Spartan Race is pleased to announce the official signing of Isaiah Vidal to the Spartan Race Pro Team. After aiming for this goal for some time, the son of Marble Falls, Texas was clearly elated at having reached what he was aiming for.

“You can’t accomplish goals by doing them half ass. Look to the Lord and you will find the strength he gifted you with. When I first started my road into Spartan I never had the intention to become great at the sport, because I was merely doing it for fun. When I started to realize that I was beating my body from racing, riding across the country, becoming a 2 x Spartan Death Race finisher, I needed to flip the way I viewed OCR into what God wanted me to do it for. April was one of the major reasons why I began competing and started to use my athletic talent to the best of my own ability, together following our coach, Jim Warren, from Center 4 Champions training methodically to beat the best among the OCR community. It has taught me to represent the Lord and to be a model for young adults and children. 

“When I get scrapes, cuts: the answer I get from most people is that I’m crazy. In reality it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks, because I’m being the athlete I was risen to become. There’s a-lot of people that don’t have this view when hitting an obstacle in life, one starts to question the issue by saying ‘why did this happen?’, ‘why-why-why.’ Spartan Race has taught me to not complain about any issues, but to have the wisdom, the courage to overcome the obstacle themselves when presented. It has brought out a unique athlete in me that now I want to share with my family and fellow companions.”

Despite already having established a strong name for himself, Isaiah admits that he believes he hasn’t really got started yet. Training every day, he’s very much in agreement with his mentor Yancy Culp that he’s “barely scratching the surface” of his running ability. An ominous thought, given the powerhouse that he is!

“Being on the Spartan Pro Team is going to impact the way I compete against even the finest OCR athletes in the circuit. Training & living in Colorado, while still focusing on my studies will completely change me overall as an athlete.

Looking forward, Isaiah aims big, but remains humble in what he sees long term.

“Live each day as if it was your last is the mentality of greatness. I don’t plan to back down or become bitter against my competition. I plan to toe every start line and race like it was my last. This continues to be an epic journey and I want to say thank you to my family for all of their support. Thank you to all my sponsors, Spartan Race, Neogenis Sports, Pacific Healths Labs, LIFEAID, Training Mask, ATP Extreme, Leonidas OCR and, a big shout out to my coach, Jim Warren, from Center 4 Champions keeping me from plateauing! Thank you all for believing in me. I pray and thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to live up to my potential through him.”

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by Elliot Megquier, Spartan Pro Team

Cameron Robert Morris

It takes a village to keep Spartan HQ running and that village has grown! On June 20, Spartan Vice President of Production Mike Morris and Spartan Marketing Manager Shonda Morris welcomed their second child, a healthy baby boy!  Cameron Robert Morris was welcomed into the world this morning and he and the family are doing great!

How is that for a Spartan love story?

We’ll be profiling some of the Spartan HQ staffers and giving you some insight into the men and women behind the Spartan curtain. Who better to lead us off, than Mike Morris himself!

For those who haven’t met Morris, you’ve undoubtedly met one of his courses. He’s the reason why you’ve spent hours swearing about and toiling on the exceedingly difficult and punishing Spartan courses in the US circuit. He may be a diabolical course designer, but he’s actually one of the funniest and coolest guys around.

Morris has been with Spartan since the beginning.  He started out as a race director and course designer and now he has done so

Family Affair – Morris and his son, Logan

well he has been promoted to Vice President of Production. Often sporting a mohawk and a radio, Morris is at nearly every US event. I asked him a few questions to find about what makes him tick and how he comes up with the courses that lead many a Spartan to tears.

Where are you from?
I was born in Costa Rica, live in various places but spent most of my life growing up in Sudbury, MA. I now reside in a Suburb of Boston with my wife (who also works for Spartan) and now two sons.

What did you do before for work? What brought you to Spartan Race?
My degree is in Mechanical Engineering and I had a six year stint working for a consulting firm. Then I jumped into the fitness industry as a Fitness Together studio owner (two units). And now I work for Spartan. Never would have guessed this is where I would be working now!

