Just the words “Virginia Super Spartan Race” sends shivers down the spines of many who witnessed what course designer Norm Koch prepared for them last year. One of the most brutal courses in the history of Spartan Race left many competitors really experiencing what it meant to “know at the finish line”. Those Blue Ridge Mountains just seem to go on and on, don’t they?

Virginia 2013 was also notable for the emergence of Matt Novakovich, who exploded from nowhere to not only win, but dared to beat the legend, Hobie Call, by around two minutes. The Alaskan has since gone on from strength to strength and is now a regular podium finisher and a staple of the Spartan Pro Team.

So, what’s in store this year? Well, let’s just say that while, as per usual, we’re not giving anything away, we’ll just tell you that having good leg muscle memory will be useful to you. With the race being a Super, there will be at least 8 miles of obstacles and trails. We’re going to put down 3 water stations for you, but if you don’t think that will suffice, by all means bring your own means of carrying fluids. Cramping and dehydration aren’t fun things to experience and bear in mind that Nellysford experiences average temperatures in the mid 80’s in August, as with most things Spartan related, if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.

For those making a road trip to the beautiful surroundings of the Wintergreen Resort in Nellysford, the first priority is somewhere to stay. By clicking here, you can have a browse through which hotels tick your relevant boxes. If you’d prefer something a little cheaper, there is a hostel close by that might be able to help you. With the accommodation in the area all boasting good reviews, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be well looked after.

There’s also the option of the good old-fashioned bed and breakfast, should you choose to go down that route. With all the establishments with reviews scoring either 4 out of 5 or higher, it’s clear that making travelers and strangers welcome is something that Charlottesville excels at.

The same goes for when you want to either carb up or replace all those calories you’ll have burned off on the course – because trust us, you will!

There are almost 450 restaurants and places to eat that are featured on Tripadvisor’s site and thanks to their site, you can select the style you are looking for, if you have those pangs for something particular. Whether it be your typical American steakhouse, or if it’s something a little more exotic, such as Greek, Indian or Thai cuisine. With so much on offer and such a broad range available, there will almost certainly be something that will fill whichever hunger hole you have.

Some of the best terrain is waiting for you.

But if having a drink and possibly shaking your stuff is something that is high on your list of priorities, that’s well covered in the reviews section on Yelp for the area. Additionally, you have a selection of wine bars, nightclubs and even “dive” bars, if you prefer that kind of thing. Again, with many scoring very high and positive reviews, having a good time is an almost certainty.

Naturally, the responsible Spartan makes sure there’s a designated driver if alcohol passes the lips, but if not there are some local taxi companies that will be able to make sure you get back to your accommodation safe and sound.

For more information about the area, there is a very useful website that is all about Charlottesville. Have a look here and you’ll find out about things to see and do, just in case you choose to make a long weekend of it after celebrating your Super finish.

See you at the finish line!

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Monterrey Beast – Tougher than you

by Spartan News Desk

 You measure yourself by the level of challenges you’ve faced. Run a local 5k? Maybe for a quick warm up before you get serious about your training. Complete a 10k? If there isn’t anything more intense, but maybe you can make do with the added weight of a vest. Weekend events are reserved for the events you take on with your core group of friends. The maniacs you met doing an overnight relay, some crazy boot camp on the beach, or some “tough” mud run. Each time you complete one of these you can’t help but think to yourself “You my friend, are an absolute Beast”. But are you, are you really? One way to prove it, to show yourself and the rest of the world you are truly the Beast you think you are. Get yourself to Monterrey and tackle the Spartan Beast.

We know you have done other events and think you have nothing left to prove. We also know that people who say that are often scared of that one last true test. In this case the Monterrey Spartan Beast is that last test. We understand it’s a little intimidating, its supposed to be that way, if it wasn’t we wouldn’t call it the Beast.

Coming in at 12+ miles and over 25 obstacles taking you through the hills of Monterrey we turn a picturesque landscape into a brutal expanse of a course. It will take you physically and mentally to places you have yet to go to before. This course will test your limits; it will redefine your idea of endurance and obstacle racing.

