He thought nothing of the red mark above his left knee as he scratched it. A mosquito, perhaps. Maybe a zit. How charming. But as the hours rolled into days, it was apparent this was no ordinary mark.

Californian resident Steffen Cook – “Cookie” to those that know him – was visiting his family and friends in England and had decided to make the most of his sojourn with an annual 10k in a local town close to where he would be staying.

“It was just to keep my eye in, more than anything. I knew I wouldn’t be working out or anything, so thought a little 10K just to keep sharp would be a good idea.”

On the morning of the Woodhall Spa 10k, Cookie awoke to find that the small red mark was quite a lot angrier than that of a visit from a mosquito. It was all too apparent that before he made it to LAX, an unidentified Californian spider had bitten him and whatever poison was injected into him was in full effect. 

“I don’t think it was full-blown necrotic. Sure, the skin was falling away and I was regularly squeezing the wound and having a very unpleasant cocktail of blood, pus and, I assume, poison coming out. I was told by a medic that it would get worse before it got better. He was right.”

On the morning of the race, Cookie had a decision to make. He’d been unable to train for the race due to various commitments, but despite this, he knew it would be an easy choice to make.

“I’ve met people at Spartan Races with terrible conditions. People with no arms or legs. Others that have Spina Bifida, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, this list goes on and on. I’ve met cancer survivors who just shrug it off like it’s no big deal. Let’s get this straight: people with conditions that don’t see it as a big deal. They just laugh off their situations like it’s dandruff or something. If I step on a Lego, the wife will have to deal with my whining for several days and will have to bring me several cups of tea and a large selection of cookies and cake in order for me to feel better.”

Cookie knew it wouldn’t be his best time. Working on 2 hours sleep due to the jetlag of having landed the day before and with the bite throbbing and trying it’s hardest to make itself known, he stepped into the starting corral and ran.

He continues, “It was hard, I won’t lie. I could give you great lines about how I ignored the pain and whatever, but that wouldn’t be true. It hurt like Hell. Yes, I ran, but it was the slowest 10k I’ve done in all the time I’ve been doing this. But you know what? Every time I thought about quitting, the Cookie in my minds’ eye would fold his arms, do “that” sneer and shake his head like he’s disappointed in me. I’d pick up the pace and he’d reward me with some Slayer. Slayer makes a great running soundtrack you know! Everyone listen to more Slayer!”, he laughs.  

In the grand scheme of things, this wasn’t as large of an obstacle as some of the other things he’s had to deal with. His biggest injuries, ailments and conditions were never physical. Divorce, bankruptcy and homelessness are but just a few of the darker chapters in the book of Cookie’s life. But bizarrely, he grins when these pages are mentioned to him.

“Yeah, not good times! I’ve certainly had better periods in my life. But, as perverse as it sounds, what I went through back then made excellent training. You can put Spartan Beasts in front of me, or challenge me to do 500 burpees or whatever. Those things or spider bites don’t even register. I’ll get all those things done, slowly of course, but they’ll get done. I’ve walked through my own personal hell made it through and now, there’s not very much that will put me off something that I’ve decided to do.”

This unusual way of channeling negatives into a positive works for this jogging enthusiast and essentially, all he’s doing is living his own version of the Spartan lifestyle. Every single person has something that they use in order to get through. Training, love, anger, hatred, fear, joy, reward… all means to an end. Find your motivation and use it as you see fit.

“I’m not sure how you’d label my motivation. I’m a happy guy that uses everything negative that I’ve had to go through in order to get to where I want to be. Hate can be a very powerful force. It’s just down to harnessing it. I’m just an oddball, I suppose. I’ll happily hold my hands up to that. Guilty as charged! But I’m an oddball that doesn’t quit. Quitting isn’t allowed”, he smiles.

See you at the finish line….

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Along with thousands of others, James Simpson, 27, is eagerly preparing for the London Beast set for November 9, 2013. The finish will earn the Leeds native his coveted Trifecta; he’s successfully completed his Super and Sprint already.