Funny stories from the inside?
Most of my funny stories “from the inside” are fairly self-deprecating, are not suitable to be published, or both. Let’s just say (among many other things) we’ve gotten a few laughs messing around with digital street signs, not-so-appropriate radio etiquette, and creative use of cameras.

What is your favorite part of Spartan Race?
My favorite part of Spartan Race is watching the competition between the pro team and elite racers, witnessing the heart of the last few racers, and learning about the passion our customers have for our events.

When is Spartan Race coming to Sugarloaf, ME? (Megquier’s hometown)
ME? You mean Maine, the state? Isn’t that up near Alaska? That’s a long way for folks to drive for an event.

If you could pick one venue in the US that hasn’t happened, where would it be?
Lake Tahoe. Or anywhere you (meaning Elliot) won’t get lost at.

What has been your favorite venue/race so far?
We always talk about our favorite events internally. There are so many ways to compare them all including everything from how nice the hotel was to how crazy the course was. From a purely course design standpoint Killington has been epic the last two years. That’s about as crazy as you can get for 13 miles. But, that mountain has its share of operational challenges given how crazy big and technical it is, which adds loads of stress to the execution. If I look at the full experience I would say our Dallas Beast in Glen Rose, TX was a favorite.  A crazy beautiful venue, fairly straightforward operationally, a cool course, mild weather, and ridiculous accommodations and food.

And there you have it. The man behind the myth (and sometimes a mohawk.)

[Editor's Note: Spartan HQ would like to say CONGRATULATIONS to two of our staff on the healthy birth of Cameron Robert Morris!  It was an exciting day for us to welcome a new member to our Spartan family.  We expect him to be doing burpees in no time!]

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by Brakken Kraker

Ten months and three days ago life as I knew it changed forever. My wife, Lisa, and I were blessed with a beautiful, perfect baby boy. We immediately slipped right into the role of parents and have not looked back yet. We felt decently prepared for our new life as people had spent the previous nine months giving advice about how to handle a new child and all the joys and struggles that go along with this. However, there was one new part of this equation that we were not prepared for: how to give our baby boy all the time and love he needs and deserves while maintaining some level of physical activity. Unlike the majority of parents giving us advice who had, at most, one competitive individual in their marriage, both Lisa and I are runners. This doesn’t allow for one of us to choose the time and duration of our workouts while the other goes about their daily routine. We have double training time to fit in our days, and this turned out to be a struggle for us.

Our two options for when to work out are before and after school (we both teach), and my after school time is also restricted by coaching. I will freely admit that for several months I just took the easy route (“Lisa you can run today, I’ll stay and watch Braden”). I not only missed the daily workouts, but really lost a lot of the fitness I had built up over the previous year. My turning point came when I talked with Cody Moat at a race and realized that he is in the same boat as me. He is a father, a teacher and a coach yet still manages to be one of the best trail runners in America- oh, and he has three more kids than I do… It also didn’t hurt that I felt incredibly out of shape during that race. I knew a change needed to be made, so I made it. Braden now sits in the stroller for every run I do, from long runs to speed intervals. It is not always the perfect running situation, but at the end of the day what could be better than running every step of the way with my baby’s happy face looking up at me? Plus, there has to be some benefit from pushing a bulky, plastic wheeled, non-running designed stroller up and down hills. The teams I coach have grown to love having Braden around, and he always makes doing core easier when he is crawling over everyone and giggling.

Lisa and I have come full circle with our training, and it now includes Braden on a daily basis. As a man and a father there is nothing more rewarding than a beautiful wife and a smiling little boy waiting for me at the finish line, and now I get to experience that every single day for every run I go on. On Father’s Day I can only hope that this post pays it forward and serves as someone else’s “Cody” talk. Make the time, put the excuses aside, and get out there. Include your child or children if you need to, and become the best father and man you can in the coming year.

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by Mike Levine, Spartan Staffer

I am Reebok, I am CrossFit, I, am a Spartan.  Going back to the age of seventeen, the first national sponsor that approached me as an athlete was Reebok.  A young Division I athlete, and I was branded head to toe by some really great people at Reebok.  They made sure I had everything I needed and were gracious in every way.  Fast-forward fifteen years…Now, I train at CrossFit Lighthouse in New York with an incredibly committed group of like-minded people and I work for Spartan Race.  I was incredibly exited with our announcement at the Times Square event that I was now coming full circle, and rejoining with Reebok.  With Citi Field nearly upon us, I can’t wait to see how Reebok and Spartan put on the Sprint in my back yard.