Yes, this is going to hurt. You’re welcome.

So lets just accept the fact that you are a little nervous about tackling the Monterrey Beast. Are you worried that your fitness level is going to be exposed as not being at the level you originally thought? Is it the idea that you might actually earn yourself the dreaded DNF (did not finish)? Could it be that there is a timing element to this event you haven’t come across before? After all at the Reebok Spartan Beast in Monterrey we will hold you accountable to missing obstacles. Each one you miss will cost you 30 burpees. Spartan fully expects you to earn your medal. We view them as our shields, forged on the fields of battle.

This isn’t a headband or a fuzzy helmet. You can’t coast through our event and the Beast is no joke. You can run this event with friends but there will be no relay element. You are expected to finish this race along with them, side by side. So now you have to ask yourself how tough you really are. You’ve done some events that have tested you, maybe left you feeling tired; the Beat is the ultimate test. You best this and you have bragging rights for the rest of your life. Once you cross that finish line you will know a whole new depth to yourself, your strength, you will see just how far down you can reach in order to get it done during one of the toughest events you’ve ever faced.

So what are you waiting for? Step up, sign up, and see if all those other events you have done have given you what you need to be Spartan strong. Answer for yourself…

…Are you Unbreakable?

Sign up today at Spartanrace.com for the Monterrey Beast June 7th, 2014.

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On the Las Vegas Strip, opulent waterfalls, sky scraping hotels and lush retreats abound.  On The Strip, you could almost forget that this bustling city began simply as a dream in a desert.

Yes, a desert.

This Saturday, thousands of Spartans will invade the infamous Sin City for the second-ever Las Vegas Super, which make no mistake, while conveniently located, is taking place on the outskirts of the metropolis, away from the ringing bells of casinos, the air conditioned biomes of pink clouds the billboards of lights, lights and more lights.

Spartan Racers should expect nearly nine miles and nearly two dozen obstacles in the dry, dusty plains of the Nevada desert.

With a new locale from last year aptly called the “Gravel Pit,” course designers are promising all the Spartan staples — spears, ropes, walls, pits, tires — amid both the natural, rocky topography and new, man-made terrain.  There will be muddy portions, but true to the setting, very little water, except for the planned three stations and one at the finish. If last year is any indication, participants should also expect some down and uphill climbs. At last check, the weather predictions called for sun with highs in the 70s and a slight wind.

The Racer Athlete Guide suggests everyone bringing an ID for check in (and any post-race drinks), arriving at least an hour before the wave start, carrying personal hydration and nutrition. If starting at 2:00pm or later, it’s also advised to carry a headlamp. Click here for the Las Vegas Athlete Guide.

Just like the desert itself, the elite heats will be scorching, with athletes from the around the nation all vying for spots on the podium and top ranking in the 2014 World Points Series, especially since this is a one-day event.

In the men’s elite, look for 2013 top-ranked Brian Hoover and the Spartan Pro Teamers Elliott Megquier, Chris Rutz, David Magida, current points leader, Hunter Mcintyre and Charlotte’s first place winner, Matt Novakovich.

Last year’s Vegas 2nd place winner TyAnn Clark and Spartan World Champion Amelia Boone are both expected to take the start line in the women’s heat, as are Leslie St. Louis, making her first 2014 return from injury, and Pro Teamers Andi Hardy, Juliana Sproles and Tiffanie Novakovich.

Beyond the Super Spartan, there are other events taking place on Saturday: the not-to-be-missed Kids’ Races, the 6:00 am Hurricane Heat and the 12-hour Hurricane Heat (HH12HR), which serves as one of the qualifying events for the Peak Death Race.

While all of the events promise to challenge racers, the festival area will offer some Spartan-Style entertainment and fun, including food and refreshments, an SGX Warm up every hour starting at 7:30am, an SGX tutorial on rope climbing every hour starting at 9:00 am and Pull-up, Traverse Wall, Slosh Pipe and Tire Flip challenges happening throughout at the day starting around 10:00 am.

