By Spartan Pro Team Member: David Magida

The Washington, DC Spartan Sprint is in the books, and what a phenomenal race it was. Competitors encountered 4.8 miles of rocky trails, challenging obstacles and mud. Lots and lots of mud. The kind of mud with the consistency of wet peanut butter and clings to the shoes, making the feet slow and heavy.

The event featured a mud pit swim in the middle of the Over, Under, Through obstacle, followed by a long run through a creek bed. Just about a mile in racers encountered a gauntlet including the Inverted Wall, the Heavy Tire Drag, the muddiest barbed wire crawl in recent memory, a cargo net climb and the obstacle that gave people the most trouble all day, the Hercules Hoist.

David Magida First Place Finish Washington DCThe rest of the course was full of rocky, muddy trails with rolling hills, interspersed with a sandbag carry, a rugged tractor pull, and rolling mud pits that were nearly impossible to escape. Factor in a very muddy traverse wall and a spear throw right after and this course was a recipe for many, many burpees.

Spartan Pro Team Athlete, Orla Walsh, finished first in the women’s race, blazing through the course in a time of 53:03. Next across the line were rising star Corinna Coffin (54:31) and Amanda Auger (56:34). This was Orla’s first victory of the season and her 4th podium finish in 2014.

On the men’s side, Spartan Pro Team Athlete and local favorite David Magida crossed the line in first place. Magida completed the course in a time of 42:12 for his 3rd victory of the 2014 season. He was followed by McCauley Kraker  (46:00) and Kevin Donoghue (46:24).

Herc Hoist Spartan Race Sprint Washington DCWith the DC race a wrap, Spartan Race stops next in Washougal, WA for the Pacific NW Sprint this weekend for another NBC Sports televised event.

Think you have what it takes to get your trifecta? Go to www.Spartan.com to get full results and to see what Spartan Super and Beast events are near the DC area.

About the Author: David Magida is a DC native, a member of the Spartan Race Pro Team, and the General Manager of Elevate Interval Fitness. He has run over 60 obstacle races in his career. 

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By Pro Team Member Tiffanie Novakovich

One of the main aspects of the Spartan Race that is hammered home time after time is that if you choose to take part, you should expect the unexpected. You can watch past videos, you can check out the dozens of online photo albums and you could even talk to experienced racers. It will give you a vague idea of what to expect. Bring those expectations to the start line and you’ll immediately be on the back foot. If the race isn’t what you were expecting, the terrain wasn’t what you thought it would be or the obstacles are not how you envisioned them, you were not prepared for the unexpected.

Bearing that in mind, the inaugural Connecticut Spartan event, held in the beautiful town of Uncasville, is now in the books, with medals around the necks of thousands of competitors.  Hosted at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino, the race seemed to stay more true to the resort’s lavish atmosphere, with just a modicum of Spartan torture.

The course started and ended in the resort parking lot, between zig-zagging through the parking garage, along flat stretches of small-town streets and highways, and through picturesque leaf-covered trails.  The course was mostly flat and favored speed runners, totally flying in the face of some events where mountains, hills and incline after painful incline tested the Spartans.

However,  many staple Spartan obstacles were present, including over & under walls, tire flip, atlas carry, rope climb, slick wall, barbed wire, herculean hoist, and traverse wall. Conspicuously absent was mud!  The barbed wire crawl was shorter than what is considered “normal” and was on grass. This surprised many racers who thought they knew what to expect. The water pits under the rope climb and the slick wall were lined with tarps, preventing any grime on the rope or mud in the eyes obstacles.

The course was no cake-walk though. The sand in the buckets/bags at the Herculean Hoist was saturated with water, making the obstacle significantly and surprisingly heavier than usual.  Several top racers failed this usually doable obstacle, resulting in unexpected burpees near the end of the race. Complacency and thinking you know what to expect again catching people out.

In the end, racers enjoyed a spectacular scenery in a beautiful place, but were still tested to their limits on a course that was a little different than most Spartan events, but just as grueling. In the men’s elite race, Matthew Kempson ran away with a narrow victory of only 7 seconds over Junyong Pak. Elliott Megquier completed the podium in third place. On the women’s side, Elise Fugowski bested the field by over two minutes, with Karlee Whipple finishing second and Orla Walsh in third.

As with all Spartan races, you never know what you might or might not encounter when you sign up, show up and never give up.

But one thing’s for sure: You’ll know at the finish line!

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By Elite Spartan Racer Cody Moat

Hills that don’t quit? Check. Relentless sun baking the venue? Check? Breathtaking scenery from the tops of aforementioned hills? Absolutely. The occasional curve ball thrown in to keep Spartan racers on their toes? Ah yes – we must be in Utah again.

Spartan Race’s annual visit to Soldier Hollow – venue of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games – is always a red letter day on the Spartan calender, so it’s no surprise to see the event village and starting corral heaving with smiling faces, fists in the air and the echoes of “AROO!” reverberating around the hills.