Spartan is an amazing brand of empowerment.  We are a dedicated group of professionals who inspire people to reach for the best and demand the absolute best of themselves.  We are not defined by a race.  Rather we are measured by the successes of our followers.  To our fellow Spartans, I tell you from personal experience that Reebok is no different.  They are Spartans.  This partnership brings us incredible opportunities.  There is a tremendous synergy between our two brands.  As gracious partners, Reebok invited us into their world and we will enjoy a tremendous relationship, we will certainly look much better in our new gear, and we will have an amazing brand to grow with.  Reebok stands behind their athletes.  They are a brand that helps their followers fulfill their dreams…sounds like a Spartan if you ask me.  So come out to one of our races this year, meet our Reebok ambassadors, get some new gear, and have some fun.

There’s still time to join us in Citi Field April 13th.  Get signed up HERE!

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Spartan Race HQ is settled in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  The legendary Death Race is held there and the history of the small town is a rich tapestry grounded in good people looking to blaze new trails, get outdoors, and grow local economies for business owners and their families.  In addition to Spartan Races, several ultra events are also held in this area put on by Peak Races, Spartan’s sister company in Vermont.  Here is one story of the Green Mountain Trail system that spreads out from the back steps of Spartan Race HQ told by one of the men who maintains them, Matt Baatz. 

The Green Mountain Trail System

by Matt Baatz

treesignWhen Spartan Race Founder Joe Desena moved to Vermont and bought Riverside Farm his land sprawled well into the hardwood forest in the Green Mountains. By building trails on his land, he saw the opportunity to duplicate the type of gonzo ultra endurance races he’d grown to love. Pittsfield Bike Club president Jason Hayden was eager to help. An extensive trail system would be a major boon to the burgeoning mountain biking scene in the region. The resulting Green Mountain Trail System, and the race series Desena hosted there, would eventually spawn The Spartan Race.

Hayden and Desena marked off twenty miles of trails, and, in trail building terms, cut the trails overnight. Desena hired out an expert operator, a tough old Yank named Charlie Bowen, and a mini excavator. They spent marathon sessions cutting sustainable trails riddled with dozens of switchbacks on the steep hillsides. An equallym_81_picture-6 irrepressible “retiree” Alex, who Desena hired as a summer caretaker on his farm, instead found himself with a new responsibility: He’d contour the excavated trails with a garden rake, and scraped so diligently that he wore the tines down to nubs. He’s known to this day as “Alex the Rake.”

Hayden secured a 20k grant from the state mountain bike association, VMBA, and he brought in the Vermont Youth Conservation Corp to build a series of bridges on the south side of the mountain. Andy Weinberg, co-creator of The Death Race and Race Director for the array of ultra endurance events on Desena’s farm, recruited members of a high school Warman C-1swim team that he coached in the heart of corn pone Illinois to buff the trails for a dollar a day. They came out of the woods that summer just as buff as the trails.

Andy Weinberg and Desena teamed up to develop a series of ultra endurance events, the Peak Races, on the trail system: a snowshoe marathon that was unheard of at the time, but proved surprisingly popular from the start; a six hour mountain bike race with a pig roast called, diabolically, the 666 Race; an ultra endurance trail run that followed fifty miles of the gnarliest terrain they could find, and as if that weren’t enough, they created a “Death Division” of the race involving the type of challenging farm and woodsman type chores common to rural Vermonters.

In fact, the race arose as both an attempt to create one of the toughest races in the pastedGraphicworld and a way to help Desena’s Pittsfield neighbors complete their most drudging chores, interspersed with barbed wire crawls, of course. This quickly evolved into The Death Race. Desena and the other founders created The Spartan Race to bring a comparable level of challenge to the masses.

The Green Mountain Trail System is growing in its own right. MTBVT.COM recognized the trails last June as “the best kept secret” in Vermont with some of the most awesome singletrack in the state for mountain biking. Desena has kept the trails free and always open to the public. Go to www.greenmountaintrails.com for more information and a map.