Amid obstacles, sweeping desert views and rousing “Aroos!” racers at the Spartan Super this weekend will likely discover something new to remember about Las Vegas, a city founded on dreams and a desert.

Click here for more information.


Leslie St. Louis is a trail runner, obstacle racer and mom of two mud-loving girls in Morrison, Colorado. She is currently ranked 9th in the Spartan World Points Series and the founder of a local obstacle group, resource and blog, Colorado Obstacle Racers, http://coloradoobstacleracers.com/.


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Growing up as a boy in Germany, I was always fascinated by the endless pine forests that seemed to go on forever. I’d see men with forearms like Popeye and chests like barrels quaffing beers and throwing axes at logs in almost nonchalant disdain. The way the wood would explode into halves as the blade shot through it was almost hypnotic. The action, the smell and of course, that glorious sound made everything so delicious. It remained with me throughout my life and now, finally, not only do I have an excuse to chop, but it contains benefits that I embrace with the same arms that swing those axes.

Why would anyone want to chop wood, though? It’s actually very simple. It’s good for you.

Chopping wood is, simply put, one of the best workouts you can give your body. Let’s think about this. First of all, you need a good solid stance, right? Making sure the feet part at a comfortable distance, usually about shoulder width, in order to have a good solid base, you are prepping for action. Doing this means your hamstrings, calves, quadriceps and gluteal muscles are all in use and are tense and braced. Going on from there, you have the swing itself. This is generated in the latissimus dorsi, the lower and middle trapezius, the deltoids, obliques and the pectorals. Completing the swing, you will use smaller muscles in order to stabilize it. It’s one of the few motions, not unlike swimming, that uses a whole range of motions and muscles in order to complete one action.

Best of all for folks that hate doing floor exercises, but still want to try and work those abs, is that this action is basically like doing crunches, only you’re standing up and aren’t getting bored to tears. Crunches are boring. There, I said it.

But it doesn’t end there. Because wood chopping is considered a low-intensity workout, it can improve cardiovascular endurance when you perform is slowly and steadily for a protracted amount of time. With practice, the constant repetition of the swing of the axe will build precise form. This form will raise your heart rate, burn calories and improve your circulation.

Additionally, the motion of the swing – which should be smooth and fluid-like with practice – will not adversely affect your joints, because this exercise is effectively not a weight-bearing one. If you chop wood, say, twice or perhaps three times a week, it will help build aerobic fitness and as we all know, this is what you need in order to efficiently take in oxygen while you perform not just exercise, but any kind of physical activity.

As with any physical activity that requires certain amounts of exertion, you’ll be releasing both endorphins and adrenaline. These are both feel-good chemicals produced naturally within the body.

So chopping wood is in that bizarre situation of being both creative and destructive at the same time. Chopping wood is so rewarding and from personal experience, way more rewarding than any clinical workout in any gym or Crossfit box. You’ve achieved something and have actually something to show for it. You can feel all the muscles working and best of all, that satisfying ache of a job well done. Not to mention the fact that chopping is a confidence booster. Add that final element of problem solving when you come across that one particularly knotty and stubborn piece of wood that just doesn’t want to be split and you have what could be argued as the perfect workout.

As any Spartan Death Racer will tell you, log chopping is a staple part of the Death Race as it’s the perfect workout. Perhaps going back to basics is sometimes the best approach to go forward. So get chopping and sign up for your next race now.

See you at the finish line…

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When one talks to friends and family about training, one activity often gets unfairly overlooked. Despite being arguably one of the better ways to get in shape, and more importantly stay that way, it remains bizarrely underrated. The activity we are talking about is swimming.

