By Spartan Pro Team Member: Amelia Boone

It may be short, but don’t call it sweet. There’s nothing quite like the Pacific Northwest, and this weekend all eyes will be on Washougal, WA, as Spartan hosts the Pacific Northwest Spartan Sprint for the third year running.

In previous years, the 3ish-mile, 15-20 obstacle course has been an all-out sprint for the Elite waves, with top finishing times last year in the mid-30 minute range. With an expected length of 4.75 miles this year, what twists and turns and added terrain can we expect from Spartan? Set on one of the most gorgeous motocross courses in the nation, the single track hills and short climbs will test racers legs and lungs.The legendary uphill barbed wire crawl will likely be out in full force, as well as the obstacle gauntlet at the finish line.

Barbedwire Crawl Sprint PacNW Spartan Race Washington WashougalSet to be the third Spartan Race special to be aired on NBC Sports, competition will be stiff as the Elite waves grapple for standing heading into the World Championship. On the men’s side, it looks to be a repeat battle from Pennsylvania a few weeks back, with John Yatsko, Brakken Kraker, and Matt Novakovich squaring off again, with the addition of the newest Spartan Pro Team member, local Chad Trammell, looking to chase them down. For the women, Spartan Pro Team members (and all with Northwest roots) Rose Wetzel-Sinnett, Amelia Boone, Tiffanie Novakovich and Jenny Tobin look to duke it out. All are familiar with this terrain, with this race last year being Rose’s first foray into the beginning of her domination on the Spartan circuit.

Because of the filming, all racers should note that the men’s elite wave will run at 7:30am, and the women will head off at 8:30am. No other waves will be affected.

As always, we’ll see you at the finish line. 

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After years of waiting, Washington, DC will finally host a Spartan Race. Well, actually, Maryland will, but the District is buzzing about the opportunity to compete in the “Washington, DC Spartan Sprint.”

The only other time DC had a race this close was the 2012 Super Spartan in Leesburg, VA, an extra long, 10.5-mile course featuring a 400 meter tractor pull and a mile that contained over 30 horse hurdles.

David Magida will look to add to his podium count.

The course this weekend, however, should be quite different. Hosted in Charlotte Hall, MD, the 4-5 mile course is expected to be hot, hilly and full of trail running. But if you’re reading this hoping for some clues as to what to expect this week, don’t hold your breath. Whether we get the twists of a super long tractor pull, an extended log carry, or even a surprise bucket brigade at the end of the course, like we had in Pennsylvania, is to be determined. At Spartan Race, prepare for the unexpected.

The one thing you can expect, of course, is top-notch competition. And this race is no exception. On the women’s side, look for up-and-coming stars Orla Walsh and Corinna Coffin to battle it out for victory. On the men’s side, Brakken Kraker, Elliott Megquier and Kevin Donoghue are prepared to challenge for the win. Stephen Vassallo, fresh off his 3rd place finish on Sunday in Pennsylvania, will be looking to contend for another spot on the podium. And look for DC local David Magida, the champion on Saturday and Sunday from the Atlanta race, to shoot for another victory on his home turf.

After the race Magida will be running the course again with Team Elevate, a group of Spartan Training clients from his Washington, DC training facility, Elevate Interval Fitness, who have spent the last three months preparing with him for this event. For most of them, this will be their first Spartan Race, but they have embraced the challenge and are eager to prove themselves and earn the title of “Spartan.”

Have what it takes to become a Spartan? Sign up now! And check out Spartan Coaching in your area!

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By Spartan Elite Cody Moat

Spartan race is coming to the mountains of Utah for the second Beast of the 2014 season. I hope you’re ready for a long grueling course at an elevation of over 5,000 ft. above sea level. The venue comes to Soldier Hollow near Midway, Utah, located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains.  In 2002, Soldier Hollow was home to the Winter Olympics. And now is home to one of the toughest races you’ll find in the United States, The Utah Spartan Beast. Spartan racers be ready for a tough 13 + mile course with 30+ obstacles. This course is not for the faint of heart.

On the men’s side things could get exciting! Every year an athlete shows up out of nowhere to claim a spot on the podium. Competition should get interesting with Glenn Racz and Alec Blenis coming to Utah with a vengeance and determination to not only podium but to be on the top. I am also coming to the Beast with a take-no-prisoner attitude.

The women’s field should also be very interesting with several outstanding athletes. Rose Wetzel, winner of the New York Tuxedo Spartan sprint, will be in attendance. Utah’s very own Tyann Clark is also coming with a determination to claim top spot. Never count out Idaho’s Jenny Tobin and Leslie St. Louis who will also be aiming to finish highly.  If you are looking for some excitement this weekend come and participate or volunteer at the clash of the Spartans Utah Beast. You will not be disappointed.