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by Carrie Adams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Spartan Race White Paper

By Joe Desena, co-founder, Spartan Race, Inc.

Nov. 9, 2011

thebeast-61As the Spartan Race hits the 110,000 competitor mark in 2011, with over 625,000 Facebook likes, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the difference between an obstacle race and its forerunner, adventure racing. The two are often used interchangeably to the detriment of race organizers and competitors alike. And we should know: our founders are former adventure racers themselves. We’ve paddled with gators, walked through swamps in the jungle for hours, and have been lost at night with just tree bark for food.

Technically, when it comes right down to it, the only similarities that obstacle racing has with adventure racing is the running component and the use of obstacles. What might not be as apparent is that both events force you to overcome unpredictable and non-traditional challenges that you would not find in many types of “traditional” endurance events, yielding a greater sense of satisfaction, reward, and much better stories to share for months, if not years after.

For example, in adventure racing you might have to paddle a three-person kayak on thethebeast-20 third day of a race on six hours of total sleep in the pitch dark across a 15-mile lake, battling nausea, literally going in circles (and not knowing it), experiencing poor nutrition and hydration, and challenged team dynamics. In an obstacle race you might have to overcome crawling on your belly uphill under 100 yards of razor-sharp barbed wire in the mud. Both are completely different experiences but the outcome is the same: reward for getting through a challenging moment.

desena_lgHowever, let’s be honest here: certain adventure races involve a lot more hardship and deprivation than a two-hour obstacle race. Adventure races are tough and only feasible for the top 5% of obstacle racers. The requirement to be proficient at navigating, mountain biking, kayaking, running, and operating on very little sleep makes adventure racing not for everyone.

That’s where obstacle racing comes in. Like a steeplechase for humans, obstacle racing, often compared to “mud runs,” forces runners to race a course that mixes road racing, trail running, and cross country running with a variety of obstacles throughout the course to test endurance, strength, speed, and dexterity. Obstacle races vary in distance and challenge level from three mile races to near half marathon distances with race organizers generally traveling the country setting up race venues in large cities and encouraging athletes of all types to participate. 

Runners are often unprepared for impending obstacles that may include going over, under or through various challenges that add additional physical and mental effort. The obstacles run from the traditional – crawling through mud, scaling walls, crawling under walls, and traversing balance beams to the non-traditional: carrying buckets of water, jumping fire, solving puzzles, walking tight ropes, and swimming under wooden planks. 

Obstacle racing is popular among runners and non-runners alike as competitors must adapt to new and differing elements in the race itself and the training regime for preparing for such events. 

Nothing against adventure racing mind you, but a well-designed obstacle race is designed to challenge, to push, to intimidate, to test and even to break those brave enough to try. “Fun run” doesn’t apply here. It’s about being uncomfortable, overcoming obstacles and finding out what’s possible when what you expect of yourself is everything.

Spartan Race, based in Pittsfield, Vermont, plans 35 obstacle races in 2012 in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. For more information: spartanrace.com, spartanrace.tv, Facebook.com/spartanrace.

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by Rachel Stuppy and Carrie Adams

295713_251314814902327_100000714315848_838174_6096306_nAs you have heard, Hurricane Irene, the storm that threatened to cause major damage to the east coast, from the Carolinas to the Cape, took an unprecedented turn for the worst  – flooding the roads, damaging, and destroying the homes of thousands of east coasters. Who would’ve thought that the tail end of the storm would have created more damage to Vermont, than when it was a Class 3 hurricane hitting the beaches of North Carolina? The images are shocking and even more so, when they are taken from a place you call home.

The towns and communities who were hit hard by Irene need your help and we are graciously asking you for it!

Vermont is home to the Green Mountains, some of the most beautiful lakes in the country, and the world leader of obstacle races. Not only is Pittsfield, VT the home of the Spartan Death Race, it is also where Spartan Race’s HQ are located.   Our friends and family live, work and train here. And it feels as if it was yesterday that many of them were here for the Spartan Beast race that was held in Killington.  Killington’s terrain and our race directors provided our athletes with one of the most remarkable courses we have had to date!  It was a unique race and our athletes are already trying to sign up for next years! Unfortunately, the town is a mess and the lodge where the Killington Beast was, no longer stands.

