You’ve no doubt seen the countless pictures and videos of folk running across hilly terrain, sometimes jumping into what looks like a moat or pit filled with muddy water. Nestled alongside these pictures are those of folk wading chest deep into another pit to get to the rope climb they have to conquer. Let’s not forget those barbed wire crawls – just look at them!

The obstacles you have no issue with, but what if you just don’t want to get as dirty as them? What if you just want to race and feel that delicious burn, but without the need for a pressure washer afterwards? What if it was all safely in a “dry” arena with thousands of other like-minded souls?

We can go one better. Why not make that arena of the most the most iconic sports stadiums in America today? What if we told you that you could run the bases of that park because it was actually required to complete the race? What if we said you could complete a Spartan Race – and one third of your Trifecta – at the home of the Phillies, Citizens Bank Park?

Well, it’s true. By signing up here, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime when you power through to the finish line, having first seen this famous landmark from a variety of angles.

Citizens Bank Park race is one of just a select few in the world where you can actually see and run through areas of elite sporting stadiums that would normally be out of bounds. Last year, Spartans ran through the dugouts, player’s tunnels and dressing rooms. Definitely not something everyone can say. The bragging rights associated with finishing a Sprint at C.B.P are high. Not only is it a unique event, but the medals are one of a kind, too.

Ever seen yourself on one of those huge screens at the baseball? No? Well you will at this race. Cameras will film runners going through their obstacles and burpees and have it shown around the stadium for all to see! Imagine that. You, on a screen 76 feet high and 97 feet wide. Not something that happens every day!

It’s not often you can say you conquered a venue that cost almost $500 million to build, but by signing up for the Sprint on September 20th, you’ll inherit bragging rights and memories that many of your friends will never experience. Play in the same venue that Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd rocked before you? How many people can say that?

Sign up now for what we expect to be an unforgettable day in Philadelphia, because baby, we were born to run.

See you at the finish line…

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All those stories you hear about the course at Vermont are true. There’s a reason Spartan Race’s home is in the mountains of Killington. There are runs and there are trails and that’s all very cute, but when it comes to the absolute premier place to really test your mettle, the Beast – and of course, the Ultra Beast – in Joe De Sena’s back yard is where you need to come.

As such, this is why the World Championship race is such a special event. The course, when running it, feels like it makes absolutely no sense. Why are you constantly going upwards? The laws of physics state that surely at some point, you have to go down? But it never feels that way. Almost the entire course is on either an incline or a minimal decline, which further begs the question, how the heck is there a lake in the middle of it? Yes, you’ll get wet. Why are you surprised? This is not a jolly 5K. Look out for one of the hardest obstacles on the circuit there. You’ll know it when you see it. Don’t worry, there’s a burpee station not far away. Get comfortable, you’ll be there a while.

Also be prepared for everything to be scaled up just a notch or two. Everything will seem longer, heavier or colder. There’s a reason for that. But is it actually that way, or are the mountains playing with you? Remember that mental resilience is every bit as important as physical strength.

The World Championship Race will naturally attract the finest trail runners, speed hikers and even Olympic athletes to the event. With people from England, Australia, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Italy and numerous other countries all vying for the enormous prize pool, it’s easy to understand why this event is the carrot dangling on the end of a very long, painful and punishing stick. No pain, no gain, right?

With the biggest, BADDEST Beast of the year comes the biggest cash prize purse in all of Obstacle Racing! The Vermont hosted World Championship Beast will award over $300,000 in cash prizes. Top Male and Female Finishers, Top Points in the Series, and Age Group awards will be dispersed to those who earn the spotlight for their accomplishments.

Get out there and claim your stake! The awards will be grand and that feeling when you cross the finish line even grander.

You won’t want to miss this! See you at the World Championship 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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When I was anxiously preparing for the start of the World Championships I saw a glimpse of some of the announced runners that would be attending the event. I saw at least 10 athletes that had running times that were so superior to mine, I felt like a JV high school runner at best. I mentioned this to a mentor and friend of mine, Chris Clifford and he said, “remember Spartan Racing is a different beast.” Chris said, “if you had to spend 5 minutes in a boxing ring with one of these 120 lb, 14-minute 5K guys, and then race the Spartan event who do you think would win?”