The benefits of swimming are numerous and what’s more, it’s a skill that ideally everyone should have. Swimming can literally save your life. So why doesn’t swimming play an active role in your training? It should, and here’s some reasons why:

1) Low Impact

As part of being active and training, running will invariably be part of your way of life. The wear on your joints while running however, can take their toll. This isn’t an issue when it comes to swimming. There is no ground impact when you swim. In fact the Arthritis Foundation are very keen to push this fact. So much so that you may even find sponsored classes all over the country. Water or Aqua aerobics are increasingly popular for this very reason, as the natural buoyancy in the water means that this is an change to your routine you should explore if you haven’t already done so. When the human body is immersed in water it automatically becomes lighter. When immersed to the waist, your body bears just 50 percent of its weight; dunk yourself to the chest and that number reduces to around 25 to 35 percent; with water all the way to the neck, you only have to bear 10 percent of your own weight. The remaining 90 percent is handled by the pool.
Even better news is that if you have access to a pool that is heated, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers will notice the difference in how stiff joints are “loosened”.

2) Cardiorespiratory fitness

Regular swimming builds endurance. In fact, one study amongst sedentary middle aged men and women who swam as training for only 3 months found that maximal oxygen consumption levels improved by around 10% and stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped with each beat which indicates heart strength) improved as much as 18%.

3) Life long activity

The idea that swimming can only be done up to a certain age is utter nonsense. Because of the lack of impact, swimming is an activity that can be done through ones entire life. The US Masters Swimming website even has a category for those aged between 100 and 104.
Never forget that one of the heroes of Spartan Race is also one of the biggest ambassadors for swimming as part of an active life  – Jack La Lanne. Jack still swam for an hour a day before he passed away aged 93.

4) Muscle mass improvement

In a study that lasted 2 months, men who completed the swimming program showed, on average, 23.8% increase in the tricep muscle. The resistance of the water when moving, whether it’s submerged running, has consistently proved itself to be an excellent way to build and tone. Because water is 12 times denser than air, and it’s been proven that resistance work aids muscles development and toning, getting in the water should be a no-brainer.

5) An aid for the injured

When sportsmen and women become injured, especially in the lower extremities, swimming or submerged training is a given. The resistance not only allows them to keep training due to the lack of impact, but it serves as an excellent rehabilitation tool.

NFL star Chad Jones in water rehabilitation after injury.


6) Family fun

As discussed in a previous Spartan blog, with childhood obesity levels not showing signs of slowing, swimming and playing in water is something any family can do that is a perfect example of making exercise or training fun.

7) Burn those calories!

Swimming burns lots of calories, anywhere from 500-650 per hour depending on how efficiently you swim. The good news is that as a beginner, or someone who hasn’t yet mastered a long, clean stroke, thrashing and flopping through an untidy stroke will actually burn more calories. So, if you wanted to use the excuse that you can’t swim – now’s your chance!
While swimming burns a little less than running and only slightly less than biking, it is still an excellent resource for toning and slimming. Naturally, this is dependent upon the intensity of how hard you swim. Faster strokes for longer will burn more calories, but that’s also where the endurance comes in.

8) Flexibility

We’re often told that, as a Spartan racer, there’s difference between movement and flexibility. Some of the shapes we make with our bodies during races aren’t what you’d call “normal”. Climbing over that slippery wall often has folk with one leg thrown over the side while the hands still grip the rope and the other foot is planted on the side. All very contorted and unusual. How about some of the positions some folks get in when they go over the suspended cargo net? Or the Over-Under-Through obstacle? These all require flexibility and swimming is the perfect tool for that.
While doing the crawl stroke, think about it. Your arms are making arcs, one after the other, pushing the water away from you. You’ll be turning your hips from side to side while you do this motion in order for your arms to gain a better positions. While all this is going on, your legs are kicking in a scissor motion.

Your whole body is moving and contorting in different directions. With regular swimming and different swimming techniques and strokes, your body becomes more and more flexible.

9) Help your heart!

Because swimming is an aerobic exercise, it serves to strengthen the heart, not only helping it to become larger, but making it more efficient in pumping — which leads to better blood flow throughout your body. Research also shows that aerobic exercise can combat the body’s inflammatory response as well — a key link in the chain that can lead to heart disease.
If that’s not enough to get you moving in the pool, the American Heart Association reports that just 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as swimming, can reduce coronary heart disease in women by 30 to 40 percent. Additionally, an analysis by the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that regular aerobic exercise could reduce blood pressure.

