The Reebok Spartan Race at Citi Field continues a new program with some of the best Spartan Racers in the sport of obstacle racing. It is called the Reebok Spartan Race Invite Series. We asked our top racers to invite someone to run a Spartan Race with them. A top Spartan Racer will host someone they have been trying to push into Spartan Racing. It may be their best friend, their wife, their son, their coach or anyone who can coerce and invitation out of them. It just has to be someone that has never challenged a Spartan Race before.

For the Citi Field Sprint, Rick Kraics  asked his wife Bridget to join him in a Spartan Race. Rick finished the 2012 Spartan Race Points Series in 12th Place overall.

We asked Bridget a few questions about Rick and Spartan Racing:

How do you know Rick?

The Spartan Racer who invited me is my husband of 10 years, Rick Kraics. I knew him long before he became the athlete he is today. I trust that if he thinks I can do it, I can do it.

What is your athletic background?

I am no athlete, at least no Spartan athlete. I grew up taking dance and gymnastics. I was also a cheerleader for a couple years in high school. I’ve completed a few fun runs but my longest race ever was a 10k with my life-long best friends on St. Patrick’s Day 2012. It was tough but we had really cute matching t-shirts so it was worth it! I didn’t come in last place, but it was really close. In fact, Rick had to tell our kids to stop napping on the sidewalk so they wouldn’t miss me as I crossed the finish line. Like I said, I’m no athlete but this past September I did join a gym. I go to spin & zumba classes a few times a week now.

Why did you say yes when you were invited to race?

I said yes to make my kids and husband proud of me. Rick had already registered our kids, Kaitlyn and Ryan, for the Spartan Kids Race at Citi Field and they already convinced my step-sister, Christine to race also. She was getting nervous and thinking about backing out so she and I decided to create a team, #sistasfromanothamotha, and do it together. So, really I am doing it for all of them. On race day it may become about finishing for me, but saying yes was about being a good Spartan wife, mom and sister.

What are you most excited about?

I’m more nervous than excited. Maybe it’s nervous excitement? Sometimes I wonder what I got myself into. I’m not a quitter though and I’m excited to cross the finish line. Rick won’t be the only Spartan in our house for much longer!

What are you most worried about?

I’m worried about burpees! I’m also worried I won’t finish in time to see my kids compete in the Spartan Kid’s Race. The fear of missing my kids’ race is going to motivate me to finish as quickly as possible or collapse trying.

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by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Athlete

David Chandler

The Reebok Spartan Race Carolinas Sprint continues a new program with some of the best Spartan Racers in the sport of obstacle racing. It is called the Reebok Spartan Race Invite Series. We have asked our top racers to invite someone to run a Spartan Race with them. The top Spartan Racer will host someone they have been trying to get into Spartan Racing. It may be their best friend, their wife, their son, their coach or anyone who can coerce and invitation out of them. It just has to be someone that has never done a Spartan Race.

For the Carolinas Sprint, David Chandler has invited his mom, brother-in-law and sister to join him in a Spartan Race. They will be running together in one of the Open heats on Saturday afternoon. David competed in 10 Spartan Races in 2012. He finished 8th overall in the 2012 Series and won $1,000.

David told us “I will be running with my Mom, Sister, and Brother in law. They have seen me race before and see me train all the time. They think that I am crazy for doing it, but see how much fun I have. I decided to surprise them this Christmas with entry into the Reebok Spartan Sprint in Charlotte as their gift that I will run with them!”

We asked his family a few questions:

How do you know the Spartan racer?

Rhonda Chandler (Mom): David is my Spartan Crazed son, whom I watched train like a maniac last summer and who sparked my interest in strength training. Brian Alexander: I’m part of his entourage (Brother in law). Marissa Alexander (Sister): My brother, he is the one with the Mohawk.

What is your athletic background?

Rhonda Chandler: I’ve been casually running for the past 30 years. After being challenged by David this summer, I added a variety of strength training and interval training to my weekly workouts. I’m really enjoying all the variety and have gotten much stronger and improved my race times. Marissa Alexander: I like to run and swim for fun in my neighborhood.

Why did you say yes when you were asked?

Rhonda Chandler: I thought it would be neat to see the middle portion of a race as the beginning and end are so neat to watch. I also thought I could be a good sport and give it a try. Brian Alexander: Because it was a challenge. Marissa Alexander: I had no choice…….it was my Christmas present!