As I stood on one of the 15-round Spartan stickers, waiting for the start of the 7 AM elite Fenway Park Spartan Sprint, with less than a minute to go Chris’s words came to my mind. I glanced to my right and looked at the 205 pound Alexander Nicholas, then in front at the 200 pound Hunter McIntyre and then I noticed there were also the runners with the sub-140 pound frames and thought the only way Spartan Races attract all of us is because they are battles, not races.  I smirked a small smile as I pictured Alexander Nicholas, with his baggie Moi Thai shorts from his Elite Fitness Club in a MMA ring with Hobie Call and thought, Spartan has created an event where heart, strength, agility, speed, endurance – everything – is needed to win.  

Fenway’s start was a battle; athletes were greeted by an immediate bottleneck and a serious urgency to be the first to the front if they had any desire of being a contender. Grasping the handrail and whipping myself around the turns of the ramp, climbing furiously, I found myself urging to be in first but ebbing in and out of the top 5. As soon as we reached about 300 feet of vertical climbing we quickly grabbed the dual 5 gallon jugs and were performing the farmer’s carry down stairs that brought us back down the vertical only to carry the 60 pounds of water right back up. Only 2 minutes into this race I found my lungs being seared by the crisp, morning air.

After ascending over and through the bungee cords I found myself in the company of Hunter McIntyre and Brakken Kraker. We had a fairly good gap as we entered the rowing machines. I had heard the rowing machines were a 500 meter row in less than two minutes with a pre-programmed message on the screen: less than 2 minutes, “AROO!” more than 2 minutes “Screw You!” Actually, the message said, “30 burpees” but screw you and 30 burpees is quite similar if you’ve ever done a Spartan Race.

I finished the row just in front of Hunter but felt a little timid leading through the ups and downs and lefts and rights through the stadium seating rows.  I felt it better strategy to follow then to lead.  As we continued through obstacles I felt like an MMA fighter exchanging blows as we went count-for-count through the heavy rope, slam balls and hand-release pushups. I found myself on the defensive as Hunter made his move and Brakken made his.  

With a mere 7 minutes remaining in a short 25-minute sprint, I helplessly watched as Hunter and Brakken dropped me through the sandbag carry and would proceed to finish in yet another (Remember Miller Park) finish-line sprint. As I went over the final set of 5-foot walls, followed by the 8-foot wall I saw out of my peripheral on the giant Fenway Screen, Hunter and Brakken going neck and neck on the final box jumps. Hunter would once again beat Brakken by less than a second.

I crossed the finish line and again reflected on being a fighter in a battle and pushing myself beyond my limits. Third place didn’t feel like a victory, it felt more like being on the ropes and not punching back when the time was necessary. However, once again I walk away from my early career as a Spartan Racer yearning for the next battle and planning how I will be delivering the blows and beating the beasts that this sport has given me.

The Bear


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A year a ago a Spartan Race in a stadium sounded a little strange to many Spartan veterans. Many scoffed at the idea of a race without mud, water and fire. Once they were reminded of the whole theory behind Spartan training, to prepare for the unexpected, it began to make more sense. Leading up to Fenway 2012 many were unsure of what lay ahead.

 

How would the course be set up?

What would the waves be like?

What “traditional” obstacles would be on the course?

How much running would there be?

What new obstacles might be out there?

As expected Spartan Race proved that the stadium venue was just as challenging as a sprint out on the trails. In fact many find the stadium more challenging than a Sprint. CrossFit style obstacles are utilized: box jumps, rowing, jump ropes, ball slams and push-ups to name just a few. In addition, the stadium atmosphere makes it friendlier to spectators and easier for many athletes to attend.

 

That first race laid the groundwork not only for more races in the US, but also the first international stadium race in Mexico at Estadio Azteca. Coming in 2014 will be more stadium races including Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

What can you expect to see on Saturday in Boston?  Well the Pro Team will be well represented by Hunter McIntyre and Brakken Kraker. They had a photo finish a few weeks ago at the Miller Park race in Milwaukee. It will be a fierce battle for first with those two on the course. On the women’s side, look for TyAnn Clark, making her stadium debut, and Andi Hardy. In addition, other top talent from New England will be there to give them a run for their money. It should be another exciting weekend of racing at Fenway.

Next up, Malibu!

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By guest blogger and Spartan Pro Team athlete Brakken Kraker

This weekend’s Spartan Sprint at Miller Park turned out to be another incredible Spartan experience. Wave after wave of excited competitors left the starting ramp, and wave after wave of sweaty, grinning Spartans crossed the first base finish line. Everywhere you looked there were cheering spectators, smiling athletes, awestruck children, and camera happy tourists. 