The London Spartan Beast finish will mark the end of several busy months of training and racing for the retired Lance Bombardier. What makes Simpson so unique is that he is the first UK double amputee to finish a Spartan Race, let alone earn a Trifecta.

His story is highlighted in this feature on his finish on his first finish earlier this year.

Good luck, James!

[Editor's Note: We first featured James in an earlier blog post. Read more about his inspired story HERE.  He is also raising money as part of Spartan Journey for the Armed Forces charity SSAFA. You can find his website HERE to learn more and donate.]

Tags: , , ,

by Steffen “Cookie” Cook
James Appleton’s accent cut through the press conference room like a shaft of bright light. “My background is in the UK Tough Guy competition.” He paused and smiled wryly, “I’m here because it’s tougher than Spartan Race.” With his last comment, he glanced at Spartan Race founder, Joe De Sena who chuckled.  The comment reflects his his deadpan British humor, rushing to the surface, and catching the pre-Vermont Beast press conference unaware. James Appleton lets a fleeting, impish grin dance across his lips before it’s lost again. Blink, and you would have missed it.

Appleton continues, “Spartan was kind enough to fly me out here on the Wednesday prior to the race, about 16 hours of travelling, to allow some time to adjust to the different time zones, so I’d feel right on the day. It was a great chance to get a feel for what was in store beforehand too. I’ve never raced a Spartan Race, let alone the Killington Beast, so it was good to put the landscape in my mind and prepare for what was in store.”

Ever the polite English gentleman, James deliberately makes no mention of his finish (placing 7th) ahead of many recognized and veteran names within the Spartan Race series. “It’s been a real honor to come and race against the guys here as a competitor from a totally separate race, and I’d like to personally thank the guys that helped make that happen – Scott, Robert, Carrie and obviously Joe. I hope that my involvement helped add to the race, in however small a way, and I’d love the chance to come back stronger, wiser, and faster. I’d like a podium finish next time around.”

Appleton has an incredible back story. Born in Manchester, England, but now living in London, he was the only elite competitor from the UK at the Vermont World Championships, but of many from across the world to have taken on the Beast. Something he was very excited about as the sport continues to grow.

“This sport is clearly growing, which is fantastic, and it’s not going to be a passing phase – there’s clearly huge interest, enjoyment and challenge from these races and the adventure that comes from having to really develop all-body strength, agility and endurance. That, and that I hope I did them proud in my first ever chance to represent my country in this new race – I learned a lot on the course, sometimes through making mistakes, and I’d love to come back with greater experience and understanding and apply that, see if I can’t do better than I managed this first time round.”

The three-time winner of the UK Tough Guy competition was keen to see the parallels and to test what he’s learned in England against what is now the biggest obstacle race championship in the world. Comparing the two, he sees parallels.

Photo courtesy of Scott Keneally

“They’re similar in so many ways, but ultimately it’s quite a different experience, at least to the Winter Tough Guy, which is my background in the UK. In terms of calories burned and elevation gained, the Spartan Beast is further and higher. That said, the site in the UK is a permanent one, so the obstacles there have been built over years and years and they’re pretty epic. But most of all it’s a temperature thing – the first year I won the UK Tough Guy I collapsed on the finish with severe hypothermia and spent four hours being slowly warmed back to life by medics. It takes you to such a level of physical destruction in such a short amount of time, and the electrocution side really kicks you in the teeth, that even for the best runners it’s a case of surviving to the finish, let alone racing. But the sense of comradeship, of sharing the experience with the other contenders, is very similar, and it’s a real family of people there, and it was awesome to see that same sense of loyalty and family with the Spartans at this series. That, and the journey each person goes through – you learn about yourself and your abilities, and always come away a stronger and better person for it – that’s a universal thing with obstacle racing and it’s such a huge part of why people come back time and time again.”

With Spartan Race experience under his belt, James will come back armed with better training next time. Pondering his plan of action, he says, “I’ll definitely be adding a lot more rope work to my training, both traverse type and climbing – both for the upper body development and also the grip strength, along with the technique of moving quickly across this challenge. I want to come back next year and nail that particular obstacle.”

