Breaking new ground is a common occurrence at Spartan Races. The Monterey Beast brought a whole new level of challenge to the West Coast, just shy of a month before the World Championships in Vermont. Miles upon miles of punishing hills and testing terrain, the thousands who were there were tested beyond expectation. Experienced veterans rubbed shoulders with nervous newbies at the start line, but all bonded by the same focus: this will not beat me. Even though it has been widely accepted and agreed that Monterey quickly established itself as quite possibly the hardest Spartan Race on the calendar outside of Vermont, it didn’t daunt those ready to see what they were made of.
In the beautiful settings of Toro Park near Monterey, people from all over the country witnessed a tough and competitive
elite heat. Hobie Call continued his mesmerizing form by taking another first place, with Lucas Zemlicka coming in second. The popular Californian native and Spartan Pro Team member Miguel Medina finally rounded out the top three securing a podium place on a Saturday amongst deafening cheers.
In the female elites, Spartan Pro Team standout April Luu rallied after a disappointing third place finish in the PacNW and took the top spot. Taking second place was Kayekio Paul with Allyson McLay less than two minutes behind her for 3rd place. With the Spartan Race elites in both males and females become faster and stronger in every race, it’s very easy to see how the sport of OCR is now beginning to be taken seriously by the media and general public.
The drive and pushing of boundaries that Spartan Race inspires is perhaps why Carrie Breseke – together with her boyfriend and father – decided to attack the hills, despite only two months earlier having been in a devastating car accident. “I probably shouldn’t even be doing this race, but I’m trying” she smiles. Brushing aside the neck, spine, hip and shoulder instability issues that she suffered, nothing was going to stop her getting her first Trifecta.
One of the biggest spectacle of the day was the wealth of lime green shirts that spread over the venue. This was again the might of the biggest team in Spartan Race today – The Weeple Army. Powering to not only their 6th biggest team win, but the fastest team ranking time, too, the team based out of Los Angeles are proving you can not only be fit, but make many friends and have fun at the same time. Starting initially in Southern California, the Weeple movement has now not only gone countrywide, but global, having “chapters” in Canada and Australia, too. With members including elites, regular slosh pipe challenge winner Kevin Kierce, a wealth of Spartan SGX certificated coaches and well over 1,200 members, it’s no wonder that most races where the “Weeples” go, they conquer all that they see.
Spanning the spectrum of levels of fitness, the non-exclusive group boasts not only Death Racers and ultra-endurance athletes, but those who regularly stick to 5k’s. This was highlighted perfectly by having a podium finisher at the start of the day and then, at the opposite end of the day, the brothers Herrara (Joshua and Caleb) finish the punishing course in 11 hours and 12 minutes, having been helped and guided by fellow teammate Chris Ayangco along the way. Finishing side by side late into the evening, they spent all day completing every step, obstacle and burpee, refusing to quit.
Hoping for at least 2 more biggest team wins later this year at other races, the love affair between Spartan Race and the Weeple army continues to grow. Hear more about the Weeple Army below.
Do you have what Joshua and Caleb have? Are you Spartan tough? You’ll know at the finish line…