Cody Moat is all smiles at the start line.

The Utah Beast started with a bang when John Yatsko started fast from the beginning. I knew he was going to go out fast and push the pace because that’s the way he likes to race. I was happy that I would be able to go out fast without having to push the pace myself. So I started out on John’s shoulder and within the first mile we had started up the mountain and had gotten a substantial lead on the field. I knew judging from the pace that it would be a battle the whole way.
And it was a battle through the first 4-5 miles at-least up until we hit the spear throw. John came into the spear throw first and picked up the spear and hit. I think maybe I was too concerned about whether he would hit or miss instead of about my own spear throwing or maybe I was a little  over-confident. My spear grazed the edge of the hay bale and broke out without sticking. So I did burpees while John ran away unscathed. Then throughout the rest of the race, John and I stayed pretty equal the whole way. So what should have been a great race was quickly turned sour with the spear throw. John finished in 1:41. and I finished in 1:43 and 3rd place went to Glenn Racz, who also brought an incredible element to the race. I would like to congratulate John Yatsko on an incredible victory.

The female elites also saw a dramatic race, with Alex Roudayna de la Huerta Susilla eventually managing to get a 3 minute gap on Rose Wetzell-Sinnet, with Jenny Tobin grabbing a well-deserved 3rd place after running an awesome race. With so many ebbs and flows in the race, it was hard to see a winner at certain sections throughout the race.

In the event village, it was all about the green medal, as some were proudly displaying their first and in some cases, their second Trifecta of the year. Muddy high-fives all around, as well as the obligatory muddy hugs. For some, it was their first time at a Spartan Race and choosing to start with the Utah Beast is a commendable feat. One racers at the finish line were overheard saying, “I’m broken and my body hates me, but I feel fantastic. How does that even work?”

As ever, the Spartans of the future rocked their stuff with a testing Kids Race. With the younger Spartans in the community growing ever more excited about emulating what they see from the adults, it’s comforting to know that there is another generation of  those pushing themselves.

I would like to thank Spartan for putting on such a great event.

See you at the next Spartan Race! 

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By Pro Team Member Elliott Megquir

Another great weekend of gorgeous almost summer weather and Reebok Spartan Race Tuxedo Sprint Week 2 action. NBC was there Saturday filming and the stars of obstacle racing did not disappoint. Heading up to the start line Saturday, you could feel a different type of energy that does not happen every race. They announced the Spartan Pro Team and there were cameras galore. It truly felt like a big time athletic event, which it surely was.

Down to the results, 2012 Spartan World Champion Cody Moat claimed first for the men’s elite heat in a blazing time of 41:52, breaking Week 1’s course record by six minutes! Hunter McIntyre claimed second place just 38 seconds behind. While Matt Novakovich took third 16 seconds behind the Sheriff. For the women’s elite heat Rose Wetzel-Sinnett flew up and down the mountain to finish is a scorching hot time of 52:35 which broke Week 1’s record by nearly eight minutes! Reigning 2014 Spartan World Champion Amelia Boone finished just 2:07 behind Rose. While TyAnn Clark was just 37 seconds behind Amelia in third.

On Sunday the field was still impressive with Matt Novakovich claimed first, followed by Saturday’s fourth place finisher Isaiah Vidal in second, and David Magida who finished 5th Saturday rebounded to claim the third spot. In the Sunday women’s elite heat Amelia Boone won in an impressive fashion, followed by April Dee who rebound from Saturday’s 5th place finish to place second, with Tiffanie Novakovich improving from Saturday’s 6th place finish to take third.

The Kids Race was once again well attended with young Spartans showing impressive form. Tuxedo was a tough course even causing the adult rabbits to become out of breath during their time with the lightning fast juniors. Be sure to stay tuned on July 22nd when NBC Sports airs the Tuxedo Sprint for the world to see. If you missed racing one of the four days, you’ll get to see all you missed out on and it’ll give you even more incentive to sign up for next year.

Sign up right here and we’ll see you at the finish line! 

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The first Beast of the season did not disappoint.  The hills at Toro Regional Park in Monterey seemed to get a little higher over the past year. Racers returning for the second year were remarking about how the course difficulty had increased from 2013.  The nearly 5,000 athletes that turned out on a perfect Monterey morning were greeted with new challenges and just the right amount of water and mud.

The rugged terrain was fully utilized in this Beast. The course included all types of running surfaces, from fire roads, to single track and off trail bushwhacking. Many racers site this as being the toughest Beast course this side of Vermont and this race has only amplified that claim by somehow making it even harder than it was last year. New obstacles making their California debut included the new Monkey Net and the Laguna Seca inspired Tire Rope Swing.  In addition to the terrain the course layout ramped up the difficulty. What made this course especially demanding was the obstacle cluster at the end of the race. These included the Tire Flips and Atlas Stone Carry, which can take a toll on already taxed hamstrings, quads and calves. Despite this obstacle, the challenges were not going to prevent many racers from finishing their third race of the season and getting their Trifecta. The Trifecta is completing a Sprint, Super and Beast in one calendar year.  