What are you most excited about?

Rhonda Chandler: I’m looking forward to jumping over the fire at the end of the race. I hope I haven’t used all my energy up on burpees! Brian Alexander: Having fun and competing with my family. Marissa Alexander: Getting the tee shirt and being able to say “I am a Spartan!”

What are you most worried about?

Rhonda Chandler: David knows this answer. I’m worried about the water events. I don’t like getting wet and cold. A little mud would be ok, but soaking wet and covered in mud is a different story. Brian Alexander: Potentially having to run with wet shoes. Marissa Alexander: The large number of burpees I will have to do.

Think you’re ready to take on a Reebok Spartan Race?  Get signed up today!

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by Chris Rutz, Spartan Elite Athlete

The Reebok Spartan Race Georgia Sprint continues a new program with some of the best Spartan Racers in the sport of obstacle racing. It is called the Reebok Spartan Race Invite Series. We have asked our top racers to invite someone to run a Spartan Race with them. The top Spartan Racer will host someone they have been trying to get into Spartan Racing. It may be their best friend, their wife, their son, their coach or anyone who can coerce and invitation out of them. It just has to be someone that has never done a Spartan Race.

For the Georgia Sprint, Alec Blenis has asked one of his family friends Jeff McCuen to join him in a Spartan Race. They will be running together in one of the Open heats on Saturday afternoon.

Alec competed in seven Spartan Races in 2012. He finished on the podium in 4 of the seven races. He is kicking off the 2013 race year with the Reebok Spartan Race Georgia Sprint.

We asked Jeff a few questions about Alec and Spartan Racing:

How do you know the Spartan Racer?

I am friends with his father. Alec, his dad, mother, grandfather and three other friends are regular participants. I also work with the cousin of Hobie Call. So I have heard a lot about Spartan Racing. Alec is definitely an elite runner in this competition and I have followed his success over the past few years.

What is your athletic background? 

I was a high school football player and wrestler. I also wrestled collegiately from 1979 to 1982. I was ranked as high as third in the country when a knee injury ended my career.

Why did you say yes when you were invited to race?

Honestly, If an elite participant as Alec thought enough of me to invite me, how could I say no.

What are you most excited about?

Just seeing if I can complete the course and hoping to build upon that and improve and run future races.

What are you most worried about?

EVERYTYHING. I was fairly sedentary until age 45 (6 years ago). My only physical activity was 30 minutes on an exercise bike and weightlifting. I took up tennis 6 years ago and have been an avid participant ever since, playing two to three times a week. I also began CrossFit 9 months ago. What worries me most is I have been a smoker for 30 years. Hi intensity puts me in an anaerobic state and I have to slow down. So, while I believe I can complete the sprint, it will have to be slow going.

Ready for your shot at Spartan glory?  Sign up today!

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by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Athlete

The Reebok Spartan Race Florida Super continues a new program with some of the best Spartan Racers in the sport of obstacle racing. It is called the Reebok Spartan Race Invite Series. We have asked our top racers to invite someone to run a Spartan Race with them. The top Spartan Racer will host someone they have been trying to get into Spartan Racing. It may be their best friend, their wife, their son, their coach or anyone who can coerce and invitation out of them. It just has to be someone that has never done a Spartan Race.

For the Miami Super Spartan, David Magida has asked one of his friends Greg Malone to join him in a Spartan Race. They will be running together in one of the Open heats on Saturday.

David finished the 2012 Spartan Race Points Series in 9th Place overall. He is kicking off the 2013 race year with the Miami Super Spartan.

We asked Greg a few questions about David and Spartan Racing:

How do you know the David?

I have known David Magida for over 15 years. I went to middle school and high school with him and ran cross country with him briefly when we were younger. He was the Spartan racer that initially sparked my interest in obstacle course racing. He suggested that I participate in the a short, local mud run in Miami as an introductory obstacle course race. He offered to run with me, for his third lap of the day, in my afternoon heat so that he could give me tips to conquer the obstacles as well as provide encouragement during. Elliott Megquier and Isaiah Vidal, whom I’d met earlier while waiting for my heat to begin, also offered to run with me. I also met Andi Hardy and Ella Kociuba at the Obstacle Racing Magazine tent and later was able to pick their brains about obstacle course racing, Spartan Race and training methods. Andi recommended that I sign up for the Spartan Workout of the Day (WOD) as a good place to begin my training.