So the question really isn’t about why you should go swimming. It’s really why you shouldn’t. If you cannot swim, there are almost certainly lessons available close to you. Not only will it keep you healthy, toned, improve your respiratory system, joints, muscles and flexibility, it may even save your life.

Swim to win.

See you at the finish line…

Credits: usaswimming.org, active.com, nj.com, bodybuilding.com

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A recent trend in the running world is a return to basics: running barefoot. With the trend sparked largely by the publication of Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run, runners across the country have begun to embrace the trend of running without shoes. The book highlights groups of people that ran for thousands of years without the benefits of modern-day shoes. In particular, the Tarahumara people of Mexico’s Cooper Canyons are highlighted. Apparently, thin-soled, canvas shoes have much lower rates of injury than normal jogging shoes. 

So should you ditch the shoes for good? The short answer is “it depends” on who you listen to. One Harvard University professor touted the benefits of barefoot running, claiming he runs through Cambridge at least once a week without shoes.  Other doctors are more skeptical, claiming the number of running-related injuries has increased dramatically as their clients lose the shoes in favor of barefoot running.

Another columnist found a more practical reason standing in her way. She opted against running through streets barefoot, instead trying a local park. However, the number of dogs and homeless people led her to question what she might step in and she’s scaled back her running barefoot.

As with most trends, there is profound disagreement about the benefits of running barefoot. Still, if you’re up for an extreme challenge, this might be just the ticket.

Whatever your choice, running a Spartan Race requires training, so get to it!

Picure credit: CNN,  runmyroute.


The spear throw is one of the obstacles at Spartan Race that is generally considered a burpee factory. Along with the rope climb, more people fail this one staple obstacle of the Spartan Race than any other.

But to what many may consider a bizarre circumstance given the threat of those 30 burpees, there are some that rub their hands with childish and cartoonish glee when they see this obstacle on the horizon.

It started out all innocently enough. Steffen Cook, “Cookie” to everyone that knows him, is well known for not taking races and obstacles altogether seriously. Despite being a veteran of 6 Trifectas plus change, he prefers to “mess about” on the course and make light of hills, obstacles and not worrying a great deal in what his recorded time is. His favourite obstacle is the spear throw. As such, one afternoon while trying new throwing methods, he decided to spear an orange from a distance similar to that of at a race.

“There was nothing in it. No challenge, nothing malicious, just me messing around and having a bit of fun. I knew that my aim was fairly precise and just wondered if I could prove it.”

He did. Nailing the orange dead centre, he cheekily walked off camera and thought nothing more of it. His good friend Kevin Kierce, reigning Spartan Race Slosh Pipe challenge champion and also a veteran of Spartan Race saw the video and together they hatched a plan.

“I saw Cookie at a workout he, Michael Ainis and Matt Trinca organised in Lakewood, California and suggested that I spear a peach. During the workout, I though, ‘hey, this is for Cookie, I may as well spear a cookie’”. Kevin went home and couple of weeks later he found the time to set up a camera and sacrificing a girl scout Thin Mint, he completed his video with an even cheekier shrug of the shoulders, titling the video on Facebook, “Your turn, Mr. Cook”.

Knowing what was coming, but not sure how to top it, Cookie decided that the simplest way to put an end to something that had, frankly, got way out of hand, was to land the spear on a penny. For the sake of the video, he stuck the penny to some painter’s tape and then attached that tape to a sheet of paper on the bale. That way, the dark color penny would show against the white of the paper. In inevitable fashion, he again bullseyed the target.

“Kevin is an immense Spartan. He throws accurately, runs like the wind and frankly, should have a license for those guns under his sleeves”, he explains. “We decided to leave it there and call it a tie as, what’s next? A peanut? A raisin? It would prove nothing as the spear end is wider than those targets and it would be like hitting something of the same size.”