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Photo: Facebook/Luke Small

As you can see, the lodge at K1, where a thousand Spartans earned their green medal, collapsed due to the effects of Hurricane Irene.  The Pickel Barrel, where hundreds of athletes gathered with their turkey legs and celebrated their completion of the BEAST, has suffered flooding. The bridges up and down Route 100 have collapsed, making it impossible to travel through the heart of the Green Mountains, by car or by foot. In fact, Pittsfield has become an island because of the destroyed bridges, entering and exiting the town line.  The destruction of the bridges in Pittsfield has made the town unreachable, for there is absolutely no way to get in or out, except by helicopter!  In fact, one of these collapsed bridges was located just outside of our office.

According to an article in the New York Times:

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Killington, VT

Because of the limited ground transportation options in the state, the Air National Guard deployed helicopters Tuesday to transport supplies to hundreds of residents who had been stranded in the 13 towns since Sunday.

Mark Bosma, a spokesman for Vermont Emergency Management, said the National Guard was ferrying in food, water, medicine, blankets, diapers, baby formula and tarps. Most of the towns have no electricity, and none has potable water because floodwaters have overwhelmed sewage and water treatment plants in the area.

“I think it’s probably a very scary thing to not know when you can get out of town and to have a water system that’s not working and a general store that has run out of bottled water,” Mr. Bosma said. “People are extremely nervous about being isolated.”

Mr. Bosma said each town would be responsible for determining how to distribute the supplies they are receiving.

“We are getting the assets out as fast as we can,” he said.

The 13 towns that had been isolated are: Cavendish; Granville; Hancock; Killington; Mendon; Marlboro; Pittsfield; Plymouth; Rochester; Stockbridge; Strafford; Stratton; and Wardsboro.

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Photo from Joe DeSena, Spartan Race Owner

These towns and communities are devastated by Hurricane Irene and they need your attention!  We are getting reports that the people trapped inside Pittsfield are coming together to try to rebuild the town from the ground up.  They have been meeting every day at 7am for a town meeting, taking head counts, and are trying to make sure everyone is safe and accountable for.  They have come together and are trying to rebuild the roads and bridges by hand!  It is a beautiful thing to hear how the people have come together, to ensure the survival of others and to rebuild a town that once was.  However, they are still desperate need of your help!

Stories are emerging of harrowing acts of selflessness to get people what they need.  This video shows The Williams River flooded Route 103 in Rockingham, Vermont.  The closed road left the towns separated and without aid.  This horseback rider rode through the flood water to deliver a bag of medicine, and then went back across.

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Photo from Joe DeSena, Spartan Race Owner

We have received an overwhelming response from our racers to help restore the town,where it all started!  People from all over the world have been expressing that they are willing to offer their time, energy and hands to rebuild our town. We are extremely grateful and we would love to organize a time where all of the Spartans to race to rebuild Vermont!

We will keep you posted about the situation of the home of Spartan Race! Thank you for thinking about us! Stay safe!

Here are several other ways you can help.

Information on donations from http://7d.blogs.com

DONATIONS

  • Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need.
  • You can donate to the United Way’s Vermont Disaster Relief Fundonline, or buy sending a donation to your local United Way. Just make sure your donation is marked for the “Vermont Disaster Relief Fund”.
  • You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross set up shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in.
  • The VT Irene Flood Relief Fundis raising money to help people and communities affected by flooding. 100% of all donations will be distributed to businesses and families. The fund is being administered by Todd K. Bailey.
  • Vermont Baseball Tourshas set up the 8/28 Fund to raise money. Donations of $20 or more get you a cool t-shirt.
  • The MRV Community Fundhas been reestablished to help Mad River Valley farmers who saw devastating crop losses due to the flooding.
  • Independent Vermont Clothingis selling a special “I’m With VT” t-shirt. All profits from sales of the shirt will go to relief efforts.
  • Across the lake, upstate New York got hit hard by Irene, too. Donations are being coordinated on the Irene Flood Drive Facebook page.