With this being only the second Beast on the calendar, many racers will be looking at completing their set of medals in order to become Trifecta holders. However, with the unforgiving inclines that wait for them in Midway, it won’t be as easy as showing up and simply collecting what is due. Beast medals and finish lines are earned the hard way!

Also something to look out for will be the Spartan Kids race. Going at various times throughout the day, get a chance to see the Spartans of tomorrow as they take on half and full mile courses, with the coveted orange medal waiting for them at the finish line.

Remember to hydrate well and we’ll see you at the finish line! 

Bio of the Author: Cody Moat from Fillmore, Utah, began his Spartan journey here at the Utah Beast in 2012. Some highlights of his 2012 season were World Spartan points winner and Spartan World Champion. In 2013,  4th place in the World Championship.

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By Pro Team Member Tiffanie Novakovich

Brace yourselves, Nutmeggers! Spartan Race will make its Connecticut debut June 28, 2014. Hosted at the Mohegan Sun resort, a lavish Vegas-style hotel and casino, this Spartan Sprint will prove to be a first-class muddy event. The tourist town of Uncasville is located in the foothills of Eastern Connecticut, along the Thames River, adjacent to Trading Cove. As it’s less than 100 miles from Boston, MA, Hartford, CT, Providence, RI, and just a 2.5 hr drive from New York City, the race is expected to draw visitors from all over New England. Approximately 8,000 competitors and 5,000 spectators are expected to attend the Saturday-only Connecticut Spartan event.

As with all Spartan Sprints, the race will include 15+ obstacles over 3+ miles, run through the breathtaking Connecticut woodlands of the Mohegan Tribal Reservation land. The venue includes a variety of terrain, including single-track and Thames River-view trails. With the Trading Cove body of water so close by, I’m sure you can expect to get wet and muddy at this race!

Being held on a Native American Reservation will give the race a special feel, marrying the warrior philosophy of Spartan Race with the warrior heritage of the land. Kevin Brown, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council says, “I am very glad to hear that our reservation land has been chosen for the Reebok Spartan Race.  Let’s face it – the Mohegan Tribe traces a lineage and a heritage of brave Native American warriors who lived, worked, and fought in these Eastern Woodlands. The race will bring a modern challenge into historic territory – it’s a great fit.”

Some familiar faces are expected in the men’s Elite race.  Expect Elliott Megquier to be racing for a podium spot. He’s coming off of an impressive showing in the Tri-Cities New York Spartan event, where he raced four times in nine days, pulling in two second- and one fifth-place finish. Also expected to show some dominance is Spartan Pro Team member and Ninja Warrior extraordinaire Alex Nicholas, who pulled off an impressive 12th place finish at the highly-competitive NBC-televised Tri-Cities Sprint. Expect some speedy New Englanders to fight their way into the top 10 on this low rolling-hills course.

With the Utah Beast (held on the same day as the CT race) drawing the attention of many left-coast pros, several top spots in the women’s elite race are up for grabs. Some East-Coast race favorites include Karlee Whipple, who took first place in the first Saturday race of the Tri-Cities Sprint and eighth place in the NBC-televised second Saturday race. Don’t be surprised if Orla Walsh, who recently moved to Vermont to train, shows up to test her grit. She’s had impressive finishes lately in the Colorado Springs Military Sprint as well as the NBC Tri-Cities Sprint.  Don’t forget East-Coast staples Laura Messner and Amanda Ricciardi, who may throw their hats into the ring this weekend. And you never know what pro-team members might decide at the last minute to show up and dominate!

Also on the docket for Saturday are the Spartan Kids Race and the Special Needs Spartan Course. The Kid’s race includes two distances for younger and older kids and always proves to be one of the many highlights of every race. The Spartan Special Needs Course is a new addition being included at several events this year. There will be a course designed especially for intellectually and/or developmentally disabled individuals who want to challenge themselves against Spartan obstacles and also want to challenge what is “normal.” Spartan Pro Team members will be participating as mentors and volunteers in the Special Needs Race. As Spartans, we defy the perceptions of “normal” at every race, while our special needs competitors do the same everyday in a way that is highly impressive and honorable.

If you haven’t already registered, do it now!  You don’t want to miss the beautiful scenery and punishing obstacles of Connecticut’s first Spartan Race. Put yourself to the test and . . . You’ll know at the finish line.

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