a requirement. With five out of the 19 races in the books and no promising challengers on the horizon, it appears that Hobie Call may just be unbeatable. With New York in sight, he’s preparing for another race and a whole new crop of challengers.
“Oh, I am definitely beatable.” Said Call in a recent Spartarace.tv interview at the Texas event where he blew the closest competitor away by over five minutes. “I come prepared to win. I’m not going to let anyone off easy.” Even with a reward of up to $5,000 for anyone who can take on the undefeated Spartan and win, no one has delivered. So his confidence has grown with each passing race. The unassuming heating and air conditioning technician from Star Valley, Wyoming has good reason to be confident.
In June of 2008, Hobie broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest mile of lunges in 24 minutes and 56 seconds, shattering the previous record by six minutes (even with his 49-pound son on his back for the last 100 yards.) A slight 5′ 8” and only 135 pounds, he’s built for speed and distance and has proven himself a formidable runner and endurance athlete. Most notably, Call previously qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials with a marathon time of 2:16. That’s an average pace time of 5:11 miles.
Another recent Spartan competitor with Olympic-level talent is Lindsey Scherf, who won the women’s overall Spartan Race in Conyers, GA April 30th. Scherf made the USA World Cross Country team in 2009, which finished in 5th place at the World Championships in Amman, Jordan. She broke the American Junior 10,000M track record with a time of 32:51:20 a record that had previously held for 26 years. She’s still focused heavily on road racing and her June 2012 Olympic goals, but she and Call are showing that obstacle racing is as competitive as it gets for elite athletes. At Spartan Race the rewards are for the taking, if you can deliver.
Call takes the competition in stride. His Miami race was captured in the Miami Spartanrace.tv episode and his formidable competition, namely Michael Carmody and Scherf, were unable to surpass him in Georgia. Hobie Call’s journey is far from over.
June 4th and 5th, Spartan Race heads to the largest city in the United States, New York City. Home to over eight million and with over 20 million in the metro area, we have a feeling that there is a one-in-a-million (or 20 million) who can face off against Call and give him, literally, a run for his money. Hobie just laughs, “Bring it on. I’m excited and I’m not shy of a challenge, bring me all you’ve got.” Call is racing with a target on his back but that doesn’t seem to bother him. The numbers don’t lie and so far they seem to be adding up to just one – $100,000.
Pictures courtesy: Brent Doscher of Nuvision Action Image