Beyond the physical, Appleton remarked on the mental challenges he faced on the course. “I think the most mentally difficult obstacle was the gravel carry. That felt more like a Death Race task rather than a racing obstacle since there was a fair amount of luck involved – one small slip and your race was ruined, having to restart, refill the bucket and carry on, as opposed to just re-picking up something like a sandbag.”

The race involved suffering for all the competitors, for James, it was the newness of an obstacle he’d never faced. “On a personal level, the obstacle I suffered with the most was probably the Tyrolean Traverse, purely because I’d not come across something like that and the strength/technique/speed required to get across underneath was new to me. I didn’t get it right first time, and that was frustrating to deal with and the subsequent loss of time.”

With so many aspects of the race still fresh in his memory, he thinks back and that wry smile plays on his face again when he tries to pick his favorite moment. “It’s hard to pick a highlight for the whole weekend, there were so many different moments, people, and performances that I saw that were just incredible. But personally for me, on a slightly selfish note, it was being called up to the start line on behalf of my country right before the race – as the names of some of the best obstacle racers from all around the world were called. I took great pride in stepping up for the UK. In my opinion, that list of names and countries really showed how far this sport has come and will hopefully continue to go, and was a real benchmark for taking this sport forwards to new and exciting levels.”

But it’s his closing statements which prove that despite his only having done one race so far that prove that he quickly learned what Spartan Race is all about.

Congratulations to James and his 7th place finish.  We look forward to seeing him on more of our Spartan Race courses.  His parting thoughts are with those who he watched cross the finish line hours after his impressive 4 hour finish time.  “Switching from all the talk that comes in about who’s going to make top ten, I always feel that some of the truly hardcore people are those that are at the other end of the scale – the guys and girls out there for way longer than everyone else who take a much higher dose of pain and suffering.  I always have great respect for them and their mental determination to plug on despite the long hours out in the elements taking a beating – they take way more punishment than we do at the front.”

Now it’s your turn.  Sign up today.

Tags: , ,

Reebok Spartan Race is officially set to conquer France. November 24, 2013 the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet will host the premiere of the Reebok Spartan Race first appearance in France. Thousands of participants are expected to be there for the inaugural event. We are promising that more races will be coming to France in the future.

Our international growth was inevitable. In 2013 alone more than 750,000 participants will complete a Spartan Race in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, Slovakia, Czech Republic – and now France. The commitment of Reebok to be the global title sponsor of the Spartan Race Series proves the importance of this emerging sport. And France is just one of the many countries being added to the global Spartan community in the near future.

On Sunday, November 24, 2013 the Circuit Paul Ricard and thousands of participants will start their fight to overcome not one but two challenging courses with obstacles that will take all their stamina, strength, endurance and willpower to find the finish line. The Reebok Spartan Race at Circuit Paul Ricard will offer two different distances: the Spartan Sprint with a roughly 6k course of and 15 or more obstacles. And the Spartan Super, a roughly 13K course that will introduce the worthy Spartans to 20 or more obstacles. Participants will not have access to a map prior to racing. So they will not know the exact distance, or number of type of obstacles until they face it- just like the Spartans in ancient times. Expect the unexpected!

The two Spartan Races will challenge the participants, it will be a difficult challenge, but in the end they will join hundreds of thousands of other proud Spartans. Spartan Races are for everyone; young or old, avid runner, beginner, or hardcore obstacle racer- this will be a unique experience for everyone and we’re pleased to be bringing that to France!

The spectator friendly Spartan Race grounds will feature a festival area with music, entertainment – and the opportunity for spectators to test themselves on stand alone obstacles and contests. The course also allows opportunities to see friends and families in action on the course! The Spartan Juniors race will create the next generation of Spartans on a course dedicated for children ages 6 – 13.

The Circuit Paul Ricard offers ideal conditions for the first Spartan Race in France. Featuring a state of the art race course in the middle of a stunning landscape that will welcome the athletes and spectators before they head off to the switchback trails of the backwoods, forest, trails, rivers and a very challenging hilly terrain.

Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena says, “We’ve been in Great Britain for three years but we’ve wanted to expand our Spartan footprint for some time. We get requests every day to bring a race to new places – and at Spartan we’re listening! We are thrilled to announce that we are expanding deeper into Western Europe with the help of our partners at SPCGE. We said we were growing globally, and this is a great example of how we’re making that happen. The sport of Obstacle Course racing is a global movement and we’re dedicated to reaching every corner of the map.”

Tags: , , , ,

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

Standing in front of the fire jump flames rising towards to sky, Lance Bombardier James Simpson, 27, made a decision. “I’m just going to jump over it myself.” With just a few friends as support, one of them tasked with ensuring he didn’t start on fire in the process, James leapt over the fire and finished the Reebok Spartan Sprint in Ripon, North Yorkshire September 8, 2013 becoming the first British double amputee to accomplish such a feat!

“I kept my medal on for hours after!” he joked. “We thought it was a 5k… I found out afterwards it was actually 7.1k!”  Arguably the toughest Sprint in the UK line-up, the course was rugged and the obstacles difficult, but Simpson insisted on doing each of them without assistance.  ”It was just me and a few friends.  I did everything myself.”

The charming redhead from Yorkshire had been training for the event for four months and was prepared for most of what was going to face him on the course, until the mud towards the end. “The mud was so thick, I was afraid my leg would come out of the socket. That part took the longest!”

Simpson heard about the event from some of his American friends who finished a Spartan in the States in 2012 and knew he had to do one for himself. He told the Huffington Post, “I did not do it to break a record. I did it because I wanted to and hopefully it will encourage more people to do it and more amputees to try it in the future.”

Simpson was a part of the 5th Regiment, Royal Artillery stationed in Helmand, Afghanistan in November of 2009. While he was on foot patrol in Sangin and was the seventh man in line and stepped directly on an IED. He lost both legs above the knee and sustained injuries in both arms in the blast. “I remember just not looking down. I knew my legs were gone, but I just kept talking to myself to keep myself calm until the helicopter came.”

Simpson has also decided that he’s not quite done with his Spartan Racing adventures either. He’s found two friends to take on the upcoming Spartan Super in the Midlands on September 21st. “We’re going to give it a whirl!” he says.

With nearly double the distance and more obstacles than his recent Sprint experience, Simpson expects it to take a lot longer to complete. “I’m excited… and nervous… this means we’ll have to try the Beast as well!”  With a trifecta on his mind, Simpson will be taking on the Midlands course this weekend, two months after he may also be tackling the London Beast, and possibly even an event or two stateside in 2014.

L/Bdr Simpson has another exciting adventure awaiting outside Spartan Races.  He’s leaving the military for a new life as a University student studying film this fall.  He is also raising money as part of Spartan Journey for the Armed Forces charity SSAFA. You can find his website HERE to learn more and donate.

We’ll see you on the course this weekend, James!

Tags: , , , , ,

by Alexander Nicholas, Spartan Pro Team

Reebok Spartan Race Mexico pulled out all the stops for their first stadium race. This event was held in the famous Estadio Azteca, Mexico’s national soccer stadium, which seats over 100,000 people.

The race had over 8,000 participants, many first time Spartans and the energy was high! There were many teams and gyms from different areas all over Mexico that came out to participate for this epic event. The weather was excellent and the Mexican hospitality was abundant.

This course was carefully put together to have a careful balance of speed and strength to challenge all different types of racers. There were numerous heavy and challenging obstacles along with countless stadium steps and ramps to conquer. The high altitude also became an enormous obstacle for those not used to the elevation change. Obstacles were strategically spread out to avoid congestion while challenging racers at all skill levels.

Many of the obstacles were common ones I have seen in the USA like the rope climb, atlas stone carry, Hercules hoist, and sandbag carry, but there was some Mexican flare added to the course. The backwards crab crawl up an entire ramp was a less enjoyable addition along with a 25 pound jump rope that caused havoc among participants. The mini-soccer ball penalty kick into a tiny goal was extremely difficult. Most people missed and had to do the 30 burpee ritual as the penalty.