Starting the day was the second ever 12 hour Hurricane Heat. With all manner of testing challenges, both mental and physical, the team was put through it’s paces and brought about a new record. The team contained Daren De Heras who is now the only person in the world to have successfully completed every race and challenge that Spartan Race has to offer, from the touring workout right through to the Death Race.

The elite heat racers started promptly at 8AM and charged up the first mountain at a fast pace. The fastest men completed the course in about 2 hours and the women in 2 ½ hours. For the men, the top three spots went to Chad Trammell, 30 from Yakima, WA, Brian Gowiski, 24, from San Diego, CA and in third place James Appleton, 27, from London, who again appeared from nowhere to quietly come in and assert some British bulldog spirit onto the field. Look out for more from the reigning UK Tough Guy champion, as the rumors are that he’s moving to the states. With his impressive record and stats that speak for themselves, could we have another heavy hitter in the men’s elites soon? Stay tuned!

On the women’s side Spartan Pro Team athlete, Jenny Tobin 45 from Boise ID finished first, followed by Lesley Moser, 30 from Menlo Park, CA and Monica Jo Nicholson, 32 from Aromas, CA. Our other Spartan Pro Team athlete on hand, Christopher Rutz, won the men’s masters (40+) race.

Veteran Earl Granville deals with a wall with ease.

As wave after wave went out, Spartan SGX coaches Andi Hardy and Michael Ainis were on hand to talk participants through some warm ups, cool downs and helped with general advice and instructions.

On the course, the story of the day went to a Team made up of Amanda Sullivan, Earl Granville of Operation Enduring Warrior, Matt Pevoto and Misty Diaz. Aided along the way by Slosh Pipe Champion, Kevin Kierce, a staff member and many members of the Weeple Army – who again took the biggest team title for a record 12th time – the team known as “The Avengers” took on the course and battled their own demons in order to achieve, in some cases, their Trifectas. Look out for a feature in the future from Spartan Race covering the day that these amazing competitors had.

The next race on the Spartan Race calendar is also a Beast, only this time in Utah. Don’t be surprised if Spartan Race tries to outdo the challenge they presented for you in Monterey. The hills are there for a reason. Get out of your comfort zone!

For those of you on the East Coast, the Connecticut Sprint will also be making its debut the same day, Saturday June 28th. Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.

See you at the finish line!

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by Pro Team member Elliott Megquier

Spartan Race really outdid themselves again, serving up the best course Tuxedo Ridge Ski Center has hosted in 4 years. The course was relentless with constant climbs of the mountain, carries of heavy obstacles, and crawling up a never ending hill under the barbed wire. Over 11,000 people completed the race over the course of Saturday and Sunday. You couldn’t ask for better weather, both days it was sunny, no rain, with a mild breeze. Not too hot and not too cold. Racers were also treated with a new obstacle. This obstacle entailed climbing a vertical wall out of the water without foot holds until you got out of the water and halfway up the wall. The monkey bars were also modified to provide racers with more of a challenge. They went up and down throughout the obstacle, even some elite racers were falling off. Another fairly new obstacle that debuted in the Northeast for the first time was the Monkey Cargo Net, which is all about grip strength as you traverse over a pit of water to ring the bell on the other side.

In the elite heats Saturday Matthew Kempson ran away to victory winning by over two minutes in impressive fashion for his first ever Spartan podium. He was followed by Elliott Megquier and Miguel Medina. For the women New York City resident Karlee Whipple claimed the win, with Laura Messner taking second, and Helene Dumais rounding out the podium in third.

Sunday Matthew Kempson repeated his winning ways, with Elliott Megquier closing the gap just one minute and nine seconds behind, and Dennis Smith rebounding from a fourth place finish Saturday to finish third. For the women Laura Lunardi rebounded from a fourth place finish to win Sunday’s race, with Debbie Moreau – hailing from the great state of Maine – placing second, and Helene Dumais of Canada placing third again.

Other great stories were Ilene Boyer who battles from brittle bones marking her one year anniversary doing a Spartan Race, over a thousand plus children who completed the Kids Race, and countless other untold stories of people overcoming tough times in life to kick butt at a brutally demanding Spartan course. The best part, is Spartan is serving up another round, on June 7th and 8th Tuxedo willing be rocking again with over 10,000 Spartans preparing for glory. Don’t miss out! NBC will also be there on Saturday to film and share all this amazingness with the world.

Till Saturday live a Spartan life, Spartan Up, and prepare for greatness.

Sign up now and we’ll see you at the finish line! 

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