VOLUNTEERING

  • VTResponse.comis working to connect volunteers ready to help with those that need assistance. If you want to help clean up and rebuild, let the folks behind this site know.
  • Montpelier Aliveis coordinating volunteer efforts in that city through their Facebook page.
  • Volunteer and cleanup efforts are also being coordinated on Twitter via the #VTresponse hashtag.
  • The Vermont Flooding 2011 page on Facebookis functioning as a community bulletin board of sorts.
  • Vermont Helping Handsis also coordinating relief efforts via Facebook.
  • The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations. Stop by their donation center at 32 North Prospect Street in Burlington, or the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Blood Donation Center at 125 Mascoma Street in Lebanon, NH.

OTHER INFO

  • If you need assistance or information from the state, dial 211 or visit vt211.org.
  • The Help VermontFacebook group is another place to share recovery information.
  • Sublet.com will provide free access for people who are displaced from their homes. Call their customer service line at 1-877-367-7368 for more information.
If you’d like to help on the ground in Pittsfield, please email carrie@spartanrace.com.  Access to town is nearly impossible and supplies are in short supply so volunteers will be welcome in a couple weeks.  Right now donations are preferred.

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by Khaled Allen

thebeast-59Whenever I have to drive through Pennsylvania, I always bring along a hunting knife and extra rations. You can drive for hours without even seeing a town, just impenetrable trees and looming ridges. It is a surprisingly wild state, home to thousands of square miles of forest, some of the most remote and rugged mountains in the Northeast, and highways that make Connecticut’s hiking trails look tame.

So of course we had to host a Spartan Race there. What’s really surprising is that we haven’t done so already.thebeast-17

On Saturday, September 10th, the first Spartan Race being held in Pennsylvania will kick off in Palmerton, a mere 75 miles from downtown Philly. The venue is the Blue Mountain Ski Resort; past experience has taught our race directors that ski resorts make great course locations, thanks to the extreme and rapid elevation changes, rough terrain, and plenty of mud. A lot of Spartan racers have come out of Pennsylvania to attend races in other states, according to Mike Morris, one of the race directors, and Blue Mountain provides a great opportunity to host a race in a state that so many Spartans call home. At 4.5 miles, this is a Spartan Sprint, making it a perfect opportunity to introduce new Philly-area racers to the Spartan brotherhood.

thebeast-53So what goes into the decision to pick a location? It’s pretty simple. Look for a big space near a big city. Of course, it also needs to have brutal terrain, some unreasonable elevation changes, lots of mud, plenty of potential for obstacles, and somewhere for racers to park. So, maybe not quite so simple. You can rest assured that our race team has picked a spot that will push you to your limits and pack those 3+ miles with plenty of challenges to test your Spartan determination.

I spoke with Theresa Hickey, the Northeast Regional Sales Manager for Spartan Race, to get an idea of what racers might be able to expect in this race. Theresa handles everything from race setup, to getting people to the race, to sending out congratulations afterwards.thebeast-84

So what can you Spartans expect? When I spoke to Theresa, over 2500 people had already signed up for the race, a month before it was set to start. There are also some Spartan veterans in the ranks for the Blue Mountain race.

According to Theresa, “We have a following. We are seeing some of the same faces at each race, it’s great. They come out to do a Sprint, after the Sprint they are curious about what the Super is about.  Then they are all geared up for the Beast.” The competition is fierce. But you already knew that.

Race Director Mike Morris was thrilled when he first scouted the location last winter.  Blue Mountain will be unique for a variety of factors “Blue Mountain has multiple water sources, high pressure water, elevation gain, epic obstacles, single track, gnarly descending, bushwhacking, and… well, the list goes on.”

thebeast-9He goes on to say, “I never knew PA could deliver such good terrain. I’m excited to get back out and scout a final course once the snow melts. In the meantime, the ideas are already flying around in my head for what promises to be an awesome event challenging our most competitive athletes while also creating an unforgettable experience for those of you who have never run a race before.”