“People talk of a rivalry and how we should be outdoing each other and that’s just nonsense. Spartan doesn’t teach that. It teaches how we encourage, support and help, not talk down, belittle or point fingers with cries of “cheat” or “fake”. If somebody does something awesome, congratulate them on it. Whether it’s a PR for a 5K, their first 30 burpees, their first whatever or even a very silly showboating video of throwing spears. There’s always going to be haters, but they can be drowned out with positivity.”

Kevin and Cookie are toying with the idea of doing one last video to end them all and put the matter to bed when it comes to “messing around with the spear throw”. Look out for them at the LA Marathon on March 9th, as they will be running together, each doing one half blindfolded, while he guides the other in aid of Blind Start Of America charity.

How precise is your throw? Find out at your next Spartan Race.

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by Harmony Heffron

With the best intentions you go to the gym, working out hard to get the results you want.  You try to do all the right things while there to maximize your results and minimize your chance of injury. Of course, you stretch before you start, wear appropriate shoes (do NOT wear construction boots on a treadmill) and listen to your body, right? Injuries are all-too easy to receive.

Before you pat yourself on the back too hard though, here are a few common gym mistakes you might not have thought about:

1) Not Eating. Lots of people don’t eat before going to the gym. They think by having no fuel in their stomachs they will burn up extra body fat instead. This is a huge mistake. Not having enough fuel in your body can lead to shaking and dizziness. Your body will also not have much energy to work with, making it more likely that you will exercise less, giving up early because you feel tired.

2) Becoming Dehydrated. When you exercise you sweat right? Sweat is mostly water. So water (sweat) leaving your body, combined with not drinking enough water, equals dehydration. I know this sounds simple but if you are working out in a warm environment or are hitting the sauna you are more likely to become dehydrated as you work out. This can cause cramping, stress your internal organs, and cause you to feel ‘out of it’ and distracted, raising the risk of injury. Don’t try walking to the water fountain more often,  this will only distract you from your workout and give your body too much time to cool off if you’re working on a cardio routine. Bring water bottles with you, keep them next to you, and sip from them OFTEN.

3) Not Taking Time Off. The harder you work the better the results will be. This may be true at the office, true when you’re studying for a test, true when fixing up your house, but it is NOT always true at the gym. I know this will be hard to hear for some gym rats, but you have to take some time off every once in a while. Rest days are important chances for your body to repair itself and build new muscles. If you are feeling tired after you work out, you probably need a rest. Working out should make you feel energized and healthier.  If you’re not feeling this way it’s your body’s way of saying that you’re pushing it too hard.

4.) Becoming Bored. Boredom doesn’t sound too dangerous but it can destroy even the most dedicated Spartan’s workout. Having the same routine for too long, doing too many exercises you secretly hate, or just having a case of the winter doldrums are all common culprits. One day you go to the gym with enthusiasm, the next you’re trying to think of any excuse that you possibly can to stay home. Thankfully there are things you can do to try to fight off the foe of ambition. Try varying your routine, not only will it help you keep things interesting, but you’ll probably end up exercising some different muscles your previous routine wasn’t using. Getting a new gym partner or listening to new music or podcasts while working out can also be good ways to shake things up. If your gym offers any classes, this can be one of the best ways to get out of your exercise slump. Even if it isn’t something you’d usually take, try it at least once. Either you’ll find something new you love to do or you’ll have such s horrible time you’ll be THANKFUL to return to your old, boring routine.

And the best way that I can think of to beat the boredom blues is to get out and do a Spartan Race.  You’ll stay motivated as you train for the race and you can rest assured that you will NOT be bored on race day.

Picture credit: kaiafitsacramento

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Edgar at the Winter Death Race.

Death Race veteran and Spartan Race specialist Edgar Landa shares some top tips for all racers. 

So…you’re all geared up, pumped up and ready to attack the course this weekend at the Malibu Spartan Sprint. If you are veteran of multiple Spartan Races you know the routine, what to pack and how to prep your game face.  If you are a nervous first-timer you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, nervous or apprehensive about what to expect.  Below are some helpful hints for both the experienced racer and the newbie that will make your day in Malibu just a bit more comfortable.