Along with myself, there were a few other participants representing the United States which included: Miguel Gimerillo, Isaiah Vidal, Chris Rutz, Alexander Nicholas, and Dave Huckle. These racers did not know what to expect considering it was the first stadium race and/or international Spartan Race for most of them. If history tells us anything about competition in this stadium, the USA does not win here, period.

Everyone had a blast in Mexico and USA took many of the top five spots on both the men’s and women’s side.  For women, Fabiola Corona, Alex Roudayna, Aleajandra Sormento finished in the top 3 while Andi Hardy from the United States finished 5th. Angel Quintero, Miguel Medina, myself finished top 3 while Chris Rutz and Isaiah Vidal took 4th and 5th respectively.

All in all, this event was official, professional, and extremely exciting. Anyone thinking of traveling to Mexico for a Spartan Race should not think twice. Spartan Race Mexico is an amazing experience!   Want to learn more about Spartan’s International Races?  Find out more HERE.

Tags: , , , , ,

What kind of Spartan Race starts with a mile run up a mountain face in the snow?

Answer: The Vancouver Sprint! Held June 1st on Mount Seymour, in North Vancouver, this unique and extremely challenging course saw approximately 4,000 athletes grinding their way to the snow-capped peak (where they were treated with spectacular views of the city and the Pacific Ocean) before careening down the steep ski slopes towards the mud of the lower altitude.

Racers from as far away as Quebec, USA, Europe and even Australia commented that it was one of the toughest Sprints they had ever encountered – with at least one calling it a “shorter Beast”. A few traditional obstacles were made unusually difficult; monkey bars placed on a downhill slope wreaked havoc as grips slipped, the 20 foot high cargo net climb scared many as it was essentially straight up and straight down over two stacked shipping containers, and the mercilessly low barbed wire crawl forced everyone off their hands and knees and crotch-down into the mucky mess. Finally, the thin, dynamic ropes used on the final climb had even many veteran elite racers cranking out 30 burpees just meters from the finish line. Still, with all of that, the fastest time was a blistering 33:26 with second place less than 30 seconds behind.

Even with a light rain, the festival area was rocking all day with a popular fitness challenge, awesome food vendors (with a few giving away free samples) and free sport wraps being applied by a trained kinesioligist. Families abounded too, with the kids’ course truly being a mini-version of the adult track – hundreds of Jr. Spartans started with a steep, snowy climb, weaved through several challenging obstacles, and ended up slithering on their bellies under their own “barbed wire” crawl before running straight through a deep puddle to the finish line.

Are you ready to take on a Spartan Race?  Find one HERE.

Tags: , ,

by Andi Hardy, Spartan Elite Athlete

Tucked among the steep, wooded mountains, two hour’s drive from Mexico City, lies a beautiful, small, colonial city called Valle de Bravo. Just outside that city the first Mexico Super Spartan Race was hosted on May 17, 18, and 19, 2013. And a SUPER race it was. The venue was amazing, getting to it was an adventure. The people of Mexico were so accommodating and supportive. The competition was strong.

Eight American Spartan Race elite athletes had the opportunity to experience this superb Super. Hunter McIntyre, Christopher Rutz, Miguel Medina, David Megida, Brad Fredricks, Dave Huckle, Margaret Schlacter, and Andi Hardy were the contenders all hoping for a taste of Mexican podium and the money that went with it. All they were promised was an experience of a lifetime.

After the first ever Mexican Spartan Race in February 2013, a sprint, the Mexican nation had fallen for this sport. Once announced, this Super sold out in less than 48 hours. In fact, another day had to be added to the already two day event just to accommodate the overflow of registrations. 9:00 Saturday AM was the elite heat start time for men and 9:30 AM for women. And elite competitors they brought, Olympians, major marathon winners, tough local athletes to name a few.

