by Katie Idle
The Spartan Sprint returned to Vancouver for the second time on May 12th, an unseasonably hot day for this time of year! Spartans from all over British Columbia, as well as from other provinces in Canada and the USA came to Inter River Park in North Vancouver, to slog through 5kms of mud, fire, and every imaginable obstacle. Despite the blazing sun, there was no shortage of mud.
The Elite heat started at 9.30am and included many Firefighters, Military and Police members. Participants ranged from 14 to 62, all with a common goal – to challenge themselves, push their limits, and find out if they were tough enough to get through the race. Many raced individually, and many raced in teams.
Our fastest Spartan guy to beat the gladiators and cross the finish line was Mark Bertoia, with an awesome time of 25:20. The first Spartan Chick, Claire Johnstone, was not far behind with a time of 31:15. Congratulations to both of them. Top three male and female finishers and the top overall team will get a free place in the Super Spartan in September, as well as other prizes donated by our presenting sponsor, New Balance and other sponsor, Ryders Eyewear.
The winning overall team came from this heat – District Fire – with a combined time of 2:04:59, but interestingly not our winning male and female.
1. 2:04:59 District Fire
1 26:06 Darcy Deutscher
2 30:28 Ryan Koenig
3 31:17 Mike Foston
4 37:08 Kyle Burdett
At noon, the Spartans-in-Training were called to the battlefield for the kids’ race. Mini Spartans from five to ten years old battled it out on the Spartan Kids course, cheered on by parents, sisters, brothers, and well-wishers. Crawling over bales of hay was the most popular obstacle – now you know what to buy your kid for Christmas! Great training, and we look forward to seeing them in the full race in a few years.
After a wash-off (and cool down) courtesy of the Fire Brigade, a cold beer was waiting in the Beer Garden. Racers drifted left the after-party late afternoon, but not before they signed and commented on the Wall of Valour.
Lots of great feedback was received, and the event attracted a lot of media attention. The Spartan Race was on CBC TV national news, featured on one of Vancouver’s most popular blogs, local newspapers, multicultural TV channels and will be featured in the Globe and Mail’s next Business Report. Obstacle racing is new in Canada (only in its second year) and everyone’s excited about it! Look out for more Spartan Races and different locations next year! In Vancouver, we doubled our numbers and are set to triple our numbers for the Calgary Sprint in August!
What’s next? Calgary offers another chance to for a Spartan Sprint … but space is filling up fast. Or … why not push it up a notch and sign up for the Super Spartan in Squamish on September 22nd.