The venue was as good as advertised and the course was even better. This race tested the competitors’ running endurance and obstacle endurance equally. I personally loved my first stadium race. I had been a little apprehensive about what was in store for me, but quickly realized that I may have found my favorite type of Spartan event. The course had no let up, beginning immediately with several bear crawls and progressing right into a heavy ball slam. From there started a seemingly endless cycle of ramps, stairs and obstacles. The emphasis was placed on full body fitness, and I felt the burn immediately. I can’t remember the last time my upper body was so dead during a race. 

 

The men’s race was immediately separated out into several pairs of runners, each battling for a podium spot. Up front Hunter McIntyre and I went head-to-head every step of the way, while Alexander Nicholas battled a group of runners including Elliott Megquier, Joey Petrolia, Chris McCorkle and Cody Wright, among others. Ultimately, Hunter was declared the winner, and Alexander held on to the third spot.

On the women’s side, a force of nature by the name of Carlee Whipple put her stamp of this course and came in first and gapping the field by over six minutes. Following her was Laura Messner and Sarah Pozdol, respectively. Our favorite lady in lime green, Andi Hardy just missed out on a podium spot, running a great race. 

We were so proud to have hosted our first Wisconsin Spartan, and cannot wait for the next one to come our way. Bring on the Super and the Beast!

For more event information, click here

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Brands Launch New Collaboration with Reebok Spartan Race Times Square Challenge” in New York City; a Celebration of America’s Newest Sport: Obstacle Racing

Canton, MA [January 17th, 2013] – Reebok, the global fitness brand, and Spartan Race, the world’s leading obstacle racing series and Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race in 2012, have today announced a multi-year partnership. The collaboration marks Reebok’s commitment to one of the world’s newest and fastest growing sports – obstacle racing.

As part of the multi-year collaboration, Reebok will be the title sponsor for the global race series beginning with the first race of the season at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, CA on January 26th and 27th, and the official apparel, footwear and accessories supplier for the Reebok Spartan Race series. In addition, the Reebok Spartan Race will be featured in the brand’s upcoming global marketing campaign – the first time obstacle racing has been featured in a major campaign. Reebok also plans to develop a range of products specifically created for the demands of Reebok Spartan Race athletes, which will be available in fall 2013.

The partnership was launched with a traffic-stopping live event in New York – The Reebok Spartan Race Times Square Challenge. Times Square’s first ever extreme obstacle race saw hundreds of contestants take part including actress/model Brooklyn Decker; former NY Giants All-Pro Tiki Barber; Spartan Race Champion Hobie Call; and Spencer Hendel, winner of the Obstacle Course event at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.  The Times Square course featured a 7 ft. wall climb, a mud crawl with barbed wire, a 10 ft. high Hercules Hoist, a 75 ft. sandbag carry, and other obstacles..

The tie-up between the two brands is built on shared values about the future of fitness. Reebok’s mission is to change the way people perceive, experience and define fitness and empower them to be physically, socially and mentally fit for life. Spartan Race is the perfect partner to help spread this message. Founded in 2010, the race series expects to attract 500,000 athletes in 2013, up from 350,000 in 2012, many of whom are people looking for a new alternative to more traditional forms of fitness.  Spartan Race currently has more than 2.3 million “likes” on Facebook and is one of the fastest growing series in the sport of obstacle racing.

Spartan is a timed event series featuring races at three escalating distances in locations worldwide. The series culminates in a world championship finale with a prize fund of over $500,000. As well as the competitive elite heats, Spartan Races are set up for all levels and ages of athlete to take part and engage in a new form of fitness.

“At Reebok, we recognize that the fitness landscape is changing. More and more, people are beginning to see fitness as part of their lifestyle rather than simply an activity, said Matt O’Toole, Chief Marketing Officer at Reebok.  “Spartan Race is at the forefront of this movement. It enables people to come together to experience fitness with a community of like-minded people – to take part in something that is challenging and daunting, but at the same time, inspiring and fun. This is what makes it so rewarding, and is a large part of what is fueling the incredible growth of the sport.”

Adds Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena, “Reebok shares our vision – they think, act, and live exactly like we do down to the last detail. Both organizations believe that through fitness, ordinary people can realize their full potential and reap benefits throughout their lives.

“Reebok will help us expand globally, pursue our goals of making obstacle racing an Olympic sport, share the healthy living we promote, and rip people off their couches and do what human beings were made to do: run, jump, sweat and climb,” De Sena said.