1. Bring a towel and a change of clothes (including socks, dry shoes, jacket and a beanie – you lose the most heat from your feet and head) to wear AFTER the race. I use quick-drying camp towels like the Packtowel Ultralite sold at REI.  They come in a variety of sizes and colors and even the XL (50″x27″) fits in the palm of your hand.  But if you want to bring your Superman towel then go nuts.  The water from the hoses in the shower area will be COLD but so what!!!  You just ran a cold, wet race…what’s a few more minutes of cold water?  Boo hoo! SUCK IT UP! AROO!  You will be thankful not being in cold, wet clothing while trying to enjoy the post-race festivities or waiting for the shuttles to the parking lot!  Last year I saw a lot of shivering, miserable looking people in the shuttle line.  Be dry, be warm, be happy!

2. Flip-Flops/Sandals (in addition to dry shoes): Keep your feet mud free in the shower area by putting on some flip-flops. You can also avoid the cold, muddy ground as you make your way to a changing area/tent by wearing flip-flops.

3. I also bring enough cash to pay for bag check, food, merchandise and leave my debit and credit cards locked in the car so I don’t lose them at the venue. You can also snap a photo of your ID on your smart phone and use that as ID.

4. Contractor-grade trash bag: You can place your wet, muddy clothes and shoes in the bag after you are done beasting the course. And, seriously, use contractor bags not Hefty or Glad kitchen bags.  Those will allow the moisture to eventually seep through and nothing sucks worse than getting home and finding a puddle of water in your trunk or back seat.  You can find them at any Home Depot or similar store.  Contractor bags: Those suckers will hold back the Red Sea.

5. In addition to my small back pack with change of clothes, towel, etc I also bring a Home Depot 5-Gallon bucket to deposit my wet clothes and shoes into before I drive home. Sometimes I check my bucket along with my backpack at bag check (place backpack in bucket or clip it to bag with carabiners). Convenient AND easier to carry than a trash bag. By the way, the “Let’s Do This” on the Home Depot buckets is new to me.  I wonder if Home Depot has been turned onto alternative workout uses for their bucket? Fireman bucket carries with 50lb sandbag, anyone?

6. If you use gloves cut the fingers off the work gloves. Otherwise, you trap mud and water inside the fingers AND your hands get colder.

7. My recommendation is not to bother with multiple layers or rain jacket if it is cold and/or rainy. You will get wet almost immediately from the rain coming down or the first water obstacle you hit. No need to run the course with extra wet clothing hanging off your body. Instead wear a long-sleeve tech shirt or compression shirt.  And, for the love of Pete, do NOT wear cotton! It’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Suffer for a few minutes while waiting for the start of your heat or hand off your jacket to a friend as the gun goes off…You are running a Spartan Race! Suck it up! Aroo! Aroo! 

8. On the serious side: You might have concern about getting across water obstacles. In Malibu, the water is not particularly deep and you can always stay to the edge. If you still feel apprehensive ask someone to be your buddy as you wade across so you can keep an eye on each other. Be safe. Period. If you are running with a group like the Weeple Army  or Team SISU you will have a bunch of friends looking out for you.  If you are going at it solo…you will have a bunch of friends looking out for you.  Just remember to ask.  Someone will hold your hand, carry you, push you over and do whatever you need if you ask. And, again, be safe.  If you don’t swim stay to the edge and ask someone to stay with you and be your safety buddy.

Above all else…have fun!  You paid to do this so you might as well enjoy it.  Laugh and smile through the cold, the mud, the barbed wire crawl and everything else that gets thrown at you in a Spartan Race.

Aroo! Aroo!

Ruck On. Stay Muddy.

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You’ve logged the miles and scaled walls.  You’ve done burpees until you’ve dropped!  You even signed up for the Spartan WOD so that you could prepare and changed your diet so that you were race day ready!  As the day approaches, one thing looms in your mind…

What do I wear?