As is always the case, get signed up early if you want to race with our competitive grouping.  Says Morris, “If you want to compete with the best then be sure to sign up for the 9am heat.”thebeast-32

So our first race in the untamed wilds of Pennsylvania is shaping up to be a pretty awesome event. If you have been considering getting in on the Spartan craziness, this is the perfect opportunity, since the distance is relatively short and the location is accessible to anyone from the areas around New York, Philadelphia, Washington, or Baltimore. For those of you who have been through a few races, this is your chance to sample what Pennsylvania has to offer, which seems like quite a lot.  There’s still time to sign up and take on the Spartan Sprint in Pennsylvania!

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Race Details:

1660 Blue Mountain DR

Palmerton, PA 18071

MAP & DIRECTIONS

ottawa-38All parking is on site or at very nearby satellite lots; you will be directed by mountain staff as you arrive. There will be a $5.00 per car (cash) parking fee collected by the venue when you park. Please don’t park on the roads or you will be ticketed. This applies to anyone (spectators, racers, King Leonidas, etc). Be prepared to have to park in one of the satellite lots and take one of the many busses we will have running throughout the day to and from the main event area.

See you in the Poconos! 

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SPARTAN_RACE_LEVELS_SPRINTWhen we made the devastating announcement yesterday that Sunday racing would be cancelled, we were just as upset as our Sunday athletes.  After 48 hours and a lot of negotiating, we have an opportunity for some disappointed Spartans to experience race day glory and earn their coveted Spartan Finisher Medals.  This opportunity is extended ONLY to registered athletes for Sunday’s waves of racing.  Here is the letter from Joe DeSena, Spartan Race owner. 

Dear Sunday Amesbury Spartans,

This is Joe DeSena, owner of Spartan Race and one of the Founders.  We’ve heard your cries to run and we’re here to make it happen.  No one was more disappointed than we were at the forced cancellation of Sunday’s event.  And as Spartans, we take on challenges and overcome obstacles.  Irene is one tough obstacle but we are resilient.  We are Spartans!

I am emailing you directly regarding a special offer to run this weekend in response to the cancelled Sunday race.  After much deliberation and due to rising safety concerns, the State of Massachusetts is shutting down access into and out of the venue on Sunday making a race on that day impossible but we have come up with an additional opportunity we are offering to the first 250 responders from Sunday’s Race heats.

Race with the Founders Heat:  We are offering a one heat shot at a special Spartan Course and you’ll get to run with the Spartan Race Founders.  This heat was given some conditions we have to meet: 

1. We have managed to negotiate a single heat of racing to take place Saturday,August 27th at 6 AM.  There will be no volunteers available at this time and no bussing.  Be prepared to arrive at 5 AM sharp to ensure you are there on time.

2. Public Safety is allowing us entry of 250 people for this heat.  Only the racers on the list will be allowed entry.  Read all the instructions below to find out how to get on the list.

3. YOU MUST HAVE YOUR SUNDAY WAIVER IN ORDER TO RUN.

4. There is one heat broken into five groups of 50 spaced 5 minutes apart.  No chips will be available and it will be non-competitive.

6. Bring everything you might need.  Onsite at that hour, we can’t guarantee that we’ll have food, water, or any other common race amenities set up.  Volunteers will be limited if there are any.

7. We recommend you have a head lamp or a flashlight.

8. No one is required to run this heat as a condition of your original registration and the cancellation.  Safety is our primary concern.  You will still be entered into next year’s Sunday Race, so if you are unable or unwilling to join us at Saturday morning.

9.  Saturday 6 AM runners WILL get a finisher medal.

If you’re interested you have to email us: spartanusa@spartanrace.com with the following information.  The first 250 to respond with the necessary information are in the heat.  No non-Sunday registrants qualify for this special event.  Please do not call Spartan HQ, our staff is onsite in Amesbury and won’t be able to answer your calls.

Name:
Email:
Phone:
Age:
Emergency Contact:
Emergency Phone Number:

Come ready to run!  5 AM sharp meet at the parking lot.

Please note that in hurricane conditions we are experiencing, we are at the mercy of the State of Massachusetts and Public Service policy.  If they see fit to close down the venue and disallow racing, we have no options but to comply.

Sincerely,

Joe DeSena

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