About Reebok

Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Canton, MA, USA, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment. An American-inspired global brand, Reebok is a pioneer in the sporting goods industry with a rich and storied heritage in running, training and fitness. A subsidiary of the adidas Group, Reebok operates under the multiple divisions of the Reebok brand, Reebok-CCM Hockey and the Sports Licensed Division.  Reebok is the exclusive outfitter of CrossFit and the Reebok CrossFit Games and main event partner and official apparel and footwear supplier for the 2013 Red Bull X-Alps. For more information, visit Reebok at www.reebok.com. Or, discover Reebok at the following locations: http://reesha.re/plus; http://facebook.com/reebok; http://twitter.com/reebok; and http://youtube.com/reebok

About Reebok Spartan Race

Reebok Spartan Race, voted Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race in 2012, is the world’s leading obstacle racing series and the first of its kind to have global rankings. With 350,000 participants in 2012 and 60 events planned for 2013, Reebok Spartan Race is making this one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Reebok Spartan Race is a timed event series featuring races at four escalating distances in locations worldwide that culminate in a World Championship Finale with cash and prizes for the champions – with a half-million dollars in cash and prizes awarded in 2012 alone. While featuring competitive elite heats, Reebok Spartan Races are for athletes of all levels and abilities and are geared toward ripping people off their couches and into the outdoors.

You’ll Know at the Finish Line – A Spartan Guide to the Sport of Obstacle Racing, a new e-book from Spartan Race co-founders Joe De Sena and Andy Weinberg that inspires readers to find and unleash their inner warrior, is available for free on the company’s website.

Go to http://www.spartanrace.com/ for more information, a schedule of events or to register for a Reebok Spartan Race. For videos, please visit www.spartanrace.tv.

Spartan Race

Alfred Schreiber

Mobile: (646) 320 -5142

Jeff Blumenfeld

Direct: (203) 655-1600

Mobile: (203) 326-1200

jeff@blumenfeldpr.com

Reebok

Dan Sarro

Direct: (781) 401-4443

Daniel.sarro@reebok.com

Richard Barker

Direct: +1.646.619.2805

Mobile: +1.917.287.9992

Richard.barker@mcsaatchi.com

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by Margaret Schlachter, guest blogger

2010 may have been the start of my Spartan journey when I was one of the original Spartans racing in the first Spartan Race in early 2010. 2011 marked my first podium and an invitation to join Spartan Chicked from the beginning, but it’s 2012 that will forever go down in the history books.

2012 was an incredible year, little did I know that in June when I started my 2012 season I would race nineteen official times and a few laps to help out, amass seven podium finishes and never out of the top 15. Little did I know I would travel throughout the country, race countless miles, make lasting friendships, and change careers all because of Spartan Race. I could write novels about the year but instead condensed it down to my Top 10 Moments in Spartan for 2012.

Top 10 Moments in Spartan Race of 2012

10.       The Perfect Race – finishing my first race with a single penalty burpee in Amesbury, MA Sprint.

9.         Finishing 3rdboth days in the Mid-West Super Spartan. It was an incredible weekend where two great races happened.

Margaret Schlachter and Juliana Sproles

8.         Watching the Spartan Chicked movement grow over 9,000 members. We started with a dozen women brought together with an idea by Carrie Adams and today it’s grown beyond what any could have imagined a year and a half ago.

7.         A Book Deal – Because of OCR and Spartan Race I am working on my first book due out in Spring 2014, dedicated to getting more people into racing and getting over the hurdles that stand in the way.

6.         Racing in Fenway Park – I went to college in Boston and that’s when I first got into baseball. Racing in Fenway was a surreal experience, hugging the Green Monster, burpees on the warming track, and seeing parts of the park otherwise closed to the public was priceless!

5.         The People – The Spartan Community is unlike any other in sport. The bonds and friendships formed are closer than many friendships I have had for years. Some of my biggest competitors are my best friends. The conversations on the trails during races are what sometimes got me to the finish.

4.         DNF’ing the Death Race after 25 hours of racing – More was learned in about myself in that DNF than I could have ever known.

3.         Finishing the Ultra Beast – it was more than a race for me, a goodbye to Killington, Vermont where I started my fitness journey. My last time on “my” mountain before moving to Utah, it was a race that transcended the rest.

2.         Chris Davis – Meeting and helping Chris to train for the Vermont Beast was an experience that not only allowed me to help train another Spartan but more importantly I got a great friend out of it. The first time he got over the 8ft wall in my backyard is a treasured memory of 2012

1.         Turning “pro” – In July, I quit my day job and simultaneously became the first female professional obstacle course racer. My life is my website, Dirt in Your Skirt, racing and training.

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