Ah, the quintessential question asked by every OCR athlete who ever first toed a Spartan Race start line.  Here we will give you the basics of what you wear and what to bring on race day from members of our Spartan Race Pro Team.

First and foremost, take care of your feet!  Members of our pro team strongly suggest a pair of trail running shoes. You will need the added traction that a trail shoe offers. You will also want to look for a shoe that provides adequate drainage when it get wet. A waterproof shoe is not a good idea, once the water gets in, and it will, it will have trouble getting out.

Socks: Look for a thin sock, preferably with individual toes slots. Got to have these. When your feet are getting wet and muddy its nice to have each toe cradled in its own little slot.

Shorts: If you’re going to wear shorts, most of our pro team prefer 5″ or 6″ running shorts or compression shorts. When they get wet there is a lower likelihood of chaffing. Looks for shorts with minimal to no pockets so you don’t collect extra mud and debris along the course.

Pants: If pants are more your speed, find compression wicking gear – NO COTTON!  The last thing you want is something heavy weighing you down.

Shirts: Many of our male pro’s really prefer to run without a shirt. Depending on the material, shirts add very little warmth and/or protection. Skin dries a lot quicker than any fabric. If it’s cool before your heat, get to the start line with an old shirt or garbage bag for warmth. Ditch it (responsibly in a trash can) right before the start. You may also have an old pair of socks on your forearms or hands to keep them warm before the start.  Many of our elite women opt for just a sports bra for many of the same reasons men go shirtless.

If you plan on donning a shirt: Most of the pro’s agree that a thin long sleeve compression shirt is best. Again, do not wear cotton! Remember, whatever you wear will get wet and will not likely dry out. If you are cold sensitive you may want to wear a windbreaker that does not absorb water. Remember once you start running you will build up a lot of heat.

Head Gear: Most racers generally do not wear anything on their heads except some sunscreen. If you like to have something on your head to manage sweat and keep the sun off you may want to try a bandana. It is easy to put around your neck when a hat might get lost in an obstacle.

Hydration: Typically one can rely on the support at the race for hydration if the race is under 3 hours. If you think you will be out there for a while and/or prefer your own beverage, a backpack with a hydration bladder is ideal.

Gloves: Gloves are a personal preference.  Many people prefer to feel the obstacles with their hands.  If not, a good pair of wide receiver gloves is great for managing the monkey bars and carrying objects.  Just remember, they will get wet!

Eyewear: Sunglasses are only going to muddy and will be useless after the first mud obstacle. Our recommendation, if you need them and have them wear your contact lenses. The swims are generally short enough that you do not need goggles.

Sunblock: Don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun. The mud will help, but apply sunscreen before the race. I like a SPF 50 spray for the body and a lotion 50+SPF for “the face”.  Otherwise you might end up with the ever-fashionable forehead race number sunburn.


• Trail Running Shoes
• Socks
• Shorts
• Sports bra
• Race bib pinned with four safety pins to your shorts
• Timing chip on your wrist
• Identification
• Directions to and from the race/ transportation schedules
• Cash for Parking
• Registration receipt
• Signed waiver

• Caffeine shot (if you like a little kick at the start)
• Water bottle for start line
SNAP Infusion Super Candy for energy
• Food belt
• Pre-race Food
• Post-race Food

• Backpack/Duffle bag
• Hydration pack
• Shirt
• Hat/visor/hair tie/headband
• Contact lenses
• Sunscreen
• Camera/GoPro
• Change of Shoes/Shorts/Socks
• Towel
• Plastic Bag
• Bandages
• Ibuprofen
• Anti-chafe gel
• Cash for bag drop
• Extra Cash
• Soap/shampoo
• Wet Wipes
• Watch

*Suit and ties, tutu’s, wedding gowns, monkey suits, and superhero capes are also optional.

Now you have the essentials! The last thing you’ll want to bring with you out on the course is a smile! You’ll need it!

Ready to race? Get registered HERE!

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