The Mexican atmosphere was crazy intense. Spartan Race held back nothing. The festival area was filled with sponsors and vendors, companies like Salomon, Chevrolet, Sport Beans, Garmin, Monster Energy, Coleman, WODBOX, Jumex Sport, City Express Hotel. There were many food/drink choices, festival challenges, merchandise, race information and registration to name a few. Costumed Spartan gladiators were all over the venue adding flavor to the photo ops. Volunteers were everywhere, all with huge smiles on their faces. Race officials were all patient and upbeat.

The start line was grand. Roman columns lined the gates, the announcer made the anticipation nerve-wracking as could be, interviewing competitors, and making Spartan speeches. A large clock counted down the seconds and minutes til the start. Several tubes of Spartan smoke were thrown out there to create even more of a dramatic beginning.

Once the last Aroo had gone off, we were on our way for our experience of a lifetime. Right off the start, the terrain posed to be an obstacle within itself. Grassy clumps arose some 2-3 inches off of the ground. One had to watch every step as a face-plant was not out of the question. The first mud crawl was like none I’d ever experienced. The mud –so black, its density – so thick, the smell was so foul. And it sucked you in and didn’t want to spit you back out. Crawling out of 3 ½ feet of sucking mud was a challenge, and then round the corner, more of this followed, then shortly after a nice, mucky barbed wire crawl. Out of the barbs and up what would be a series of steep mountain slopes. The mountains were over 9300 feet in elevation. If that alone didn’t shut racers down, the obstacles would finish them off. Needless to say, burpee penalties were not in anyone’s plan.

Obstacles as we know and love were placed at all the right places throughout the race. Not once could you get into a comfortable running pace because a wall would appear or a bag of sand to haul through an uneven single track circle, or a dusty, bumpy upgrade of a tractor pull, another slope that had to be bear crawled. Looking up was not a great option as the discouragement took over at the size of the incline. Through a river, up more inclines, wall after wall, rope climb, traverse wall, log presses, balance beams, and the biggest obstacle; the thin air for us Americans who train at sea level. This caused oxygen deprivation that made our legs feel like cement blocks. Dizzy spells and muscle cramping added to the pain. “Vamonos, vamonos” was common encouragement from the volunteers and fans.

Finally, up the final clumpy hill to the spear throw. Mexican spears were a bit different from our well-practiced familiar ones in the states. But burpees this far into the race would be a killer at this elevation. After spearman, another muck crossing had to be conquered, then a wall to slide down while being doused with a fire hose. Lucky for those who came through alone, the highly pressured water didn’t leave your face even for a breath of air. High pressure water followed loners through th

e slippery wall climb until you made a mad dash to jump the fire and on to the cargo bridge. Once across the cargo, six hard hitting gladiators stood between your tired gasping body and that hard earned medal.

At the end of the day, we got what we were promised and more. Not only was this Mexican Super Spartan an experience of a lifetime, we found meaning way beyond a podium placement and a check in Mexico. Smiles of achievement and bonds of camaraderie don’t need translation either.But a Spartan Race wouldn’t be complete without a Kid’s Race. And because we are just big kids, several of us joined in the excitement. One grabbed a pugil stick, his job was to stay on his feet while being targeted by water balloons. Another rabbited the races and loudly cheered on every single child. Yet another grabbed the hands of scared, crying tots and helped bring smiles of joy to these young faces. Others cheered from the sidelines.

Want to learn more about our international races?  Click HERE to see our line-up.

Tags: , ,

by Cathy Bergman

“No retreat! No surrender!” The Spartan warrior chant has been my mantra for the past two years as I worked to lose close to 170 pounds from my 5’3” 300 pound frame.

A few months after I had committed to yet another diet and exercise plan, in the fall of 2011 a friend of mine ran a Spartan Sprint in New York and sent me photos of her day. Although crawling through mud under barbed wire is not generally not a favorite past time of most women in their mid-fifties, to me it looked like great fun. I checked the Spartan web site – a race in June 2012 was just fifteen minutes from my front door. I had less than year to get ready. Although decades of morbid obesity and inactivity made standing up without assistance a challenge, from that point onward, I set my sights on Sparta.