What is your athletic background?

I played baseball in high school and wrestled for 3 years. After high school I really fell out of shape; I indulged in everything the college life had to offer. Unfortunately that lifestyle carried into my 20s and one day I found myself winded after walking up a flight of stairs at work. It was at that point I decided I had to do something about my fitness. Being friends with David for so long, I knew that he was someone I could ask for advice as I began a regimen to get myself back into shape. I began slow, running a couple miles and doing some push-ups  Now I try to go to the gym/workout a minimum of 5 times per week. I am an avid cyclist and while running is certainly not my forte, I try to do it as often as possible. I also enjoy swimming and have recently started going to a gym called Orange Theory Fitness, which holds classes that focus on high intensity interval and circuit training. I am definitely nowhere near where I want to be fitness wise, but I can see the path, I know my goals, and I finally have the motivation and desire to change my life around and reach those goals.

Why did you say yes when you were invited to race?

My experience at my first mud run was amazing. It pushed me mentally and physically and tired my body in ways it hasn’t been fatigued in years. Not the mention it was incredibly fun. When I was able to complete it without having to drag my body across the finish line I knew that I wanted my next race to challenge me even more. When David Magida told me there was a Super Spartan coming to Miami I jumped at the opportunity. Knowing there’s a race coming up and then signing up for it has forced me to push myself to another level when it comes to my training. I had such a feeling of accomplishment crossing the finish line and I can’t wait to run a Spartan race and recreate that feeling.

What are you most excited about?

The obstacles. If I just wanted to run a foot race I could sign up for a half marathon or a 10K. Breaking up the race by having to navigate through difficult and often very unique obstacles is definitely what makes the race fun for me. That being said, it’s been a very long time since I ran 8+ miles at once. I’ll definitely be incorporating a few long runs into my training, but at this point I’ll also be very excited just to cross the finish line. And drink a beer.

What are you most worried about?

My endurance. My fitness level is definitely much higher, but I’m still concerned about how tired I am going to be near the end of the race. It’s really important to me to complete every obstacle and unless they’re part of an obstacle, I’d rather not have to do any burpees during the race.

 

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The Reebok Spartan Race Arizona Sprint kicks off a new program with some of the best Spartan Racers in the sport of obstacle racing. It is called the Reebok Spartan Race Invite Series. We have asked our top racers to invite someone to run a Spartan Race with them. The top Spartan Racer will host someone they have been trying to get into Spartan Racing. It may be their best friend, their wife, their son, their coach or anyone who can coerce and invitation out of them. It just has to be someone that has never done a Spartan Race.

The Series kicks off with our very own Christopher Rutz and one of his coaches from CrossFit480, Brian Gubernick. They will be running in the 11AM wave on Saturday morning.

Christopher Rutz finished the 2012 Spartan Race Points Series in 4th Place overall. In 2012 he raced 24 Spartan Races. He is kicking off the 2013 race year with the Arizona Spartan Sprint.

We asked Brian a few questions about Christopher and Spartan Racing:

How do you know Christopher?
Christopher has been training at my CrossFit gym, CrossFit 480, for the past year or so. I like to try to get to know our members on a personal level and, in learning more about Christopher, discovered his passion for obstacle racing…a world pretty foreign to me.

What is your athletic background?
Growing up, I played baseball and football, and I later played football in college. Post-college I have tried to remain active, and I enjoy competitive sports, events, etc. I have run a couple of marathons but quickly learned distance running was not all that appealing to me! I started CrossFitting about 4 years ago and love it. When life/time permits, I firmly believe in “testing” my level of fitness – whether that be in some sort of CrossFit competition, hike, or competitive event of some sort.

Why did you say yes when you were invited to race?
It was a no brainer for me…I have never tried something like this, the race is relatively short, and the obstacles pose a really cool, unique challenge that I am excited conquer.

What are you most excited about?
Trying something new…and being nervous about it since I have no real clue what to expect. I like the adrenaline rush…

What are you most worried about?
Getting lapped by Christopher “The Caveman” Rutz.

Are you ready to take on a Spartan Race?  What are you waiting for?  Get signed up TODAY.

[Editor's Note: Chris Rutz is a regular on our Spartan Race series.  Follow him @ToughRutz on Twitter and Tough Training on Facebook.]

 

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