I committed to a strict balanced diet, and worked with a remarkable trainer who patiently guided me as I struggled to get fit. By early spring of 2012, I had recruited thirteen friends and neighbors crazy enough to enlist in my fledging team – the Domaine Alarie Spartans. Our beach front – which in years past was the site of family picnics and barbeques – was converted into a Spartan training ground. Weekend after weekend, friends and neighbors crawled on their stomachs under netting, pulled tires through the sand, lifted weights, chucked spears, did endless push ups and pull ups and ran from one end of the beach to the other working on cardio and endurance as they helped me train for the upcoming race.

By race day, I had dropped 125 pounds and in June 2012, the Domaine Alarie Spartans ran the Spartan Sprint in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. This was not just any team, but a remarkable group of friends and neighbors that championed my cause and who supported my every effort to regain my health and my life – even if it meant joining me in my crazy idea to run a Spartan Sprint.

When the Domaine Alarie Spartans ran the last gauntlet on race day last spring, we certainly understood the Spartan slogan “you’ll know at the finish line” because indeed we did. We were muddy, bloody and soaked to the skin, but nothing dampened the exhilaration of our journey to Sparta.

Now almost 170 pounds less than when I first set my sites on Sparta in 2011, the Domaine Alarie Spartan team of 2013 is eighteen members strong and will storm the Spartan field in Morin Heights, Quebec on Saturday morning, May 25th. We are leaner than last year, stronger than last year, but with the same Spartan spirit as when we began the journey.

Having been to Sparta and left with a smile, we learned that it was not the finish line that counted, it was what it took to get to the finish line, and the wonderful friendships that were forged along the way.

We are looking forward to race day this coming Saturday. See you at the finish line!

Huh rah Spartans!!

Spartan is international!  Check out where Spartan events are around the world.  Click HERE.

Tags: , , , , ,

by Hunter McIntyre, Spartan Elite Athlete

The second Spartan Race In Mexico is this weekend, May 17, 18, and 19th in Mexico City. The ante has been raised with $10,000 in prize money, and Elite heat and a Super distance. I have been looking forward to getting back down south to see some of the hardest working Spartan enthusiast I’ve met to date! This could be the toughest Spartan venue in the world, racing at an elevation of more than 9000 feet, 9 miles of rugged terrain to cover and 25 gnarly obstacles. If you want a hint to how that might feel try running with a bag over head while running on a treadmill plus a few burpees every mile!  (Just kidding don’t ever try that!)

Making this even more exciting and challenging, I will not be the only one crossing the border for this epic race. Joining me are few other of the top US Elite wave racers. We will be running the Elite heat on Saturday. Scheduled to race on the trails are Miguel Medina, David Magida and Christopher ‘Tough Training’ Rutz charging against me for the gold. On the women’s side look for Andi Hardy and Margaret “Dirt in Your Skirt” Schlachter. They are both taking their first trip to a Mexico Spartan Race in hopes of taking the podium places from the local competition.

So what does this does Mexico Super Spartan at Valle de Bravo have to offer!? Besides the extreme venue and competitors there is a whopping cash prize 3500$ for the first place finisher, 1000$ for 2nd and 500$ for third. This will truly make the race a cut throat battle for those who can push themselves to limit during this challenging high altitude race. In addition to the US racers, the Mexican athletes have been training hard and will literally give some of the US racers a run for their money. Watch out for Hector Hernandez, a Crossfit coach at WODBOX Cancun, a Spartan Race official training center and Yusef Chalita. Yusef finished just behind me in the Mexico City Spartan Sprint in February.

I have to say I am truly excited to be racing in the Mexico Spartan Race series again, but I am not the only one who is hot to trot for this race. This race sold out within 72 hours of the registration date opening. There are so many participants that the race will be spread across three days.

Just a week away from the starting line I have my bags packed and my game face on! If anyone out there is brave enough to challenge the elites for a podium place I wish you the best of luck, see you all at the finish line!

Tags: , , , ,